How was the project developed after Victorious February and how to sustainably preserve industrial monuments? Historians at the FA have won two key grants
The Programme of Applied Research and Development of National and Cultural Identity (NAKI) is a research programme of the Ministry of Culture, which supports applied research and development projects oriented towards the preservation of the values and accessibility of cultural heritage or the use of research results in education. The programme has been in operation since 2009, and a total of 76 out of 216 submitted projects have been awarded NAKI III funding for the period 2023-2030.
Design of the Stavoprojekt 1948–1953. The collectivization of design activity and its imprint in the memory of the Czech landscape and cities received the fourth best overall rating this year, 94 points out of 100 possible. Its main objective is to research and document the activities of the most important state design office Stavoprojekt during its formation in 1948–1953 and to critically analyse these findings, summarise them in the form of an interactive database of projects and creators and make them available to the public.
"Thanks to the project we will be able to interpret the origins, ambitions and scope of Stavoprojekt, which from 1948 brought together the vast majority of all architects, designers and related professions in the former Czechoslovakia. We believe that we will fill one of the biggest gaps in the history of Czech modern and post-war architecture," says Petr Vorlík from the Department of Theory and History of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, CTU. The design of the project Stavoprojekt 1948–1953. The collectivization of design activity and its imprint in the memory of the Czech landscape and towns developed by Petr Vorlík's team received the fourth best overall rating, 94 points out of 100 possible.
The second faculty-supported project is Industrial Architecture of the Second Half of the 20th Century. Extension, Transformation and Identity. It is a continuation and extension of two previous projects of the Research Centre for Industrial Heritage of the FA CTU (VCPD) carried out thanks to the NAKI I and NAKI II programmes. A team of VCPD experts led by Jan Zikmund will focus on a comprehensive and detailed mapping of industrial architecture of the second half of the 20th century in our territory. The contribution of the project also lies in the formulation of evaluation criteria for further management of this immediately threatened and overlooked layer of cultural heritage. The results of the research will be usable, for example, in procedures for declaring an object a cultural monument. The project received 90.5 points and was ranked 15th-17th in the evaluation.
Annotation of supported projects:
Stavoprojekt 1948–1953. The collectivization of design activity and its imprint in the memory of the Czech landscape and towns
Stavoprojekt was founded in 1948 as a state design organisation, bringing together architects, engineers and related professions. It belonged to the Czechoslovak Building Plants and represented in many ways the fulfilment of the dreams and preparations of the radical left-wing avant-garde. But it was also an obvious response to the social and economic changes currently underway (if production and agriculture were being nationalised, the processes and planning associated with them had to be collectivised) and to the need for large-scale rehabilitation of the war-affected economy and settlement. The activities of Stavoprojekt focused mainly on infrastructure, industry, housing, conservation, public buildings, but also on typification, urban planning, etc. Although the state design institutions, which were subsequently linked to the embryonic Stavoprojekt, were fundamentally transformed several times by 1989, the impact of the concept of centralisation on domestic architecture was far-reaching. It transformed our landscape and settlement, professional community and theory, production, design and construction practice. Nevertheless, very little professional attention has been paid to the Stavoprojekt in its formative years 1948–1953, and its reflection in the history of architecture has been based mainly on (ideologically distorted) contemporary literature and the sparse memories of the actors. The archival holdings of the Stavoprojekt headquarters from 1948–1953 remained unprocessed until recently. However, its thorough study and interpretation, planned in this project, can shed a completely new light on the roots, evolution and operation of this institution, on the design and procurement processes in the early post-war years, on the search for possibilities and limits of centralisation and interdisciplinary cooperation, on the authorship, ambitions and scope of Stavoprojekt's activities. The project aims to fill one of the biggest gaps in the history of Czech modern and post-war architecture.
Main researcher: Petr Vorlík
Researchers: Klára Brůhová, Hubert Guzik, Lucia Mlynčeková, Filip Paulus (National Archive), Miroslav Pavel, Šárka Steinová (Národní archiv), Klára Ullmannová, Veronika Vicherková, Jan Zikmund
Industrial Architecture of the Second Half of the 20th Century. Extension, Transformation and Identity
The overall aim of the project is to develop a specific national and cultural identity through the understanding, interpretation, highlighting of the cultural significance and possibilities of sustainable preservation of one of the most endangered groups of building monuments of the second half of the 20th century, still overlooked and underestimated within the broad spectrum of industrial heritage. The project is directly related to two NAKI projects, of which VCPD FA CTU was a researcher and uses and develops the results of the achieved knowledge for the next level of synthesizing and evaluating research and its further application. The content of the concept of industrial heritage needs to be broadened compared to the current (traditional) perception, understanding and processing. The specific aim of the project is therefore to advance knowledge along two thematic and methodological lines. Firstly, in a temporal framework, i.e. focusing on the hitherto uncharted, overlooked and endangered cultural layer of industrial architecture of the second half of the 20th century, with the necessary contextual overlaps in both directions – both to the interwar period and to the transformational 1990s. The parallel line then traces the accompanying social phenomena that brought about the need and search for new interpretative levels of industrial heritage and the emergence of programmatic efforts to preserve it. The topic, content and formal processing of the application and publication results of the research are chosen so that they are directly usable in the fields of activities of professional and educational organizations, state and local government bodies, private entities, research institutions and, last but not least, professional and lay public. Above all, on the basis of permanent and many years of activity of the VCPD FA CTU in the protection of tangible cultural heritage in general, specifically usable by the Department of Monument Protection of the Ministry of Culture, both in the case of proceedings for the declaration and cancellation of the declaration of a thing as a cultural monument, and in the deliberations of advisory bodies of the Department.
Main researcher: Jan Zikmund
Reserachers: Lukáš Beran, Jan Červinka, Benjamin Fragner, Irena Lehkoživová, Jakub Potůček