Summary of approved PhD theses

Possibilities of city development on brownfield sites

Ing. arch. Alena Bindzárová, PhD.

The dissertation thesis Possibilities of city development on brownfield sites focuses on application of sustainability tools in abandoned places of the city. It aims to evaluate the scale of real applicability of these tools into planning policy, settlement development, adaptation of urban environment, all in a theoretical level. It also aims to make the options for an integration of the selected – highlighted elements of current urban trends visible; to support the spirit of ecology, humanization, sustainability and aesthetics, the spirit of a place. Historical, socio-political, geographic consequences of the given state of country, especially of settlements, is set in the introduction, in the way that today´s productive and creative generation receives it from its ancestors. The terms interdepartmental, complicated are what is found in each one referred source of information with the word “brownfield” (and alike). The position of the topic is localized in the coordinates of time development, geographic position, professional analysis and social life of the citizens. The question of inner city are-as recycling, its effective way of exploitation and re-living is put into the thesis core; followed by the sub-questions of possible application methods. As far as the research is rather analytical than experimental, it looks at the features of selected locations with similarities in its own way; the similarities are: production, mainly of industrial character, inner city position (centre – inner city), long period of dysfunction. The research methodology explains a simple look at the thing, which is complicated by the typical unclear words with little exact limits. The dissertation thesis takes further similar researches – mostly of theoretical-philosophical character; however it develops next options to carry on the research, next branches touching the spatial planning, urban development, urban design for public spaces, urban typology, in the conclusion and discussion. The thesis sketches up some sup-portive documents, databases and researches.

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

Intensification of housing estates

Ing. arch. Karol Görner, PhD.

The dissertation thesis deals with the possibilities of the intensification of existing residential complexes from the era of mass housing – housing estates. The opinions among the inhabitants of housing estates and experts about how a residential structure of housing estates should evolve are not united. Also for this reason the current development of existing housing estates is made by spontaneity and urban-architectural misconception. The goal of thesis was to map the actual state of housing estates and examine the possibilities (potentials, limits) for intensification of existing housing estates taking into account the key factors of compact city structure and to process the findings into the principles and recommendations for its application. The theoretical part focuses on the definition of key terms (intensification, residential complex, housing estate) and clarifies the issue of intensification of the housing estates in terms of current knowledge and author’s opinion on this subject. The research part of the thesis analyses the structure of the selected model housing estates within the city of Banská Bystrica based on the assessment methodology of the potential for intensification created by the author and looks for relationships between the evaluated categories. The methodology of the thesis is based on identification of the basic characteristics of compact urban structures that are classified into the categories and compared with the characteristics of model housing estates. Assessment of the potential for intensification is evaluated for each housing estate in each category. Afterwards, these results of evaluation are compared and analysed by the linear correlation analyses. Findings of the thesis show a great diversity of housing estates and a need for an individual approach, but the results also point out some general characteristics of the structure of housing estates in the context of intensification, emphasizing the importance of the perception of the city as a complex system. In the terms of research it seems that the housing estates with their reserves for application of diverse forms of intensification can play a crucial role in the effort to shape a compact, sustainable city.

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

Invasive interventions as impulses of formation of public spaces

Ing. arch. René Dlesk, PhD.

The paper is composed of three main parts: Introduction of the first part reflects the processes of gradual transformation of the human society under the influence of specialisation, that lead to continuous growth of enormous volume of specialized knowledge. Under the influence of dynamically changing societal circumstances, we are no longer capable of to control and handle this knowledge in full complexity that, in many occasions, lead us unwittingly, and dangerously, to preference of certain interests over the others. The consequences of this phenomenon is resulting not only in critical relation of man and his natural environment, but also in incremental disintegration and alienation of urban environment of our cities, that is failing to mediate interaction and synergy between various social, functional or spatial components of urban life in one place. Forces that drive development of our society materialize in our cities in specific forms of spatiality that traditional architecture is not capable to efficiently grasp. Impact of traditional architecture on formation of urban environment is constantly declining. This amplifies adverse effects on spatial, functional as well as user environment of our cities. The main objective of this paper is to draw attention to unexploited potential of specific spatial forms of contemporary city, labelled here as “host structures”. The paper introduces concept of “invasive interventions” and formulates broader scope of their interpretations and understanding as of initiatory impulses for establishment of basic forms of urban life on “host structures”, in aim to enrich the quality of urban space and stimulate public activities. The invasive interventions that emerge as result of coordinated expression of collective will of real users of the city, often beyond the established models of economic efficiency or profit, are of particular significance for today city. The paper illustrates number of their various appearances on actual examples. Second part of the paper is focused on introduction of methodology of evaluation and comparison of invasive or urban interventions. This methodology consists of three parts: 1) Recording of their visual or audiovisual properties. 2) Evaluation of selected universal quantitative and qualitative parameters and their visualisation in diagram. 3) Verbal description summarizing the context and specific values of selected parameters as well as of characteristic properties that universal part of evaluation is not able to capture. Application of this methodology is subsequently demonstrated on 20 examples of invasive or urban interventions. Third part of the paper represents application of “research by design” method. Application of concept of invasive interventions is demonstrated here on three examples of actual design work of author in various in contexts of the city. Further description of those examples aims to amplify understanding of general principles of invasive interventions and presents some of the actual tools of their possible implementation.

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

Architecture of historic barracks in Slovakia

Ing. arch. Laura Pastoreková, PhD.

Military barracks belong to the specific type of architecture, which had been built during the 19th and the first half of 20th century in the area of recent Slovakia in extremely high intensity. Their location in the urban structure of the city has similar characteristics together with industrial architecture, but their functions have more common signs with residential and administrative buildings. Therefore modern barrack campuses represent a unique structural organism with its own functioning system. The primary mission of barracks was to accommodate and train soldiers of the national military service, which had to defend our country in the case of emergency. Compulsory military service came into existence in 1868 in former Austro-Hungarian Empire and this situation persists continuously until the creation of the professional army in 2006. Just shortly after the last soldier of national service left barrack campuses, architects and the general public started the discussion about their possible future reuse. The Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic has already done several pieces of research about the architectural and art values of selected barrack houses mostly from the period of 19th century, however, there was no work, which analysis barrack architecture in general and defines also its typology characteristics, historical growth and meaning. Therefore, this dissertation focuses its research on barrack buildings and campuses in the whole territory of recent Slovakia. The first part of the paper describes and explains an architectural, historical and social evolution. The impact of the military architecture in the urban structure development illustrates the situation of eight major Slovak garrison towns. Selected chapter indicates according which criteria the military officials and engineers selected the proper location in the city and how their decisions influenced the urban structure in the future. The third part of the dissertation focuses on the barrack architecture. It outlines the relationship between the internal spaces of buildings, their construction parts and other elements providing their proper functioning. The final part of the research submits the register of selected purpose-built barracks constructed until the year 1939 together with the evaluation of their current state, thus creating a fundamental knowledge base of barrack architecture in Slovakia.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Architectureat the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava.
Keywords: architecture, research, PhD study, doctoral study, PhD thesis, urban design, FAD STU, PhD students