28 Sep 2024
SOMA – bývalá uhelna FN Olomouc
Days of Architecture

In 1946, the architect Bedřich Rozehnal (1902-1984) designed new utility facilities for the hospital complex in Olomouc, including a coal store, a residential semi-detached house, and a ground-floor building housing workshops and garages. The design was implemented in the following eight years and, with some reservations, still fulfils its purpose today. The exception is the former coal store, which has nevertheless survived in an almost intact form and has been listed since 1975. The question of how to treat this outstanding functionalist building, while preserving its status and character, became the impetus for an adventurous revitalisation project – with the aim of not only bringing the building back to life, but giving it a new dimension. Starting in 2024, therefore, COAL STORE will gradually become SOMA – a centre for contemporary art with a focus on the field of therapy with the leitmotif ʻfrom birth to deathʼ.

SOMA is a space designed for sharing, interacting, learning, and overcoming various forms of trauma through and with the help of contemporary art forms. It is a project of the Olomouc Museum of Art – Central European Forum and the University Hospital Olomouc. It uses a community base, combining meditative and activation tools. It focuses on the individual and his/her experience of his/her own life and situation. It uses the background of the original industrial building, located at the tip of the hospital grounds, and as a beacon it also marks the safe urban terrain. Who is healthy and who is the patient here? What does a resilient society look like and how does it present itself? What use is public space to us? And how do we shape and share it?

During 2024, the first programme series will take place, including lectures, guided tours, and small workshops, with the aim of focusing attention on the building and a specific theme, or examining the sustainability and shared interests of professionals from medicine, conservation, and contemporary art practice.


  • curator: Barbora Kundračíková
  • co-curator: Jakub Frank
  • expert supervisor: Aleš Grambal
  • author’s collective: Vojtěch Jemelka, Jan Mléčka, Vilém Švec
  • creative collective: Pavla Beranová, INITI, Kolektiv Hlubina, Vladimír Havlík ad.
  • realisation: Vladimír Olejníček
  • PR: Lukáš Horák, Tomáš Kasal