Hans Karl Stark Notes on the Interwar Aarchitectural Work

The article deals with the work of a less-well- known functionalist architect, Hans Karl Stark, a graduate of the Technical University in Brno. An important creator of the modern Functionalist architecture of Bratislava, he belonged to the cultural circuit of German architects living and working in Slovakia. Information derived from archival documents brings new knowledge and makes the exploration more exact. The research has also confirmed this architect´s authorship of several building in Bratislava and Malacky.

The Acoustical Qualities of Baumhorn’s Synagogues in Slovakia

The buildings designed by Leopold Baumhorn in Slovakia are unique not only for their architectural but also their acoustic features. As synagogues in post-totalitarian Europe, these buildings no longer serve their original intended function and host mostly various cultural and social events. As a result, it is important to investigate their acoustic characteristics. The current study presents the main acoustic features of the Baumhorn synagogues in Nitra, Liptovský Mikuláš, and Lučenec collected during acoustic field research. Additionally, the study points out the importance of preserving this type of information as a form of intangible cultural heritage.

The Critical Potential of “Total Installations” – The Logic of Ilya Kabakov

The critical potential of “total installations”— the logic of Ilya KabakovThis paper focuses on the analysis of the installation Ten Characters by Ilya Kabakov, as this artwork is considered as a crucial instance in interpreting Soviet narratives and figures as a metaphor for life in the Soviet Union. The paper shows that Kabakov draws attention to the consequences of the typical housing structure invented during Socialist regime known as the kommunalka, or communal apartment. In this artwork, he comments on the forms of horizontal supervision that function not only in the communal apartment, but in the wider sphere of Soviet society, and uses the local mentality emphasising the role of social reality.In this respect, the critical potential of this artwork is monitored simultaneously by its challenge to socialist realism on the political level, and its fetishism of neo-avant-garde art on the aesthetic level.

Context in the Works of Nikola Dobrović on the Territory of Herceg Novi

In the conditions of current globalization trends, the creation of a new European political and spatial context and the expression of regional cultural differences, a need has emerged to redefine cultural and urban identity. Spatial-cultural identity is particularly strong in settings enriched by a recognisable geo-climate and cultural and built heritage such as the Adriatic Coast, with specific emphasis on the Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska) and Herceg Novi, its largest town. The main subject of the this paper is the architecture of Nikola Dobrović as realised during the 1960s and 1970s in Herceg Novi. Ranging from the first town planning of Herceg Novi, and plans for the central town zone to a large corpus of unaccomplished projects and several realised buildings, it represents an illustrative response to the context and new programme visions. All this work was carried out in the context of the dynamic post-war development of the town and the architectural paradigms valid in that period.The general goal of this paper is to define and explain the character and scope of the works of Nikola Dobrović in Herceg Novi, through analysis of their relation to the regional context. Additionally, a comparison is made with his early contextual sensitivity demonstrated in the project examples of Dubrovnik. The final goal of this paper is to raise awareness of the significance of 20th-century architectural heritage as a valid element of urban identity, a source of inspiration and creativity of future generations, as well as a supply of usable and current project methods in building the urban landscape of a coastal town.

The New Bratislava of Josef Marek

The study represents the urban-planning work of the relatively unknown Moravian-born architect Josef Marek, a pupil of Jan Kotěra and a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. During his years in Slovakia after 1919 up until the end of the 1950s, Marek created an entire series of urban plans, though the form of several of them remains unknown. The present study investigates the competition entries for the urban plan of Bratislava, created within the framework of formulating the interwar ideas of the city’s further development. At the same time, though, they extend into the postwar years, when the city’s development occurred under extremely different political as well as economic conditions. Using Josef Marek as an example, the study uncovers the complexity of investigating the urban development of modern Bratislava.

The Czech Discourse on Regional Planning Between 1945 and 1948

The study focuses on the peak period of Czech regional planning during the short-lived postwar Czechoslovak democracy (between 1945 and 1948). The author examines the attitudes of leading actors of the debate about regional planning, and discusses how their concepts corresponded with the immediate rhetoric of ongoing political, social and economic transformation. Among the leading figures of the debate, the architects Jiří Voženílek and Ladislav Žák stand out as figures whose opposing technocratic and ecological standpoints clashed in 1948. Another crucial figure was the architect and urbanist Emanuel Hruška, the most enthusiastic Czech advocate of regional planning.

