Collective houses were not a socialist delusion

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NEWS | 20. 11. 2017

Phenomenon of shared housing its advantages and disadvantages, memories of inhabitants and utopian proposals of collective houses will show you new exhibition of the Art Museum Living together / Czech collective houses. It was celebrated on Thursday, November 16, and will continue until February 18, 2018. 

Houses with a launderette, a library, a gym, a restaurant or a kindergarten are an architectural phenomenon of the 20th century. Its form in Czechoslovakia is mapping a new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.

"It must be remembered that, at the time when the collective houses originated, they brought their inhabitants unprecedented comfort. It is seen on the example of the most famous house of this type in our country - in Litvínov, whose construction started in 1948. The apartments were quite large, even for families with children even maisonettes, equipped with furniture to measure. The heating provided underfloor heating, there was a shared laundry, dryer and almond, shop, hairdresser and tailor. At the nursery and kindergarten, parents and children went by a lift, eating for a few crowns in the local restaurant. Free time was spent in the gym, photocomple or library. It was actually such a city in the city, "explains curator of the exhibition Klára Jeništová.

Under the word communal house, most of the people recall the era of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia, but the first houses of this type began to grow in Prague already in the First Republic. "Their initiators were Czech feminists from the circle of T. Masaryk. However, the prehistory itself dates back to the late 19th century United States, where the fight for womens emancipation has just culminated. Professionalization of home care and its transfer to the public sphere should make it easier for women to pursue a profession without neglecting a family, "explains Jeništová.

Track of Olomouc

Also in Olomouc there is one collective house - Hotel House in Velkomoravská Street, which is interesting from several points of view. "The architects Tomáš Černoušek, Karel Dolák and statik Jiří Zrotal worked on this experimental project in their free time without the right to honor, but with the vision of its meaningfulness. This house has become a preview of dozens of others that have grown throughout the country in the coming decades. It was designed for free individuals and childless couples, for whom it was a sort of transitional link in the way of a separate family home, "Jeništová says.

Visitors can also try to build one wall of the Hotel House directly at the exhibition. "We have prepared a wooden skeleton of a wall that children and adults can tear PET bottles. We will prepare the plastic bottles for them, but the tapes have to make themselves on a special cutter, "Klara Jeništová smiles.

The idea of ​​organizing this exhibition was born in 2014. "At that time, Hubert Guzik, a specialist in collective housing, at the Faculty of Architecture, CTU at the Museum of Art, lectured on collective and hotel buildings. He tried to show people that it was not a Communist construct, nor an idea brought to us by the Soviet Union, "commented Jeništ.

The phenomenon of collective houses goes beyond the boundaries of Czechoslovakia, as evidenced by the forthcoming publication from the Arbor Vitae publishing house, which should appear during the exhibition.

Photo Gallery
Living together / Czech collective houses

Co-author of the exhibition Hubert Guzík.

Living together / Czech collective houses
Living together / Czech collective houses
Living together / Czech collective houses
Living together / Czech collective houses

Hubert Guzík performs a new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.

Living together / Czech collective houses

The collective house will be able to build children at the exhibition.

Living together / Czech collective houses

Opening of the exhibition

Living together / Czech collective houses

The exhibition will also offer memories of the inhabitants of collective houses.

Living together / Czech collective houses
Living together / Czech collective houses

Sample of furniture from Olomouc hotel house.

Living together / Czech collective houses
Living together / Czech collective houses

There is also a folding model of the collective house prepared for visitors.

Living together / Czech collective houses
Living together / Czech collective houses
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