Research activities of the Department of architecture

Department of Architecture

Research activities of the Department of architecture are aimed at 20th and 21st century architecture and town planning with special focus on cultural, social, political and economic contexts as well as at the evaluation, documentation and restoration of modern movement buildings and sites. During the last years special attention was paid to the impact of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes on architecture, to the modern architecture and town planning concepts and their coexistence and conflicts with traditional town and to the role of women in 20th century architecture. The Department of architecture collaborates regularly with the Monuments Board of the Slovak republic and with the DOCOMOMO International. Lately the researchers have been involved in several processes of research and renovation of the most important internationally listed buildings, as for example the New synagogue in Zilina (Peter Behrens, 1931), Swimming pool Green Frog in Trencianske Teplice (Bohuslav Fuchs, 1938), Academy of Arts in Berlin (Hans Scharoun, 1960) or Detmerode housing estate in Wolfsburg (1970).

Researchers from the Department of architecture have been awarded several national and international awards for their research and publication activities. Award of the Slovak literary fund for scientific publication of the year (twice in 2012); Award of the Slovak architects Society for theoretical work in architecture (2012, 2014); National award for the best book of the year (2015); Deutsches Architektur Museum Architectural Book Award (2015).

Phenomenon of the unplanned city.  Unfinished and deformed plans are so many and so frequent in urban planning, that it is possible to draw the conclusion that this relic-pattern and this partiality of urban plans is essentially more of a principle in and of itself than any overarching process of planning. In connection with this feature we could speak of the phenomenon of the “unplanned city”. We have examined several selected Bratislava localities, representing definite typologies of urban situations (embankment, new construction generated from the basic principles of the original urban structure, gradual change of the linear street-space into that of a non-linear, multipolar city space and the promotion of the abstract thought of a diagonal axis).  We have placed side by side historical development and its consequences, while also following innovations on the level of citywide planning and on that of the architectural-planning situation. Through a comparison of planned and realised changes on the city territory, in terms of the form and function of buildings, we have used the evaluation of selected architectonic achievements to identify the breaking points in the development of the city structure and the parameters of this breakage. (VEGA 2/0036/14). The research results have been published in frame of the monograph SZALAY, Peter – HABERLANDOVÁ, Katarína – ANDRÁŠIOVÁ, Katarína – BARTOŠOVÁ, Nina et al: Moderná Bratislava 1918 – 1939. Bratislava, Marenčin PT 2015, 240 s. as well as in the study ANDRÁŠIOVÁ, Katarína – DULLA, Matúš – HABERLANDOVÁ, Katarína – MORAVČÍKOVÁ, Henrieta – PASTOREKOVÁ, Laura – SZALAY, Peter:  Planned and unplanned cities: modern town-planning conceptions in traditional town structure. Architektúra & urbanizmus 49, 2015, Nr. 3 – 4, p. 83 – 103.

Modern architecture as heritage. Social discourse on monument protection of postwar modern architecture started in Slovakia under the leadership of DOCOMOMO Slovakia and Department of Architecture ÚSTARCH SAV in 2007. Since then researchers from the Department of Architecture ÚSTARCH SAV played crucial role in the process of investigation, documentation and popularisation of the architecture works of postwar modernism. On the 11th of April 2014 one of the works of postwar modernism selected in frame of the process was officially listed, which is considered a significant event of the discourse. (APVV-0375-10)

Theoretical analysis of the Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes of the 20th Century and proposal of its sustainability strategy. Research realised in frame of the international project Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes of the XX Century in Urban Management, ATRIUM – SEE/B/0009/4.3/X, South East Europe Program (

The architecture of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes represents important and controversial part of the European architectural heritage. In frame of the international project the effects of the political regimes on architectural design were investigated. On the example of selected architectural works in 11 European countries the researchers identified specific features that might be basis for their listing and future renovation. In the same time alternative tools and strategies of sustainability for this architectural heritage have been proposed. One of the main outputs of the research is the European cultural route that is under construction now. On the basis of the research results the team of the Department of architecture was invited to participate on the scientific monograph Spätmoderne Slowakei. Gebaute Ideologie? Ed. Adolph Stiller, Salzburg, Müry Salzmann 2014. ISBN 978-3-99014-096-3 that was accompanied by the exhibition of the same name at the Ringturm Gallery in Vienna in January 2014.

Docomomo virtual exhibition (MoMove). International project realised in collaboration with DOCOMOMO  International and launched in 2015. Researchers from the Department of architecture ÚSTARCH SAV were responsible for the Slovak national output. Available at

On the Periphery / Slovak Architecture Outside Traditional Centres. International Czech-Slovak research project established 2014 in frame of the project Ex-Centric supported by the Európsky sociální fond v ČR, Európska únia, OP Vzdělávání pro konkureceschopnost a Ministerstvo školství, mládeže a tělovýchovy ČR. Researchers from the Department of architecture ÚSTARCH SAV were responsible for the Slovak national output. Available at