The Urban Space of the Migrant Crisis: Analysis of the Spatial Evolution of an Informal Transit Camp in Budapest’s Historic City Centre

From June till September 2015, Baross Square in front of Budapest’s Keleti Railway Station became the temporary living area for thousands of refugees and migrants travelling to Western Europe. This unconventional use of one of the busiest squares in the historic centre gave rise to a new perception of the existing environment. The paper aims to show how the recently renewed, two-level public area gradually transformed into an emergent transit camp. The spatial and temporal evolution of this camp is divided into three successive phases based on the changing roles of formal and informal interventions: an early, unorganised informal stage, a formally controlled stage, and finally an organised informal one. Data gathered from regular on-site fieldwork reveal that the camp space was produced mainly out of reactions to people’s need of temporary shelter, food and information. The different modes of these reactions in the three phases are analysed and visualized throughout the paper.

Microbial Ecologies Exploring Industrial Hemp Behaviour under Artificial Climates (Growing Apparatus)

Microbial Ecologies (ME) is proposing a speculative scenario in which is able to explore new robotic fabrication processes as a framework for investigating the generation of bio-artificial systems. These systems allow us to regenerate polluted and eroded terrains, protect the soil from farther erosion and encourage healthy plant growth using interconnected 3D fibre systems.

Material Moods: Material and Algorithms

The introduction of emergence theory in architecture nearly 10 years ago rapidly changed the field of digital architecture towards process-oriented design. The functioning process of algorithms shifts the designer’s approach to the field away from the modeling (copying) of forms toward their generating. As designers no longer fully control the final shape, the computer and the algorithm become a partner in the design process. The “Material Moods” project applies the logic of algorithms to physical materials and explores the possibilities of this new viewpoint. Its focus on the natural processes in materials reveals new qualities for design, production and a new field of architectural interpretations.

The Smooth Striped City

The main aim of urban design should be to provide as elastic a plan as possible. This plan should define private and public space and allow its users the maximum possibilities and freedom to build. We seek such tools and methods that would be elementary but also sophisticated, which using only a few rules could define coherent and rich environment situations. The smooth and striped methodology could be understood as a bottom-up system which uses the idea of smooth regulations lines (the wooly path) as a rhizomatic street system which generates differentiated urban cells. In these cells, we evolve the solar envelope based on genetic algorithm and solar exposition calculation. Public space is translated as the urban field (S. Allen) to provide better navigation and orientation of users. Hence, the digital possibility of working with an entire part of a city down to the smallest part of the street is the greatest benefit of computer-aided design. Thanks to the generative design, we can share the qualities of the whole with their parts.

From Architecture and Construction to the Planning of Autonomous Processes, Systems and Structures

Studio FLO│W at the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech Technical University in Prague holds the belief that a digitally-driven architecture should be flexible, interactive and adaptable. The digital revolution, together with the development of new advanced materials, has principally changed the way of planning, directing, controlling and building constructions. Through the creative engagement of algorithms, an architect, a designer or a student can generate endless number of similar structures of buildings, which means a geometrical output of predetermined dimensional, referential and functional dependencies. The aim is to connect people and processes into a single functional organism, which will also engage in lively communication with its environment. Digitally-driven architecture aims at a paradigmatic shift away from static through interactive to adaptable structures and systems sensitive to application of materials and exploitation of natural resources.

The Project “Learning by Doing” at FA CTU

Can you learn architecture without direct experience? In recent years, attention has been paid to the idea of “design-build” projects at schools of architecture, the methodology of which makes it possible to bring students to the reality of architectural practice differently than the simply mediated. Students have the opportunity to create a proposal for a specific situation of a real assignment and to verify its validity both by elaborating an implementation project and mainly by individually formulating the implementation of this proposal. The Faculty of Architecture of the CTU has already successfully implemented several design-build projects in the past and the topic of the teaching methodology of this type has long been devoted to research.

Behind the Glitch: Research by Digital Drawing in Contemporary Architecture Education

This work examines the epistemological and creative potential of analytical drawing in architecture, reinvented in the age of computation. The immediate object of survey involvesthe drawings produced within different type of courses at the University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Architecture: an introductory theoretical course for Bachelor’s studies, a design teaching studio at the Master’s degree level, and an independent PhD research project. Our investigation suggests that digitalization of analytical drawing brings to architecture a whole new spectrum of alternative modes of inquiry, which can presumably lead to higher levels of criticality and creativity in contemporary architecture and architectural education.

Wall Curtain On the Idea of Soft within the Digital and Fabrication Realms

The project Wall Curtain tests the properties of the soft in the real and computational worlds. Both territories influence and teach each other. The textile techniques are virtually simulated in order to create an object: a new, complex and well-informed soft layer of an interior. This enclosure fills the imaginary gap in between our bodies and architecture around. Thus the project investigates the conceptual, material and technological consequences of working with textiles in architectural contexts.

