A situation still dominated by demolitions and decaying industrial structures, by a pressure to knock buildings down to free up the property, and by a hunger to obtain space for self-realisation. But with the passage of time, certain qualities have come to be recognised – the meaning of place, the significance of form, the aim of the new programme.
The architecture of conversions of industrial heritage is the outcome and consequence of a search for solutions, a way forward, striking a balance between conservation, the architectural imagination and creative new interventions, and pragmatic recycling and reuse. It is an opportunity to fulfil an ambition, an artistic idea, a business goal. Conversion projects represent a spontaneous effort to preserve what still can be preserved, and an echo of the volatile atmosphere in society, an expression of a relationship to the environment, and a reflection of the more general tendencies in architectural work in a specific and often contentious context.
These are just some of the themes that characterise the conversion projects that were carried out between roughly 2015 and 2020 and were collected for an exhibition that was organised to take place in late 2020 and early 2021. Chronologically they tie in with the exhibitions on the architecture of conversion that focused on the periods of 2000–2005 and 2005–2015‚ and they even tie in with the very first event of this kind, which was held in the 1990s and was devoted to the protection of industrial heritage.
Benjamin Fragner (ed.), Industrial Contexts / place_form_programme (The Architecture of Conversion), Prague 2021.
240 pages; Czech/English; 190 color images and plans; ISBN 978-80-01-06807-6 / editor Benjamin Fragner / with contributions from Jan Zikmund, Jan Červinka / proofreading Irena Hlinková / english translation Robin Cassling / scientific review Petr Urlich / graphic design and typesetting Jan Forejt (Formall) / pre-press Jiří Klíma (Formall) / editing of drawing documentation Jan Kuták / production Gabriel Fragner (Formall) / fonts Acumin, Reckless / manufacturing Formall / print PBtisk / published by the Research Centre for Industrial Heritage FA CTU Prague