Rudolf Miňovský – Vladimír Dedeček: Agricultural University Campus in Nitra, the main auditorium and the administrative pavilion

Source: Stavoprojekt, Zbierka architektúry, úžitkového umenia a dizajnu SNG

Form and its Reception in Architecture. On the Example of the Agricultural University Campus in Nitra

The title of this paper refers to the polarity between formalism and reception aesthetics, emerging in the 1960s yet implicitly formulated much sooner, for example in Czech and Slovak structuralism. The aim of this text is to demonstrate how this polarity shaped the contextual background of architectural thinking in the second half of the 20th century in Slovakia with the specification that despite minor exceptions, it did not develop into individual formal or structural analyses of architecture nor did into research of the social impact and history of reception. Nonetheless, the majority of texts on architecture of that period are dominated by thinking about the form or the social mission/function of architecture, even if the deeper interrelation of both poles in the above-mentioned polarity has never resulted in a new concept of an architectural work or an implicit author or user as formulated by the reception theories of the Konstanz School (Hans Robert Jauss and Wolfgang Iser), Umberto Eco or the ideas on reception aesthetics by František Miko in Slovakia. The Agricultural University Campus (AUC) in the city of Nitra (project by Rudolf Miňovský and Vladimír Dedeček, designed in 1959 – 1961, built in 1960 – 1963) is chosen as an example. Not only do a variety of existing texts tackle this important work from the aspects of both poles of the abovementioned polarity, it is also possible to demonstrate if and to what extent these texts develop the possibilities of the approach chosen by their authors and, at the same time, the consequences of the inconsistent utilization of formal analysis and analysis of reception or social function (e.g., in the case that formal analysis is replaced by a recourse to the genuine model/pattern of applied form, or the study of reception is replaced by the worship of acceptance in international journals). The paper is divided into two parts: the first part is concerned with the form of the AUC and the second with the reception of the AUC’s form. Here, focus is applied to the preliminary analysis of architectural form by confronting the process of formal analysis suggested by the author of this paper with the processes formulated by other authors. The second part tries to offer a typology of reception of the AUC’s form. …


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