The purpose of the project is to map and show examples of exceptional contemporary architecture that are located far away from the traditional centres and that have unjustly become “invisible outsiders”.
Not only do we present the selected constructions in details, but we are also trying to investigate and track the circumstances of their creation. What and who was at their origin? Was it an enlightened private investor or public administration? How did the bureaucrats from civil engineering, architectural conservation and environmental protection departments influence their final appearance?
We do not narrow the selection by following a specific typology - on the contrary, we study various concepts ranging from family houses, council flats, museums, galleries and schools to sacral buildings, sports facilities and industrial buildings, including as well resting places, footbridges and public transportation stops.
The leading criteria are the location, construction period after 1989, and primarily the architectural quality of the constructions - their internal layout, engineering solution, ecological aspects, used materials, the whole context or the way a construction is placed in a village, an urban area, or a landscape.
Neither the size nor the budget of the project matters. It is the architecture itself that we want to discover and unveil. Once anonymous places might become one day attractive or even iconic trip destinations thanks to modern constructions; just as it happened in the case of Pustevny - wooden buildings built in traditional folk style designed by Dušan Jurkovič in the Beskid mountains or the renowned Ještěd Tower by Karel Hubáček.
Nowadays, people take a hike again to Sněžka Mountain top, not only to contemplate the fascinating natural panorama but to visit the uniquely placed post-office Nová Poštovna by Martin Rajniš, they go to the town of Alenina Lhota near the town of Tábor to see the buildings at the golf course designed by Stanislav Fiala, or they go to the town of Rožnov pod Radhoštěm to admire the daring concept of the congress centre designed by Zdeněk Fránek.
Then there is Litomyšl, a small provincial town in Eastern Bohemia that became a bastion of modern architecture designed by a number of architects. Altogether, these are fragments of an extensive complex that we want to introduce within this grant.
Using the comparative method, we simultaneously study architecture in selected European countries and regions keeping our focus on museums, galleries, theatres, information centres and the like. Czech architecture seems to be falling behind in this domain of architecture and is in need of inspirational examples. We pay attention to the laws enabling creation of beautiful buildings such as Liauing Museum in Neuhaus, Austria (Querkraft Architekten), Museum of Modern Art in Rovereto, Italy designed by Mario Botta, or Paula Rêgo Museum in Cascais, Portugal, by Eduardo Souto do Moura.
During this two-year intense mapping of works of the highest quality, a number of essays, analyses, studies and interviews with outstanding personalities of architecture have been written as well as many original documentary photos taken and videos recorded. We have organized a series of exhibitions presenting the most important examples found in each country and finally we have gathered all of it in two representative publications that present contemporary architecture built outside the traditional centres of the Czech Republic and other European countries.