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The historical issue of designing industrial buildings is presented in 69 original plans, twenty period publications, one 3D visualisation and a multimedia spatial installation created by Michal Cáb, Jiří Rouš and Kryštof Pešek. The exhibition was prepared by Lukáš Beran, Jakub Potůček and Jan Zikmund at the Research Centre of Industrial Heritage of the Faculty of Architecture as part of the research project of the same name of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic within the NAKI II programme. The exhibition entitled "Industrial Architecture on Old Plans and in New Media" will run from 23 September to 15 October 2021 at the Gallery of the National Technical Library in the Dejvice Campus.

Industrial buildings are the materialization of economic relations and production processes, but they are also the work of specific people, a reflection of their abilities, ambitions and ideas about the world. The translation of a production scheme into the layout and dimensions of a building, the choice of its appropriate and economical design and its external representation are creative acts embedded in the culture and society of their time. The depiction of industrial buildings in technical literature mirrors this, but the original building plans provide a more colourful but also more meaningful picture - we can trace the process of designing an industrial building from them: we can recognise the actors involved and describe the roles they played in it.

From the mid-19th century onwards, the role of engineering firms supplying production equipment and designing not only the spatial layout, but often the entire building, appears to be indispensable. The work of independent specialists was crucial, sending their designs to distant sites and thus mediating the latest practices internationally. With the application of steel construction and, above all, the advent of reinforced concrete, the work of civil engineers has become increasingly important, and if architects have become part of this process, it is primarily out of a conviction of the mission of their profession. In the final phase, in the second half of the twentieth century, design theory overtakes practice: specialised institutes produce designs for universal production buildings, but their documentation loses its impact and is therefore replaced by artistic interpretation in the exhibition.

The opening of the exhibition will take place on 22 September at 18.00. You can join a guided tour as part of Architecture Day on 2 October at 16.30.

More information about the exhibition can be found here.  

Contact person: Lukáš Beran