A Dialogue Between New and Old

The new building of the Catholic gimnazija (grammar school) introduces a layer of contemporaneity to the city centre of Třebíč that engages not in confrontation, but in dialogue.

Photo: BoysPlayNice

Photo: BoysPlayNice

The new addition to the Catholic grammar school in Třebíč by Miloš Klement and Petr Todorov represents the first stage of an extensive renovation project for the former Capuchin monastery where the school is located. The school’s management decided to entrust the renovation project to Brno’s Tišnovka architecture studio, and they chose well. Miloš Klement and Petr Todorov have repeatedly shown through their work that they are perfectly at home in a rich historical monument, and are capable of giving it a modern, contemporary layer that engages not in confrontation but dialogue.

Both architects belong to that generation which entered professional life in the 1980s – a period characterized by an intense search for ways out of the crisis of modern architecture. At the time, architects found inspiration in nearly everything that modern architecture had “overcome”, that had been left behind or rejected outright, but also in the early modernism of the beginning of the twentieth century. It was clear that certain aspects of modernism, modern civilisation, and the modern way of life could not be erased, nor was this even desirable. Architects realized that they had to find a way of reviving the modern project – not in the sense of making it somehow special or of “adding spice”, but with a view to breathing new life into it, of adding depth and giving it a sense of spirit. One strategy that proved particularly fruitful was an attention to context, engaging in dialogue with the local culture through the study of historical forms of architecture and architectural types, and their articulation in the local setting.

Photo: BoysPlayNice

Photo: BoysPlayNice

Photo: BoysPlayNice

Photo: BoysPlayNice

The complete article is published in Autumn 2020 issue of Piranesi No. 42-43/Vol. 28.

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Project Data

Studio: Atelier Tišnovka
Authors: Miloš Klement, Petr Todorov
Collaborators
Architects: Eva Kovářová, Inka Matoušková, Bc. Eliška Zobačová
Statics: Václav Přikryl JP statika
Vegetation: Eva Wagnerová
Client: Episcopate of Brno
Year (design): 2017
Year (completion): 2019
Building footprint: 598 m2
Gross floor area: 1516 m2
Usable floor area: 942 m2
Site size: 1800 m2