Housing Estates What's Next?

May 18th, 2017

Housing Estates What's Next?

Housing Estates What's Next?

Housing Estates What's Next?
OPEN LECTURE by Prof.Michal Kohout

Professor Michal Kohout, a distinguished Czech Architect and Professor will describe the challenges of Housing Estates in his two books "Housing Estates, what's next" and "Collective Housing a Spatial Typology".The lecture will be followed by an open Disscussion.

Michal Kohout, 1964*Architect, teacher, and theorist, he is Head of the Building Theory Institute at the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech Technical University, Prague; he is also is in charge of a course on housing and a design course at the same school. He has designed and co-designed dozens of projects, more than 30 of which were built and some received numerous Czech national as well as international awards and were presented at exhibitions of Czech and international architecture. He is registered with the Czech Chamber of Architects, is a co-founder of the UNIT architekti studio, the Centre for Housing Quality research organization, and Zlatý řez publishers (since 1992), where he is a co-editor of a magazine of the same name. As a writer and editor, he has published a number of books and articles on modern Czech architecture – Bohemia: Modern Architecture (2014), Moravia and Silezia: 20th Century Architecture (2005), Prague: 20th Century Architecture (1996), and housing and the theory of the built environment Housing Estates, what next? (2016), Collective Housing: A Spatial Typology (2015), My House, Our Street: Coordinated Development of Individual Housing (2014). He is the head of many research projects and an expert on public and professional housing policy.

Collective Housing offers an overall view of the typology of residential buildings, organized into an original system. The typology is demonstrated using 55 case studies of collective-housing projects built in the twentieth century. The book aspires to be a guide to collective housing for anyone professionally interested in the topic, including architects, builders, public-policy makers, lawyers, economists, and facilities managers. The clear format of the book and its many plans and illustrations make it comprehensible also to general readers interested in housing, architecture, and the planning of the built environment.                                      

Today, about a third of the population of the Czech Republic live on housing estates. In Prague that number is almost a half of the population. So far, during the revitalization of these estates, Czechs as a society have concentrated mainly on individual buildings and their structural and technological standards, paying scant attention to working out a long-term strategy for the development of these neighbourhoods.

What’s next? What should the long-term vision for these areas be? How should one approach them conceptually and how might one start the process of their gradual transformation into attractive parts of the urban fabric? How can one reduce the risks of future negative development?

Such questions are among the most important of town planning and urban management, not only in the Czech Republic but throughout central Europe. Clearly, finding suitable strategies and sustainable solutions are only possible in a broader interdisciplinary discussion involving the whole society. This publication seeks to be an architectural contribution to this. It aims to identify and examine important questions about the organization of the environment, its urban-development, and its architectural qualities, and also to suggest possible solutions and offer them for wider debate.

The publication summarizes the results of a research project of the same name. It comprises three parts: an introductory theoretical part, devoted to the analysis of the origins of the housing estates, with a general summary of their potential for further development. The second part presents eighteen design models and two pilot projects for modifications to particular localities in Czech cities. The last part of the book is devoted to data surveys and comparisons using graphs: it contains the results of analyses of surveyed sites at Czech housing estates, comparisons of the individual case studies, and an overview of the most interesting examples of housing-estate regeneration in Europe during the last 25 years.