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Torso belongs in the landscape, shows this year's winner of the Břetislav Štorm Prize

The Břetislav Štorm Prize selected the best student works in the field of conservation. After a covid break, it presented the winners of the last three editions. They are Eliška Houdová with her project on the conservation of the torso of the Zvířetice castle, Tomáš Beneš, who dealt with the restoration of the village square in Stvolínky and Klára Bohuslavová with her diploma project on the revitalization of the Žatec hop-growing landscape around the Stekník castle.

The Břetislav Štorm Prize has been following the work of students of the Faculty of Architecture of the CTU on conservation projects for 14 years. The aim of the competition, organized by the Department of Architectural Conservation of the FA CTU, is to promote interest in the field and to increase preparedness for practice in the field of conservation. The award is named after the prominent Czech conservationist, architect, graphic designer and illustrator Břetislav Štorm. 

"The prize is an encouragement for architecture students who are able to look at objects in their historical and local context, and at the same time place them sensitively and functionally in the contemporary context. This brings the objects back to life," says Dalibor Hlaváček, dean of the FA CTU.         

The winner of the 14th year was Eliška Houdová from the Girsa studio with her project for the Conservation of the torso of Zvířetice Castle. The work presented two different approaches to the repair of torsion architecture. In the conservation variant, the author proposed securing the crowns of the masonry, stabilisation interventions, bricking up of the cavern and niches, repairs of stone lining, brackets and rubble masonry. In the more radical version of the reconstruction, the completion is brought to the maximum possible extent thanks to the finding situations and historical sources that support the reconstruction.

The approach to the repair of torsional architecture is still a subject of professional debate and conflicts of opinion. Sensitive conservation repairs can prolong the life of a monument, while ill-advised interventions in historic masonry can contribute to its demise. Eliška Houdová's project shows that the torso as a silhouette has its place in the landscape. 

"The author of the project proposed sensitive conservation repairs that can extend the life of the monument. Thanks to professional workmanship, support in the finding situation and historical sources, this work would stand up to the actual restoration of the torso according to the standards of conservation," said the chairman of the jury doc. Martin Horáček, an architectural historian from the Department of Art History at Palacký University in Olomouc and the Institute of Heritage Care at the Faculty of Architecture in Brno. 

The winner of the 13th edition was Tomáš Beneš for his design of Stvolínky - revitalisation of the village square in the Českolipsko region. He is bringing back the extinct buildings to the historical centre affected by demolitions and also solves the modifications of the central area in front of the local castle. "The proposal restores the spatial, architectural and residential qualities to the place, which it lost due to insensitive interventions in the previous regime," said Martin Horáček, summarising the jury's evaluation. 

The winning project of the 12th year was developed by Klára Bohuslavová. She won the award for her urban planning study of the revitalization of the Žatec hop-growing landscape in the vicinity of Stekník Castle. The author deals with the complex restoration of landscape elements, the design of hiking trails, nature trails and cycle paths, transport services in the area, the design of new tourist attractions and facilities. "The quality of this proposal is underlined by the fact that the work became part of the documentation for the nomination of Žatecko to the UNESCO World Heritage List," Horáček said of the project. 

The Břetislav Štorm Prize was first announced in 2009. It is organized by the Department of Architectural Conservation of the Faculty of Architecture of the CTU in Prague in cooperation with the Czech National Committee of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites). The jury is always chaired by a respected personality from the field of architecture and conservation.

It is named after the prominent Czech conservationist, architect, graphic designer and illustrator Břetislav Štorm (1907 – 1960). During his work in the state conservation service he was involved in the modification of many important buildings, especially castles and chateau complexes. According to his proposal and methodical guidance, rescue and restoration works were carried out especially at Kost, Švihov, Buchlov, Křivoklát and Karlštejn castles. His involvement in the restoration of castles in Chlumec nad Cidlinou, Boskovice, Klášterec nad Ohří and in the rehabilitation of castle gardens in Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou, Rájec nad Svitavou, Veltrusy, Mnichovo Hradiště, Jemniště and Liblice was significant. 

The award ceremony of the last three years, organized by the Department of Architectural Conservation of the CTU, Tomáš Bistřický, ČNK ICOMOS and Houska & Douda, took place on 23 June 2022 at the Kotlářka Homestead.

14th year, 2021–2022

1st prize: Eliška Houdová – studio Girsa, Conservation of the Torso of Zvířetice Castle 

2nd prize: Kristýna Šedivá – studio Girsa, Regeneration of the Železná 109 building in Železný Brod 

3rd prize: Vojtěch Palm – studio Efler, Ore Mountains - Jiřetín uprising - restoration of the mountains village

13th year, 2020–2021

1st prize: Tomáš Beneš – studio Girsa, Stvolínky - revitalisation of village square 

2nd prize: Eliška Zatloukalová – studio Girsa, All Saint's Church Stvolínky 

3rd prize: Kateřina Tomsová and Vojtěch Palm – studio Efler, Regeneration of the Schoffl Farmstead Trnovany in Saaz hop landscape 

12th year, 2019–2020

1st prize: Klára Bohuslavová – studio Efler, Saaz hops lanscape in chateau Stekník area

2nd prize: Martin Kolovský – studio Girsa, Monument rehabilitation of the chateau complex in Rožmberk 

3rd prize: Tomáš Rain – studio Girsa, Conversion of ice house area in Braník - Prague 4

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