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2.11.2017 19:00

ARCHINT x VI PER: Solidarita Housing Estate

The next two lectures are prepared in collaboration with VI PER, a quite new Prague based architecture gallery, on collective housing in the Czech Republic. In the first evening, Barbora Špičáková will shortly introduce the programme of the VI PER gallery and then speak about one of the first prefab housing estates in the Czech Republic: the Solidarita Housing estate in Prague, which was designed by functionalists, built by communists and is admired today.

Solidarita Estate was designed and built shortly after the end of World War II, construction works started 1947, before the Communist Party takeover in February 1948, and carried on till 1951. As a product of these transitional years, the project carried with it a hopeful optimism about the future and the potential for a more collective approach to neighbourhood life that was reflected in the spirit of the design and its name, Solidarita. Its architects, František Jech, Hanuš Majer, and Karel Storch, looked to international housing standards and supported the cooperative funding model, which was already popular in Scandinavia. This influence was most clear in the use of prefabrication technologies, innovative urban strategies, and cooperative financing.

Solidarita is unique for its comprehensive approach to the question of what housing models might be best suited for postwar reconstruction in Czechoslovakia. It was not a single building or a housing estate with particular site requirements, but could have been a template repeated many times. Unfortunately the model did not survive the transition to Communism. Even so, it is a glimpse of an alternate trajectory for postwar housing that might have found a more appropriate balance between the desire for private single-family homes and the benefits of dense development with shared public spaces, community services, and smarter approaches to land use and infrastructure development.

Barbora Špičáková 
Barbora Špičáková (1982) is an art historian and curator. She works in the Fine Art Archive in Prague, which is the biggest collection of documents that are associated with contemporary Czech fine art. She founded and managed (2010–2015) Fenester Gallery in Prague, an exhibition space for young artist. She is the editor of the books Sídliště Solidarita (Solidarita Housing Estate, 2014) and co-editor of the books Zdenek Seydl a knihy (Zdenek Seydl and Books, 2015), Galerie H (2016). In 2016 she co-founded architecture gallery VI PER in Prague Karlín.

The aim of the series “ARCHINT − Interventions in Architecture” is to make the audience in Berlin acquainted with interesting architectural ensembles, discussions about reconstructions, revitalisations and other invasions in the architectural as well as urban and public space in the Czech Republic. Many Czech towns and places experienced a long historic development, which is reflected in their architectural tradition. Contrary to German towns and cities, especially Berlin, they were not destroyed during the war and so every change today is an intervention in an ensemble, which is several centuries old. The events of the series present a selection of architectural interventions from different places in the Czech Republic as well as from different historical, political and social eras.

The lecture by Barbora Špičáková will be in English.

The next lecture in collaboration with VI PER will be on 25.01.2018 by Michaela Janečková on Prefab Housing in the Czech Republic.


Místo konání:

Wilhelmstraße 44 / vstup Mohrenstraße
10117 Berlin


2.11.2017 19:00


České centrum

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