Architecture and Care

architektura a péče
Architecture and urbanism are integral parts of contemporary culture and thus also of the SEFO 2024 Triennial. Given the chosen theme, these categories become one of the main carriers of its content.

The title MOMENTS refers to the three key words MONUMENT, DOCUMENT, and MOCKUMENT, which have become the main framework for assignments for five studios from three architectural schools. The city of Olomouc serves as a case study in which we focus on the monument in the broadest sense of the word; we explore not only landmarks but also areas and objects, both protected and unprotected, tangible and intangible, that symbolise the city’s key heritage and cultural values. We observe how the paradigm of viewing them has been transformed in the past and today. With responsible foresight, we aim to design interventions that either enhance these values or at least do not diminish them.

We are interested in the weight and significance of the word “care”. We disconnect it from the traditional phrase “heritage care” and seek and propose alternatives – comprehensive, critical care, but what kind exactly? We ask questions. We analyse the area thoroughly, starting from the centre – the urban heritage reservation with its protective zone – through the ring of housing estates and industrial zones, to the open countryside, in Olomouc uniquely interwoven not only with rivers but also with the historical traces of Baroque routes and fortress forts. We observe the unhealthy inertia of fertile soil encroachments, the stereotypical thinking about the future development of areas for housing and production, beyond the boundary of neglected cultural heritage, edges without infrastructure preserving large areas of vague terrain. We find that it lives its own life.

The permitted experiment and the playful layer of mockument do not absolve us of responsibility. With seriousness, we ask ourselves what monuments – in the broadest sense of the word – will remain after us, what we want to project into the future memory of the city, to hang on the timeline.