Tagungsbeitrag

Chybik, Josef:

Faculty of Architecture of Brno University of Technology Education of Architects in Preservation of Monuments

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Introduction

We live in an urbanised environment in which historic development is estimated to make about 60 % of the building stock. This historic development is subject to interactions which determine our attitude towards architecture from our early childhood. At first, this attitude results from our romantic view of the ancient monuments. So far, without education and critical approach, we perceive these monuments as heritage of the material culture of our ancestors, as sacrosanct substance that has to be conserved with reverent care. In an uneasy feeling of loosing identity, we do not permit anybody to infringe this historic building stock and to bring in it anything new.

This happens even to the historic cores of cities. We ourselves witness this in a few buildings erected recently in the centre of Brno. I will mention one of them. It has filled a vacant space in the Liberty square. The house that once had stood here was bombed during World War II and badly damaged. After the liberation, the house was repaired and served as a furniture shop. After some time, serious static problems emerged that were due to the use of aluminous cement in the house’s construction. There was no choice but to demolish it. Then, for many years, a vacant space yawned in the square as a missing tooth. Only in 2005, the gap was filled by a building designed by Ladislav Kuba and Tomáš Pilar. In the historic urban core has been built a work of contemporary architecture, whose architectural vocabulary and materials used irritate not only the inhabitants and passers by, but also the broad community of specialists – architects. The square had experienced a similar conflict before World War II, when Bohuslav Fuchs and Ernst Wiesner designed and erected a functionalist bank almost opposite the today’s new building. Here we can test the perception of modern architecture in the context of historic development. I regard both examples of the Brno Liberty Square as successful.

Organisation of preservation of monuments at the Faculty of Architecture of the Brno University of Technology (FA BUT)

The difficulty of creative architectural activity and the conflict between the old and the new are perceived also by our students. In the search for truth they reveal the hidden relationships and are surprised by ever occurring new disclosures. For this, they have at their disposal six years of study. They go through the structure of the FA BUT. This structure consists of six institutes and six studios. The institutes provide the obligatory theoretical part of teaching, the studios provide the teaching of creative architectural activity, which is optional.

To educate the student of architecture in preservation of monuments, to impart to him the knowledge of instruments qualifying him for professional work, this is the task of the Studio of Monument Reconstruction. This Studio defines the ideas of and trends in preservation of monuments of architecture and contributes to the formation of the comprehensive profile of the architect–creator. At the same time, the Studio stands guarantor for research. In the field of preservation of monuments, it is engaged in and conducts, both professionally and organisationally, architectural research. Due to extensive co-operation with a series of foreign institutions, the Studio achieves results that exceed the national framework.


The teaching proper

At the Brno Faculty of Architecture, the teaching of this discipline is held in several subjects. The theoretical fundamentals are imparted to the students in both bachelor and master degree study programs. The synopsis of subjects taught, according to the year and type of study (BSP- Bachelor degree Study Program , MSP - Master degree Study Program) is shown in Fig.2.

In year I, the students acquire basic information relating to the theory of architecture, primarily to the history of architecture and to architectural design. The knowledge of building structures and materials they acquire in the subject Structural Engineering, which is taught in four semesters. In year II comes the first specialised subject – Renovation and restoration of historic buildings. The tasks concerning the preservation of monuments make part of the creative studio activity which begins in the second year. For example, in the academic year 2005/2006, the following themes have been assigned.: Znojmo – ramparts below the Wolf tower, Lomnice u Tišnova – water mill, Znojmo – new use and completion of the Capuchin monastery, Zlín – conversion of factories, Brno – America – building, Teplice – restoration of the historic centre’s image.

In year III and year IV come the obligatory facultative subjects, from which the student chooses one in year III and two in year IV. In these subjects, the students deepen their knowledge, improve their technical skills and develop the „preservation oriented“ way of thinking .

An important part of the study at our Faculty is continual work in various types of workshops. In their framework, we manage to ensure the organisation of themes relating to the preservation of monuments. These are usually solved in co-operation with foreign partner schools.

In a limited number, but anyway, also in the third grade – in the doctor degree study program - are offered study plans dealing with the problems of the preservation of monuments. We can remember the theme „ Architectural and historic value of villas of factory owners from the period of industrialisation,“ or an already completed comprehensive doctoral thesis entitled „Social activation and building modifications of castle ruins“. The Faculty of Architecture is involved in the activities of real monument preservation. For example, the Faculty is partner of the Propylaeum Civic Association which promotes the idea of revitalising the Cimburk castle in Southern Moravia.


Conclusion

From the synopsis it is evident that preservation of monuments is an integral part of the study programs. In both the obligatory and facultative subjects the, graduates gain the knowledge enabling them to start professional practice as active architects. Those who will go more profoundly into the problems of monument preservation, the acquired qualification will be the basis for their further development.

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