Summary of approved PhD theses

Architectural symbolism in theater scenography

Mgr. art. Ing. arch. Peter Mazalán, PhD.

A theatre environment with its atmosphere, just as well as a utilitarian architectural space, have their own cultural and social function. Since the very beginnings of the groundbreaking theatre reforms of the 20th century, a theatre production has become an expressive and original reinterpretation of any given piece. Theatre has acquired a tendency to become an appealing discourse not only in its acting and literary dimension, but through its visual expression as well. Dramatic artists started to utilize a wide array of forms and tools. By examining the stage design (scenography), we focus in our treatise on the theatre of architecture and its symbols. Whether it is through a faithful interpretation on stages of brick-and-mortar venues or via experimental projects, we analyze the relationship of the specific location to the play itself as well as the effect it renders. The treatise is structured as a historical overview of such a scenography, with an emphasis on the 20th and the 21st centuries. The scenography is being presented here in a new context of the architecture as a medium. The intent of this thesis research was to establish a new synthesis of the theories of architecture and scenography, resulting in a consistent text that could be used as a part of the Scenography curriculum at the Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology (FA STU). It also represents a theoretical basis of an experiment which took place at FA STU with the students of Scenography. The experiment, along with the theoretical research, were used to verify a set of hypotheses we had established regarding the perception and interpretation of an architectural symbol in scenography. It was also intended to prove the relevancy of scenography as a subject taught at a school of architecture.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava.

Shelters and enclosure buildings over architecture in a state of a ruin

Ing. arch. Lýdia Chovancová, PhD.

The issue conservation of ruins is highly actual in the present as a wave of ruin conservation and restoration has been proceeding in Slovakia since 2006. The issue brings out a problem of a proper roof over ruins for various functions (background, museum etc.) by its method and expression. A dissertation thesis focuses in its first part on development and actual trend of shelters and enclosure buildings in Europe and Slovakia. A theoretical part presents the issue roofs over ruins with its characteristics (a scale of volume preservation, a scale of burying, climate conditions, a stability of a ruin after its consolidation etc.), that set limits/determinants for an architect – project engineer and his creative work with the ruin and the shelter or the enclosure building over it. The chapter include also methods of monument conservation and restoration and a new shape applied in influencing a shape of shelters and enclosure buildings over ruins of architecture. In other part there is described an administrative process of approval and professions entering a process of the ruin conservation and a design of the new covering structure. Researched knowledge is practically applied at archaeological site – The Old Town on the Hill Glanzenberg in Banská Štiavnica using a method of a research by architectural design. In conclusion, results are summed up in principles/recommendations that can be useful for setting a conservation concept, methodists and project engineers of a new covering construction. To illustrate the building design process, Annex a sets out the students› studio work where they proposed a roofing structure within the archaeological site of the Grave Mound in Očkov.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava.

Architecture of historical industrial areas in Slovakia, segment of iron production

Ing. arch. Eva Belláková, PhD.

Iron processing has a long tradition in Slovakia. For centuries, iron production has contributed to the economic and social development of the population as well as of all contemporary state formations in our country. Although the history of this industry is relatively well explored and published, the architecture of these industrial sites is practically unknown. The current state of threatened historical industrial buildings and sites of iron production of Slovakia as a result of the end of their production leads to vexing questions about the perspectives on the possible preservation and use of this industrial heritage segment. An essential condition for the positive resolution of these issues is a thorough knowledge and comprehensive evaluation of its cultural and social-economic potential, which is necessarily preceded by research. The urgency of documenting and preserving the physical evidence of Slovakia industrial heritage supports the recent dramatic demolitions of many production buildings and even entire industrial sites. The accompanying architectural discussion has confirmed the lack of systematic mapping and evaluation of our industrial heritage, and that traditional approaches to protection of the cultural heritage do not offer sufficient tools to evaluate and preserve these remnants of our industrial history. This situation has shown that the issue of industrial heritage is still a controversial subject in society, including architects and theorists. A frequent obstacle to evaluating the cultural and historical values of industrial sites is their evaluation as solitary objects. The understanding of the broader spatial context of the site, the urban dimension of the region is overlooked. Another problem now appears to be the communication barrier between research and acceptance of the value of heritage buildings by society. The aim of the dissertation was to identify the characteristic architectural features of the iron production sites on the territory of Slovakia in the historical overview. The purpose of the thesis was to point out the quality of the monitored industrial buildings. The work investigated the areas in operation between 1815 and 1948. The first step of the research was the analysis of historical con-text, followed by the mapping of the industrial sites and the identification of their preserved objects. The mapping results were the basis for determining the development line and the categorization of historical ironworks in the background of technological progress of production. The work examined the monitored areas from the whole to its individual parts – from the urban context to the description of the architecture of the production buildings. The research conducted in the dissertation was based mainly on the architect›s perspective. Therefore, the work was focused on the transformation of the production technology (as one of the main determinants of the sites formation) as well as on the reflections of the architectural development and its manifestations in the monitored sector. Architectural features have been identified in individual development stages using schematics and diagrams. The dissertation presented an overview of the development of architectural aspects of iron metallurgy in Slovakia. By complex processing, the new look at the architecture of monitored sector was provided. The benefit of the thesis is the system of categorization of historical ironworks in Slovakia according to the range of iron processing and the level of technological progress. Based on information about the technology used, it allows categorizing and thus gaining insights into the composition and structure of today›s unpreserved or incomplete historical sites even in the case of non-maintained map data. The presented categorization and synthesis of architectural features simplifies the process of further architectural research of the historical ironworks, thus it supports the sense of monumental protection of this industry.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava.
Keywords: architecture, slovakia, symbolism, research, PhD study, doctoral study, PhD thesis, FAD STU, PhD students, theatre, scenography, history, ruins, shelters, industry areas, iron and steel industry