Institute of Ecological and Experimental Architecture
Head of the Institute
prof. Ing. arch. Julián Keppl , PhD.
prof. Ing. arch. Robert Špaček, CSc.
doc. Ing. arch. Jana Gregorová , PhD.
doc. Ing. arch. Jarmila Bencová, PhD.
Ing. arch. Lorant Krajcsovics, PhD.
Ing. arch. Klára Machčová, PhD.
Ing. arch. Henrich Pifko, PhD.
Ing. Agnesa Iringová, PhD.
Ing. arch. Tibor Varga
Mgr. art. Martin Uhrík,PhD.
The Institute comprises a variety of sciences dealing with the environment quality. They deal with the environment defined by the geographical conditions, culture, history, etc. The complexity of environment and its manifold understanding have been a part of research and educational application. They develop into a creative activity that is based on the environment protection and cultural heritage perspective. The programs of the Institute are, at the Faculty of Architecture, accredited in all degree levels – Bachelor, Masters and PhD.
Curriculum for the BSc. (Bc.), MSc. (Ing. arch.) and PhD degrees
The professors of the Institute teach the core subjects of the Masters level at the Faculty. The subjects deal with architecture that respects the natural processes characteristic of its place. We apply the ecological concept design methodology in the field of the space and technological architectural logic that is environment friendly. An introduction to general methodology is taught at the BSc level followed by MSc courses of the A6 subject where the methodology is taught in more detail and wider scope. Theoretical knowledge is then applied at specialized studio work.
Core Subjects and Their Characteristics
Fundamentals of environment-friendly architecture
Architecture and Environment – offers a theoretical introduction to the environmentally motivated architectural design. It makes use of the surrounding investigations and their influence on design process and results.
Settlement Ecology and Sustainable Development – a core subject provides students with the basics of sustainable life comprehension in the context of civilization development.
Studio work, within the MSc study, focuses at creative applications of the principles arising from the theoretical instruction both in model and real situations.
Science and Research
Grant Projects VEGA
KEPPL, Julián (project manager): The Complex Comprehension of Architectural Space. No. 1/1147/04 - FA 162/04. Co-researchers: R. Šutovský and T. Varga.
Architecture has always been connected with environment whether in the sense of built environment for its users or as a part of a wider whole. Architecture makes the environment and at the same time it itself is created by the environment. At its very beginning architecture was a response to the natural stimuli, especially winds. It was also shaped by the sun, rain, snow, etc. Civilisation achievements, scientific discoveries, and technical inventions enabled the builders to break the connection between the shelter, dwelling or cult structures and their natural environment and become independent. Nevertheless, we have come to a conclusion recently that we pay an enormously high price for the escape to our own world. As a result we try, by all means, to return to the original harmony and co-living with our mother Earth.
The light motive is that it does not do that our architecture functions well and is beautiful. We also want it to friendly co-exist with the environment. Based on Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative we push architecture into the role of environmental ethic. We aim for a paraphrase to the slogan of the 17th biennial of Architecture in Venice (2000): "More ethics less aesthetics" restated as "More ethics, (not inevitably) less aesthetics".
Methodological activities of the Institute of Ecological and Experimental Architecture have brought about numerous notable results. First, it was the enviousness of other Departments for not having such high interest of students, who preferred the Department in the second degree of study. Later, the eco- and enviro- principles have started to be preferred by practically all students. In fact, this is the main point of our endeavour.
The Institute (originally Department of Experimental and Ecologically Determined Design) was established thanks to initiative and foresight of the teachers, who for long time before the 1989 had studied and paid attention to issues of architecture and environment, architecture and limited resources, namely the energy resources, non traditional energy resources and materials. This was the basis for a team, which could form a meaningful training programme and which prepared research projects orientated to architecture and ecology relations. The beginnings of the Institute's teaching can be characterised as an experiment for the students of the 5th and 6th year of the study. This experiment meant the preparation for the establishment of the two-degree study at the Faculty of Architecture and thanks to this programme the Institute was ready to prepare a specialisation with theoretical subjects.
In that time, the Institute started to work in conditions that are considered standard at foreign universities but are difficult to push forward in our academic environment. The existence of the Department was bound to the interest of students.
The Institute aims at architecture as an integral part of the unchanged, natural and changed, built environment. This access to architecture conditions its connection with scientific disciplines, which cover the issues of environment. Ecology as the science covering the relations between living organisms and their environment has a dominant position among the environmental disciplines. It provides a way of how to reshape the environment without a serious interruption into its stability on one side, and on the other it is an inspiration for searching new expressions in architecture.
The second degree of study (Master Degree) is oriented on the following topics:
the basis for ecologically determined design and environmental nature of architecture
material and style links between architecture and environment (regional architecture)
practical experience and methods of ecologically determined design (solar energy, alternative energy resources, etc...)
alternative building materials and technologies,
search for boundary settings for urban-architectural concept, limited by an existing built area
conditions for sustainable development of urban settlements and issues of urban democracy.
The study programmes of integrated studio are aimed to architectural design determined by physical factors of the environment (sun, wind, precipitation), harmonizing the designed architectural work with natural and cultural complex of the environment, design of the economical structures using the renewable energy resources and biocompatible building materials, search for alternative forms of residential environment and alternatives for traditional ways of living.
Cooperation, integration, complexity and interdisciplinarity are basic principles in the field of protection and creation of environment and namely of the human environment. They are, therefore taking part in the process of decision and selection of education methods, and the content of environmental education. An architect, urban planner or a product designer has to be a good manager and coordinator of cooperation between different natural science, technical science and artistic professional specialists. For mastering these tasks he/she has to be well theoretically and practically prepared. Such cooperation is therefore important as part of each studio tutorial, each seminar or practical exercise. The classes are tutored by different field specialists, not only the university teachers but teachers from other universities as well as from foreign workplaces. Such cooperation will remain the core for the future Faculty education activities. Our aim is to make the study programme more compact within its social- ecological and natural-ecological dimension. In the offered study programmes we would like to go beyond the so far existing framework of the Faculty.