BIENNALE ARCHITETTURA 2016 – NATIONAL PARTICIPATION OF CZECH REPUBLIC AND SLOVAK REPUBLIC

Czech Republic and Slovak Republic - Biennale Architettura 2016

CARE FOR ARCHITECTURE: ASKING THE ARCHE OF ARCHITECTURE TO DANCE

Vladimir Dedeček: The Slovak National Gallery Extension (buildings designed 1963-1969, built 1969-1977, model designed and built 2016). Photo: Martin Stoss (2016). "............................. Following the announcement of the theme of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice the authors focused on the differentiation of various forms of care for architecture but also aimed to distinguish care (Sorge) from well-meant solicitude (Fürsorgen) without project or the various forms of pragmatic calculus concerned (concern, Besorgen) in the fight for the premises of the SNG. Working on this differentiation and as an alternative to a fight and a clash at the front-line, they offer a creative response of various architectural projects whose dance can give rise to unexpected solutions. The authors present this solution in the form of a diagram of options originating partly from Dedeček’s projects’ phases but especially from the architectural competition projects, workshops and studio designs dealing with SNG’s reconstruction and rebuilding. The form of the project presentation corresponds to the differentiating movement and solution. The central object of the pavilion is a three-dimensional metal model of the Slovak National Gallery premises in red, corresponding to the constructed premises on a reduced scale (1:17.78). The red colour, however, was just one of its colours, while the most distinctive polarity was the relationship between red and white. Some parts of the metal model are walkable and this makes it possible to see and understand some of the Dedeček’s original constructional and spatial solutions of the premises that contain compositional and cluster arrangements of agoras, amphitheatres, odea, pavilions and galleries. The model stands in the middle between the two side walls of the pavilion. The longer parallel walls represent two environments, two different strategies: the environment of fight, clash and the strategy of concern (Besorgen), solicitude (Fürsorgen) and the documentation of Dedeček’s work on one side, and the environment that asks the arché of Dedeček’s architecture to dance with the strategy of care (Sorge), and project on the other side." (Quoted from the Exposition Authors' Project Description.)                                                 

The diagram of the front positions and lines situating the opinion battle for/against Vladimir Dedeček's Slovak National Gallery extension. Graphic Design: Kateřina Koňata Dolejšová. Concept: Marian Zervan (2016).

Citizens and visitors of Bratislava city, architects Vladimír Dedeček, Pavel Paňák and Martin Kusý as well as the director of The Slovak National Gallery (SNG) Alexandra Kusá express their opinion on SNG in Jana Durajová's film documentary: The Slovak Gallery, Academy of Performing Arts Bratislava (2014).

Conversations on the Slovak National Gallery I.
The interview with Maik Novotny and Benjamin Konrad, Greg Lynn, Kamiel Klasse, Jan Tabor.

Film Documentary by Jana Durajová and Lena Kušnieriková (2016).

Hertha Hurnaus: The Slovak National Gallery. Photo Essay (2004-2014).

Bratislavské noviny [Bratislava Newspapers]: To demolish, or not to demolish, that is our question... The gallery leaders don't want to demolish... (April 5th 2001)

Daša Barteková: Closed for Ten Years (2011). Photo series documenting the deterioration of the Slovak National Gallery extension buildings closed for public.

Conversations on the Slovak National Gallery II. (2016).
Interview with critic and architectural historian Henrieta Moravčíková, architects Pavel Paňák, Matúš Vallo, Imro Vaško and art historian Štefan Holčík.

Film documentary by Jana Durajová and Lena Kušnieriková.

The diagram of architectural and art projects dealing with the Slovak National Gallery's architecture (2016). Projects of reconstruction or rebuilding in relation to the analysis of Vladimir Dedeček's architectural project and design strategies. Collage on the score of Musica Slovaca composed by composer Ilja Zeljenka (1975). Graphic Design: Kateřina Koňata Dolejšová. Concept: Marian Zervan

Vladimír Dedeček: Preliminary Proposal for the Slovak National Gallery Extension. Ink and watercolour (1963).

Vladimír Dedeček: Preliminary Proposal for the Slovak National Gallery Extension. Ink and watercolour (1963).

Vladimír Dedeček: Preliminary Proposal for the Slovak National Gallery Extension. Paper and Plastic Model (undated). Model checks the relation of the new gallery front facade to both the Danube river embankment and the neighbour functionalist Hotel Devín designed by Dedeček's professor Emil Belluš.
Vladimír Dedeček: Preliminary Proposal for the Slovak National Gallery Extension {A New Front Facade of the Building}. Drawing (1967-1968).
Vladimír Dedeček: Final, Revised Proposal for the Slovak National Gallery Extension. Drawing (1967-1968).
Vladimir Dedeček: The Slovak National Gallery Front Wing - The Bridging. Undated photography (1977 or later).
The Exhibition Catalogue Cover. Editor: Marian Zervan. Graphic Design: Kateřina Koňata Dolejšová
The Slovak National Gallery Analysis. Pages 70|71 form the Exhibition Catalogue. Analysis: Benjamín Brádňanský and Vít Halada in collaboration with Marian Zervan and Monika Mitášová.
The Slovak National Gallery Analysis. Pages 74|75 form the Exhibition Catalogue. Analysis: Benjamín Brádňanský and Vít Halada in collaboration with Marian Zervan and Monika Mitášová.
The Slovak National Gallery Analysis. Pages 76|77 form the Exhibition Catalogue. Analysis: Benjamín Brádňanský and Vít Halada in collaboration with Marian Zervan and Monika Mitášová.
The Slovak National Gallery Analysis. Pages 78|79 form the Exhibition Catalogue. Analysis: Benjamín Brádňanský and Vít Halada in collaboration with Marian Zervan and Monika Mitášová.

