How did you come to the project for the town of Rýmařov? Did the town hall approach you, or could you choose any location?
This project was part of the Architectural Modelling II course in the third year of the Bachelor studies under the guidance of Assoc. Prof. Jakub Gajda, M. A., Ph.D. At that time, the associate professor arranged cooperation with the Department of Architecture and gave us the topic “Event in space and time, monument, model, module, composition, small architecture, object, landscape element” as one of the possible topics for the seminar paper. The town’s assignment at that time was to create an artefact, a small work of art for the public space of the municipality. This topic, as far as I remember, was chosen by all of us who took this course with Assoc. Prof. Gajda. In addition, we were joined by several students from the then-fourth year. Assoc. Prof. Gajda approached them because they had proven their abilities in previous years. Together, we visited the town in the autumn of 2018, and its representatives showed us around the town despite heavy frost and snow and pointed out potential locations suitable for the placement of the artwork. This excursion also included a comprehensive explanation by the local historian or a visit to the local museum. Upon return, weekly consultations with the teacher were followed by numerous sketches and designs.
The Brocade Pavement. What gave you the idea to design it? Did anything inspire you?
I remember that I gradually came to the idea of connecting the town with something. I was thinking about different strings or lines painted on the roads. I was also fascinated by Rýmařov Hedva, the brocade factory, and its patterns. I was thinking about connecting the town with brocade and fabric, at which point the associate professor mentioned paving stones. And the idea was born. Mr. Gajda joked that I would show practical work during my presentation in Rýmařov and pave a piece of the pavement there. So I started to study the Rýmařov brocade patterns more thoroughly and redraw the patterns on square paper to disintegrate them into pixels. There were several variations of patterns, but in the end, we chose this one. Next, we started looking for strategic places where the brocade pattern pavement could be placed to represent the connection to the town. Naturally, but understandably, some will notice the work, and some will not, but that is okay. Everybody will walk on it and enjoy it.
How long did you work on the design?
Basically, one summer semester, from the visit to Rýmařov in November 2018 to the final presentation in June 2019. However, the design is not only the design itself but also “making one’s way to it”. It means exploring the site, countless other designs, more exploring and more designs,...
The management of Rýmařov was enthusiastic about the design. But how was the presentation of the project?
The presentation took place in the Rýmařov cinema hall. It was open not only to representatives of the town but also to the sculptor and artist Pavel Karous, M.A., Ph.D., who is known, for example, from the programme about public space Větřelci a volavky (Intruders and Herons). At the same time, representatives of the surrounding towns and, I think, partly the public were also present. This means, unlike the standard academic environment, lots of elevated seats, a podium, and a camera,... It brought back memories of my childhood and pupils’ concerts at the elementary art school. I was, of course, very nervous, staring blindly at the prepared notes and trying to learn them, but in the end, I said everything off the cuff anyway. When you stand up in front of so many people, and everyone’s eyes are fixed on you, the nervousness suddenly goes away. I kept the presentation very brief, explained what I was dealing with and why, and then just clicked the drawings into photos of different options for paving placement. To my surprise, and especially to my great relief, the final reaction of the audience was very positive, which is always pleasing.
What had to be part of the project? Could it be compared to a Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis?
The project mainly included the design of the pattern and location. After agreeing with the Mayor of Rýmařov that the project would actually be realised, the drawing for the workmen followed. The actual implementation was in the hands of the town and the selected company.
What does the project mean to you? Have you seen it yet and had a say in it?
Realisation is always such a treat for me. A project that was only on paper suddenly materialises, becomes functional and gets a soul. I have not seen it yet, but I am going to, and I am looking forward to it!
Did you often get to do such projects during your studies?
I have completed two more similar projects with Associate Professor Gajda, but without participating in a competition. In the following academic year, we created a work on a similar assignment for Bludov and a year later for the castle park in Paskov, but these assignments were not part of any course.
Why did you choose to study architecture at the Faculty of Civil Engineering at VSB-TUO? What did the study give you? Was it challenging?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been drawn to art but also to logic and technology. Architecture combines all these. Moreover, it is a field that will always be needed. People will always want a roof over their heads and a pleasant environment, whether a public space or an interior. They will always inhabit houses and cities. And that all makes sense to me. I decided to study at VSB-TUO at that time mainly because I had a background here and a family, and I was trying to study at another university. I did not even consider choosing a school in another city at that time. Studying architecture was an overnight decision, and only gradually I realised that everything around me, my interests, had led me to architecture. Every study is challenging, but that is part of it, and every study gives you something. In my case, given that my secondary school studies had been outside of this field, the study gave me pretty much everything. From the first lines in any computer programs to building materials and the overall functioning of buildings to the actual designing and putting it all together. And, of course, it allowed me to get into projects like this, which I am very grateful for!
Would you recommend studying at the youngest civil engineering faculty in the Czech Republic to secondary school students?
I think that if you are really serious about architecture and are willing to put more time and energy into your studies than you do in school, it probably does not matter where you study. What matters is the resulting quality of the student/graduate – how they think and how they approach the field.
What was the most difficult part of your studies? Which course?
The hardest thing was probably to create some kind of symbiosis between the creative and calculating subjects. When I started to create, I could not concentrate, for example, on examples of elasticity and vice versa. That is also why I did not really like courses like statics, elasticity, maths, etc. – because there was not much time left for designing. I also never liked, for example, HVAC (technical equipment of buildings), it means all the piping – sewerage, water, electricity... But in practice, you find that you cannot design without it, and then when all these things come together, it makes tremendous technical sense.
What did you enjoy the most?
If I were to summarise my studies, the follow-up studies were closer to me since they emphasised architecture from a more philosophical perspective. A certain reflection on what architecture means, how it comes into being, and what effect it can have. After understanding this, it was easier for me to create designs and think about them differently in a way that made them more meaningful. Of course, this would not have been possible without the undergraduate courses that cause a lot of distress to the vast majority of students, such as maths or statics, which is then divided into the statics of different materials, and so on.
Where are you working now, and what projects are there ahead of you?
I am currently working for PROJEKTSTUDIO EUCZ, s.r.o., an architectural studio in Ostrava. I have many beautiful projects on my desk right now, and I believe that there are many more to come.