Aspects and Appearances of Mathematisation in Architecture from the Standpoint of Christopher Alexander’s Theory

This text forms a response to the crucial changes occurring in the architecture design process during the 1990ties and the post-millennial era. This radical transition, shifting from the analogue design principle to the digital processes through new technological possibilities, is changing the key conceptual apparatus of the architecture of 21st century. Searching for answers to the key questions about mathematisation of architecture, it treats the theory and work of British-American architect and theorist Christopher Alexander. The analogies found between Alexander’s design method with the digital one, indicate Alexander as a definite initiator of algorithmic generative design.

Interactive Buildings: The Case for Interaction Narratives

In this position paper, we present the results of ongoing theoretical investigation into the phenomenon of “interactive architecture.” Interaction in architecture deals with the meaningful exchange of information and physical acts between building and person. Beyond responsive systems like automated doors, shading systems, and so on, most examples of interactive architecture are technological explorations that probe the possibilities and potentials of interaction. In this paper, we claim that this state is not enough. The focus in this paper is on the design of comprehensive and consistent styles of interaction rather than a series of isolated and unrelated interaction events. Different people in various contexts require different sets of behavior from an interactive building. In turn, these sets are conceptualized as “interaction narratives.” We argue that such narratives can provide a better fit of the interactive building with the user, and lead to more profound understanding of such systems.

New Argumentation for the Digital Paradigm

It has again become necessary to argue for the conceptual novelty and potential of digital design to emerge a relevant moment in the history of architecture. We are conducting research into design and fabrication tools with a generative capacity – i.e., the possibility to create during the manufacturing process. A multitude of agents enters the morphogenesis in the emergent design approach. The concept “Design by Behavior” predicts architectural agents, while its emergent outlets will address the discipline of architecture. The result of the digital design is an abstract promise of an object with all its potential forms. We are proposing a vision of architecture as a state machine with a non-deterministic context and elements implemented implicitly.


The development of information technologies and the digitalisation of architectonic tools has radically changed both architectural practice and architectural research. Currently, it is difficult even to cite an area of human activity where computer technology lacks a significant role, and architectural design is hardly an exception. Computers shape all stages of architectural creation, from design through optimization up to production. The development of computer technologies in architectural design is manifested in two main tendencies, these being the digitalisation of the design tools and the digitalisation of the design processes. Yet these tendencies are connected, so much so that they can only be observed in their mutual relations. And, as in many other fields, a change is underway in architecture’s approach: there is discussion about open systems, soft systems, generative processes and bottom-up methods. The transition from reductionism to a view of the world as an open dynamic system has changed architectural thinking. Though computational tools have been in use in architectural practice for almost half a century and have formed an essential component of most architectural studios during the past two decades, the absence of a clear and coherent theory of digital architecture complicates our view of its various branches and any clear definition of its concepts. Concepts such as parametric designing, generative design, or computational design have a distinct lack of clarity in their relations and hierarchies. In the professional literature, there exists a difference between “computational design” and “computerised design”, or conversely even “computer-aided design”. The first idea is understood as the process through which specific problems are first conceived as abstract data and their mutual relations are depicted in the form of logical and mathematical formulae. A concrete architectural problem is replaced by an abstract model, and various solutions are simulated and evaluated. As such, it primarily concerns the digitalisation of the design process itself. The second concept is used in the case of using digital tools that make use of the calculating power of information technology to compile and organise information already known. Yet these two forms are not opposites, but indeed complementary phenomena. For a better understanding of the mutual relation between digital processes and digital tools, it is necessary to state their context within the wider scheme of architectural practice, theory and technology. The first graphic systems for computational design appeared in the 1960s. Originally, their ambition was to imitate earlier programs used for structural calculations and use them for addressing more purely design-oriented problems. …

Adaptive Reuse of Zagreb Tobacco Factory Buildings in the Context of Contemporary Urban Regeneration

This paper focuses on the paradoxical failure of the contemporary city to realize the regeneration of an industrial building for museum purposes, in contrast to avant-garde conversion of a tobacco factory into a university building in the late 19thcentury. In addition to the former tannery conversion in today’s Glyptotheca of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts during the 1930s, the City of Zagreb inherited two avant-garde examples of abandoned factories regeneration for social and cultural needs of a contemporary city even before the appearance of industrial archaeology in the 1960s.

The Greater Bratislava of Architects Alois Balán and Jiří Grossmann

The declaration of Bratislava as Slovakia’s capitol opened a new chapter in its urban development. In reflecting on the new city, a significant contribution was made by the visions of architects Alois Balán and Jiří Grossmann, as the only ones consistently presenting the urban program of Greater Bratislava. The present study presents the intellectual genesis and deeper analysis of the important ideas of these architects, and suggests a connection with their intensive publication activity as well as their practical engagements in propagating a new regulatory plan and forming the necessary professional institutions.