Brno Architecture Manual. A Guide to Architecture 1946–1989 is conceived as a topographic guide consisting of 220 objects of various types, including public buildings, housing estates with civic amenities, artworks, and individual family homes. These objects (along with period and up-to-date photographs) are incorporated into a series of eleven walking trails and nine short excursions to more distant sites. They are accompanied by short introductions, public transport information and the exact addresses of the objects. They take into account the availability and connections of the city’s public transport system. The modern and historical maps help the user navigate and clearly show the urban development of the city. The buildings selected illustrate the varied architectural morphology of this particular period. It encompasses the last gasp of functionalism during the two-year economic plan after the war, monumentalism, socialist realism after the communist coup of 1948, ‘the Brussels style’ associated with the Expo 58 World Fair, manifestations of the International Style of the 1960s, Brutalism or Sculpturalism, and also postmodern tendencies. At the same time, the book addresses important architectural issues during the era of state socialism, including the wider social and political context. It deals with issues of standardized construction and urban planning, the combination of architecture and fine art and its conspicuous presence in the public space, the restructuring of architectural practice after the communist coup and the institutionalization of architecture and urban planning within the centrally managed economy, the Initiative Z projects, and the workings of the state design institutes. Attention is also paid to the current state of Brno’s post-war architecture and to the crass and consummate renovations of the buildings and housing estates. At the end of the book, there are short individual profiles of the architects who were active during this period. These are often the first biographical texts ever to be published in relation to the particular architect. The full texts are available on the BAM website, as are contemporary and (often hitherto unknown) period photographs and project documentation. The guide includes a typological index, an index of architects and an index of objects listed by numerical code, facilitating better navigation both within the publication and out on the streets of Brno.
Concept and editing: Petra Hlaváčková a Lucie Valdhansová
Graphic design: 20YY Designers (Petr Bosák, Robert Jansa, Adam Macháček)