Vasičák - Ondrejka - Hrbáň: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery (Interconnection of Public Spaces Diagram).

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

Gurtler - Matulník: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

Skoček - Vallo - Sádovský: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery (A New Communication Core for The Media Center).

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

Bogár - Králik - Urban: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

Kubát - Nechajová: Student Project for The Slovak National Gallery.

School of Architecture, The Czech Technical University Prague, 2016.


Nešleha: Student Project for The Slovak National Gallery.

School of Architecture, The Czech Technical University Prague, 2016.

Ruhland - Kleiter - Mernicher - Ivanov: Workshop Project for The Slovak National Gallery (2015).

Workshop named "The SNG has Burned Out and How (Shall We Continue) Now?" was organised by The Institute of Civil Buildings at School of Architecture, The Slovak University of Technology Bratislava.

Brádňanský - Vaško - Zervan: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 2nd Competition (2005).

ksa (Kopecký - Studený Architects): Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 2nd Competition (2005).

Brádňanský - Ťupek - Uhrík - Vaško - Zervan: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

Čierny - Pavúk - Skoček: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 2nd Competition (2005).

Holota: Student Project for The Slovak National Gallery.

Department of Architectural Design, Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava, 2016.

Vít Halada: Student Project for The Slovak National Gallery.

Department of Architectural Design, Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava (2003).

ksa (Kopecký - Studený Architeccts): Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

Stec - Stec - Šištík - Hrušovský: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

Architekti BKPŠ Kusý - Paňák: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Revised Winning Project (2008) from the 2nd Competition (2005).

Vasičák - Ondrejka - Hrbáň: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

Brádňanský - Ťupek - Uhrík - Vaško - Zervan: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

Dana Čupková (DC/m-STUDIO): Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

Zavarská: Student Project for The Slovak National Gallery.

Department of Architectural Design, Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava (2003).

ksa (Kopecký - Studený Architects): Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

Pleidel: Student Project for The Slovak National Gallery.

Department of Architectural Design, Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava (2003).

BKPŠ Architekti Kusý - Paňák: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

Fabolova - Abdelazis - Anspach - Weiser: Workshop Project for The Slovak National Gallery (2015).

Workshop named "The SNG has Burned Out and How (Shall We Continue) Now?" was organised by The Institute of Civil Buildings at School of Architecture, The Slovak University of Technology Bratislava.

Koban - Pacák: Reconstruction of The Slovak National Gallery.

Project for the 1st Competition (2003).

BKPŠ Architekti Kusý - Paňák: Project for the Reconstruction, Rebuilding and Addition of The Slovak National Gallery (2005-2012).

Reconstruction of the gallery is in progress since January 2016.

