Break from the monuments


Object of small city theatre is located right behind the huge newer building of the Slovak National Theatre. When I hear small city theatre, I imagine something really humble, something that welcomes every artist to presents himself, but also something that invites any kind of visitor, to enjoy not just the play, but also an atmosphere of the whole place.

Site is characteristic with it’s potential of a raising downtown, new and modern city center. By expecting the huge amount of continuously raising tall buildings such as Panorama city, Skypark, and confronting the site with other monumental surrounding buildings, I decided, that the proposal will represent something like a confrontation. a “BREAK FROM THE MONUMENTS”.

The only characteristic, and representing form of break, or the sudden restoration of attention for a human scale, is to create a shelter, a public, but also intimate space, which answers to everyday needs of city inhabitant. To create sort of a levels of intimacy, I decided to cover the whole site with forest. A jungle, where you can literally get lost.

With it’s whole form, it could be taken as an antithesis, the reflection of fastly developing city by balancing the surrounding highrises.

Formation of this phenomenon is simply illustrated in inverted scheme of relationship between Manhattan and central park. . Buildings with a cultural functions has a contemporary need of having a public space, where all the events can happen outside, in the exterior. The linked relationship in-between the object / pit / forest creates cozy, intimate contrasting scale.

The pit also creates an opportunity of public space out of the traffic communications level and it behaves as an attractor, thanks to informal attitude in relationship of public space and rush surrounding creates some shelter, meet point injected with the culture program.

The program of the object is simple. On the level of the pit, object is filled with the public service such as restaurant, or cafe, library, or the gallery and event hall. The real deal happens right under the floor, where the whole 12 metres deep and 90 metres long hall creates spacial disorganization of total freedom, chaos, elegance, anarchy in culture

…This space subsequently allows variety of programs.

The main point of the small city theatre is therefore the concept of synthesis of humility/humbleness and provocation in the same time, the huge gorgeous factory of culture hidden underground, but also a formal pavilion with the square, hidden inside the jungle.



Who influences you graphically?

5 years ago, I was preparing for entrance exams to Faculty of architecture in Bratislava. When I brought a realistic drawing of Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence to studio, my tutor said that that drawing doesn’t have any balls.

When FALA atelier came to Slovakia, founder Filipe Magalhães said few convincing words : “When you create an image, you suddenly find yourself in the mix of everything you saw, the vision is sometimes brighter, sometimes you have to go deeper, but what is significant is that all of the creations you like, your taste is evaluated by countless images signed in your sub-consciousness.
Therefore, your own image has a value of the certain taste, enriched by the singular, unique sense of your approach.”

By the lecture of OMMX, Hikaru Nissanke said : “We should not focus on trying to capture a finished product, the space of drawing is about exploring the thought, to capture a feeling, an idea that leads to client’s interests.”

For me, these are progressive thoughts that many studios (Superstudio, OMA, Dogma, Fala, OMMX, Monadnock, 51N4E, Baukuh, KGDVS, RAAMWERK, PLURAL ) try to utilize.

Another one is Stanley Kubrick with his approach to the importance of symmetry, one point perspective that literally immerses viewer into the center of action.  And because of composition, emotions, seriousness included in artistic values, I can’t forget to mention artists such as Canaletto, Rousseau, Jacques Louis David or Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

What prompted you to embark on an architectural project which would symbolise a ‘break from the monuments’? What entails a contemporary monument in your view?

The project is aimed to denounce this phenomenon of raising volumes and to balance the perception of madly developing city. Break also particularly represents the demand of replacement of the next iconic monumental culture building by the meek, austere and common space – the jungle. It also concerns itself with the contemporary (ir)relevance of the self called iconic development.

The only characteristic, and representing form of break, or the sudden restoration of attention for a human scale, is to create a shelter, a public, but also intimate space, which answers to everyday needs of city inhabitant. To create sort of a levels of intimacy, I decided to cover the whole site with forest. A jungle, where you can literally get lost.

Therefore a “break from the monuments” represents new form of cultural and at the same time humanic regeneration. A spatial relationship where individuals meet different kind of levels of intimacy and cause each other.

Typically, a monument refers to a constructed piece of architecture, an esthetically resonant physical presence meant to communicate and remind the enduring significance of a meaningful history.

In my proposal, contemporary monument is conceived as a highly propagated and irrationally worshipped development, monument as an huge volume, that consumes attention, and destroys variability of opportunities of the space. In this point of view, contemporary monument can also refer to an irrational need of the iconic looking cultural building in close relationship of the monumental building of Slovak National Theater.

What defined the us of the photomontage as the primary means through which your articulate your views?

Every project has a different approach, which aims to balance between real image, feeling and illustration.
The images of the project are set up as scenes or snapshots of certain phenomenon, a happening, that leads to better understanding of what kind of relationship is certain space offering. To represent this kind of approach,  there’s a need of letting viewer exploring the thought, to try to capture an idea by feelings, that are often developed throughout more artistically apparent fragments. Therefore the idea of the concept becomes even more visible.

My inspiration for this project lays also in sound. The most important fragments of intimacy are different kinds of silence. Sounds of certain space are somehow the value which influences the composition in a sense of communication with the viewer.

What role does the jungle of Rousseau play within your image? How problematic is the proliferation of this kind of imagery in contemporary architectural representation?

The idea of a jungle inside the city represents in someway the romantic moderation itself. The work of Rousseau is imbued with a sense of mystery, intimacy,  eccentricity, variety, and at the same time serenity. By constructing an image with such an adjectives I wanted to evoke the sudden wave of emotions led by notion, which comes with viewer’s experience of being surrounded by such a distinctive atmosphere. Surreal Jungle paintings inspired while trips to the Paris botanical gardens somehow also reflected  the desire for intimacy drawn by nature.

This kind of language or representation contains subjective artistic individual’s perception of world. Therefore, decisiveness of idea is influenced by compatibility and compositional balance, which results in the certain impressions of an observer. We live in era, where realistic renderings became less time consuming within client’s changes. But do we really want to represent our work with final products? I personally think, that nowadays, thanks to the sharing networks, there are a more opportunities to spread this kind of imagery much faster, but as it depends mostly on client’s experience and artistic thinking, we have to strive and create more and more unique images. Every manner becomes a style.

What is the relationship between the line drawings and the individual collages? How do these complement / or not each other?

While storytelling is about the construction of a story by setting up a timeline of events, design is based on the construction of a physical narration by organizing spatial relationships. Line drawing should build up an analogy between spatial relations and storytelling. Afterwards, drawings are primary set not just to explain the spatial relationships, but to let viewers to observe what happens where.

Drawings are simpler to let viewer focus on relationships, collages are based on representation of a complex path from idea of concept, throughout the viewers way of understanding and finding himself, to the generation of certain emotion grown from an image.

I also try to differentiate the collages with line drawings because of the difference in-between feelings, emotional state born in collage and explanation of proposed relationships in drawings, which are enriched by an attention to detail of life in projected space.

When constructing the photomontages the choice of fragments you choose to assemble?

The main representative key of an idea is to find a right action characterizing captured space. I always try to create an engaging but gentle contrast between the combination of classical art, old (im)perfect cutouts and the surrounding contemporary space.

Also composing an image by foreground, central and background layer of stories / actions leads to attention to detail and giving a variety of depths into the drawn space.

I also try to focus on the structural fundamentals in space described by honest materials representing the purpose of each component.

Basically in every collage I strive to create the right substance of relationship in-between the light and space, which frames and encloses the bond of man, the architecture and the atmosphere within.