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Atomized modernity ...on architecture of large housing complexes in Czechoslovakia 1914-2014 How to grasp one hundred years of architecture in Czechoslovakia? And why? Is this ambition inevitably condemned to a forced generalization or, by contrast, to a banal description? Containing research over the living space of 200 million m2 which has emerged in Czechoslovakia during the past one hundred years, this book is being published on the occasion of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. We have decided to characterize this period by six stations presenting six homogeneous urban complexes. Each of them is documented by interviews, with both people who were directly involved in their construction and recent researchers, axonometries and diagrams. The book is a reaction to the curator’s sub-topic of the biennial, i.e. Absorbing Modernity 1914–2014, also in the sense it has been trying to communicate evidence of the way big stories of the beginnings of Modernism in former Czechoslovakia – its visions, ideals, synchronization with technical innovations, expectation of social changes, manifestos and possibly also unprecedented opportunities in architecture – have in the course of time been altered and absorbed. On one hand they transformed into cautious distrust in totalitarianism during Postmodernism, on the other, however, they fatigued to reproduction of already tested ways and production of quantity. The ongoing atomization – including the scale of projects, size of architecture studios, specialization of professions and architects’ ambitions – could also be understood as evidence of relaxation as well as resignation to large scales. All material presented in this book has been compiled during a period of ten months. As the traditional art historical method turned out rather lengthy we decided to come up with the form of interviews that were all deliberately held and recorded in interviewees’ homes. The interviews develop several parallel stories intertwining and complementing each other. These stories are presented in three diagrams.

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