Benjamín Brádňanský, Petr Hajek, Vít Halada, Ján Studený, Marián Zervan in collaboration with Maroš Bátora: Competition Proposal for The Exhibition in The Czech and Slovak Republics Pavilion, Venice. Digital Drawing (2016)   ".................................................................... Statement: The idea to build the SNG (Slovak National Gallery) came about after the Second World War. An emerging society, art historians and architects were all making efforts. Each group had its own conception, and took its own small steps. Society passed legislation, and provided space in the former military Vodné kasárne (Water Barracks). The SNG director Karol Vaculík desired expansion of collections, and therefore of the Gallery's space. Architects tried out various sites and forms for the Gallery. These steps led to the decision to form the new SNG site by remodelling and adding to the Baroque Water Barracks, and linking the public spaces of the city square adjacent. The new site, and its individual architectural components, came about in several stages through the 1960s and 1970s. The architect Vladimír Dedeček found a phased solution, both bold and unusual for its time. The building of a fourth and front-facing side to the Water Barracks, along with the opening up of the square as public space, inspired Dedeček to employ a bridge construction, which connected the two wings of the existing historical structure. He made this bridging into exhibition space for modern and contemporary art. In this he abandoned the classical structure of storeys, creating three levels of floors that formed a total space and three progressive unenclosed storeys. He shifted self-contained forms like the office building, the library and the originally-planned outdoor sculpture gallery in different directions. This made possible clusters of contemporary new architecture and abstracted classical forms of agoras, amphitheatres, odeón halls and stoas. For a decade, he laboured to push through a complex building/area site, but never succeeded in winning others over, even in terms of proposed materials and technologies. The ultimate result was imposing, but has from the first even until now been misunderstood by the public, and many of Slovakia's architects. After 1989 there were thoughts to level the whole site and build a new gallery structure. Public surveys and discussions ensured, and from these there emerged a competition for a renovation and addition. The SNG building/area has long been seen as a nexus of multiple front lines: A) The struggle with prejudice and custom: generations of citizens are unable to overcome pseudo-historical beliefs in shaping the city, and hanker for conservation and restoration. B) Political disputes: after 1989's Velvet Revolution, the site including the bridge was put forward as the embodiment of the monstrosities of the former (socialist/communist) regime and its aspirational megalomania. The political elite, with iconoclastic ambitions and rush to swap old models for new, wavered over what to do with the site. Only the next generation of architects, from here and abroad, proved able to de-politicize the issue of the SNG site, grasping it as a cultural and architectural challenge and opportunity. Then even the political elite saw it as an undertaking to be fostered. C) Developer power play: after 1989, building contractors and real estate developers in the new capitalism of post-socialistic countries came up with an ideological and pseudo-expert mask, intended to win commissions in favour of demolition. There is only one way that architects can contend with the combined forces of politicians and developers, and it is not in front-line words or even metaphors; rather they must do a verbal and metaphorical dance, in which no one is pushed and everyone voluntarily engages enjoyably in pursuing a common rhythm. D) Struggles among architects and pseudo-experts: architects and preservationists found themselves in mutually-incompatible discussions; in them, rather than looking for a project, they nitpicked at flaws in construction, technology and urban design, and suggested clearing the area and building a new SNG. On the other side were those who advocated in favour of the area as it is, who came to believe it could be saved only if they toned down the boldness of the problem. In the end it emerged that there were some who understood the SNG could only live through a renewal of Dedeček's invitation to dance. Two architectural competitions for renovation came out of these discussions, for a refurbishment and an addition to the area, which would reflect the state of architectural thought in Slovakia. Competitions on renovation, refurbishment and addition to the SNG have opened new thinking processes on the Gallery's spatial form. These processes are among the most significant architectural tasks being undertaken in Central Europe, comparable to solving the social and ecological issues of those living in our globalized world's baser conditions and environs. We can never attain bold projects unless we understand the diversity of cultures. When the SNG site originated, it expanded the horizons of architectural awareness; now the competition designs for renovation have brought with them many questions and answers. Now as then, there are no universal solutions that can function in the absence of awareness of the cultural particulars of each society and environment – and particularly unless there is a dance, shared by architects, theoreticians and historians, and aficionados, who have the courage to take on public opinion. The construction associated with the SNG is not a battle over a single piece of architecture, though our history has many such stories. Here we have what is above all the meeting of two ways of thinking and building: fighting and dancing. Although the language of fighting remains common, we hope the language of dancing still has a chance. Therefore this is not just some chronicle of a building, or an appeal or complaint, or a record of the meticulous attention of preservationists and those devoted to historical replicas and unprocessed concern; rather the issue should be to imagine architecture's potential. It is an awakening of hope, of care for architecture, which hopefully will be rid of the timidity manifested in pedestrian, generalized and participative pseudo-solutions, in order to once more find the courage to put forward intrepid cultural projects, countless invitations by arché to architecture to dance. This would make possible the reemergence of gaia architectura [joyful architecture]." (Quoted from the Exposition Authors' Statement.)               
Benjamin Brádňanský, Petr Hájek, Vít Halada, Ján Studený and Marian Zervan: The Digital Model of The Slovak National Gallery Extension (2016).Authors of the exposition in collaboration with Martin Stoss and Terezie Keilová.
The Slovak National Gallery Extension by Vladimir Dedeček (project 1963-1969, built 1969-1977). Completed Model in the Workshop. Page form the Exhibition Catalogue. Photo: Ben Markel (2016).
The Slovak National Gallery Extension by Vladimir Dedeček (project 1963-1969, built 1969-1977). Model was designed and built in 2016.Photo: Martin Stoss (2016).
The Slovak National Gallery Extension by Vladimir Dedeček (project 1963-1969, built 1969-1977). Model was designed and built in 2016.Photo: Martin Stoss (2016).
The Slovak National Gallery Extension by Vladimir Dedeček (project 1963-1969, built 1969-1977). Model was designed and built in 2016.Photo: Martin Stoss (2016).
Credits: Story

Autors of the Exposition: Benjamin Brádňanský, Petr Hájek, Vít Halada, Ján Studený and Marian Zervan in collaboration with Maroš Bátora, Martin Stoss, Terezie Keilová and Benedikt Markel.

Invited Artists: Daša Barteková, Anna Daučíková, Jana Durajová, Hertha Hurnaus, Kateřina Koňata Dolejšová, Lena Kušnieriková, Stano Masár.

Commissioners: Monika Mitášová, Monika Palčová.

The Slovak National Gallery Bratislava, The Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava, The Czech Technical University Prague, The Trnava University

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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