In Search of Postmodern City: Urban Changes and Continuities in East Central Europe between Late Socialism and Capitalism (1970–2000)

How is it possible to relate the dramatic story of the metropolises of Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the 20th century? Perhaps the path of these cities from late socialism into restored capitalism could be framed as a tale of emancipation from the dead hand of rigid central planning, highlighting the potential […]

Tirana: Its History and a Post-Socialist Perspective on Urban Growth and Transformation between 1991–2016

This paper examines Tirana’s urbanization process from a socio-morphological perspective. It presents a quick understanding on how Tirana came to be a town, and then how it became the capital of Albania in 1920. This material reflects on different urban interventions that the city has undergone in different social settings and political influences, displaying these […]

Let it Sprawl: Post-Socialist Policies Enabling Suburbanization

Suburbanization processes in the hinterland of Bratislava represent one of the most significant socio-spatial transformations in the post-socialist history of Slovakia. The trend of settlement decentralisation within the dynamically growing metropolitan region contrasts in many ways with the settlement development of the period of state socialism, during which centrally controlled and planned settlement transformation and […]

From Housing Estate to City?
Karviná and the Plans for a New Centre in the Karviná-Hranice Housing Estate Post-1989

The city of Karviná is an example of the process in which the meaning of a settlement changes over time, from economic and social ascent to a decreasing attraction. City development is continuously influenced by individual interventions, both planned and accidental, which can estimate and predict future developments only to a limited extent. We can […]

Foregrounding of Individual Lots in Zagreb – From Sensible Critique Towards Rampant Speculation

In the 1980s, in parallel to the decline of large-scale planning, a local critique of modernist urbanism came to dominate the planning discourse in Zagreb, one that sought to implement strategies of urban regeneration on the omnipresent strata of persisting agricultural lots, and would soon be inscribed as the guiding ethos in the last socialist […]

The Role of Open Spaces in Restructuring the Cerak Vinogradi Housing Estate in Belgrade

The paper’s subject examines the role of open spaces in restructuring the Cerak Vinogradi housing estate, planned and built in Belgrade in period 1977-1985. The paper provides a historical comparative analysis with an overview of spatial processes on the one hand and social processes on the other through identification of the role of open spaces […]

Tracing the Housing Frontline: The Post-Socialist Legacy of Housing Policies in Bucharest during the 1970s–1980s

During the 1970s and 1980s, the construction of large housing complexes in Romania, particularly in the capital city of Bucharest, reached its peak as a result of urban systematization policies. The impact of built densification in those decades can be measured on the socio-economic scale of consequences after the 1990s, less in terms of architectural […]

The Anatomy of Privatization: The Genealogy and Practice of Postsocialist Transformation of Housing in Bratislava

The general story of ECE cities in the era of transformation is well known. What began in the course of the 1980s as an endeavour to make cities more liveable, humane and ecological, ended up in a massive privatization at some point in the 1990s. Mostly this development has been explained by social geographers, sociologists […]

The Parks of Culture and Leisure in Prague and Bratislava: The Story of a Transition

The article will focus on a critical re-evaluation of approaches to the city in the period of late normalization; especially on the new ethos that took place in the professional community as a result of postmodern ideas coming from Western Europe, but also thanks to the extremely negative experience of the highly modernist industrialization of […]

The Return to the City towards the End of the Normalisation Period

The article will focus on a critical re-evaluation of approaches to the city in the period of late normalization; especially on the new ethos that took place in the professional community as a result of postmodern ideas coming from Western Europe, but also thanks to the extremely negative experience of the highly modernist industrialization of […]

Does Postmodern Mean Capitalist? On Postmodernism and the Planned Economy in Poland and the German Democratic Republic

Does postmodern mean capitalist? This article aims at providing an answer to this question by comparing postmodernism in two socialist contexts: the People’s Republic of Poland, where in the 1980s the planned economy was progressively eroding and postmodern architecture was mostly sponsored by non-state clients (private individuals, small housing cooperatives and the Catholic Church), and […]

Who Formed the Architectural Appearance of Trnava in the Years 1918 – 1945?

The appearance of modern Trnava is the joint work of many important Czech, Moravian, and Slovak architects. The building of the District Health Insurance office is a national heritage monument also listed in the DOCOMOMO register, and there are many more buildings constructed in Trnava in the 1918 – 1945 period that deserve national heritage […]

Architecture Without Architects. Informal Redevelopment of Late-Modern Prefabricated Housing in Tbilisi, Georgia

Unplanned architecture was a phenomenon that occurred in the former Eastern Bloc Countries, particularly in Georgia, Armenia, and Ukraine, mainly in the 1980s. The term describes self-build architecture and additional extensions to existing buildings, created by the inhabitants themselves as non-architects. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the lack of social housing and regulations […]

The Concept of Homage in VAL’s E-temen-an-ki Project

The text is devoted to one of the eight projects of the Slovak art-architectural group VAL, active in the 1970s through the 1990s, the work of which falls into the category of visionary architecture. The following study is part of a broader historical-architectural research project involving VAL, one of the aims of which is an […]

From Kraus to Orbis: The Two Window Designs of Armin Kraus between Vision and Practicality

In the late 1920s, the Bratislava company of the metalsmith Armin Kraus produced an intriguing window design. Unique for its folding opening mechanism and an unusual combination of wood and steel, it represents one of the most original examples of windows produced in inter-war Czechoslovakia. Although the window was well received by the avant-garde, it […]

Rusovce Manor House and Its Neo-Gothic Rebuilding. New Findings from Artistic and Archival Materials

The theme of the study is the manor house in Rusovce, near Bratislava, built in the neo-Gothic style, designed by a prominent Austrian architect working in noble circles in the monarchy, Franz Beer (1804 – 1861). Between 1841 and 1846, a radical reconstruction of the manor in the neo-Gothic style was carried out, commissioned by […]

Historical Evolution and Contemporary Examples of Hungarian Social Housing

There is a lack of a housing system based on common social responsibility in Hungary. There were attempts to create wider social housing system after democratic transition, but the lack of coherent social support a comprehensive system has not able to be established. The small number of new social housing projects were completed in an […]

From Agricultural Village to Socialist Industrial Town

Town of Strážske has gained recent attention because of heavy contamination with PCBs produced in Chemko Strážske, which was established in August 1952. Since then, small village in region of Upper Zemplín in eastern Slovakia had experienced a rapid industrialisation and urbanisation. Promising economic development quickly led to migration of builders and future factory workers […]

Analyzing contemporary image of the Olympic city Sarajevo: Modalities, Meanings and Negotiations

This work examines the visual identity of the city of Sarajevo, the host city of the XIV Winter Olympic Games 1984. It aims to question the role of the Olympic signs and symbols today, which do not solely exist as just visual interpretations but are set in the context of meaning – systems in a […]

Architecting Nature: The Pastoral Genre in Art Museum Design

How often do we get conscious of the fact that the function of art in general, and in relation to architectural space in particular, was dramatically changing throughout the course of history? And how is the consciousness of this historical transformative process relevant for the cultural and architectural discourse on museums and their architecture today? […]

“For Us, It Was a New and Difficult Task”: Czechoslovak Embassy Buildings in the 1918–1939 Period and the Construction of State Representation

After 1918, the cultural construction of Czechoslovak identity and the search for forms of state representation in architecture also imprinted itself on the preparation and realization of buildings abroad. The embassy buildings – in addition to the pavilions and expositions at international exhibitions – were to petrify the shared idea about the advanced character of […]