The Tugendhat Villa is one of the most important pieces of 20th century architecture; it is therefore right – in light of the recent renovation – to recall it, to bring it back to our memory and our awareness. In the 1920s, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe had an opportunity to produce his ultimate work, which he created in parallel with the exhibition pavilion in Barcelona. How does one create a contemporary villa for an extremely wealthy client, demonstrating to him and the world the architect’s relationship towards the contemporary world, space, architecture and prestige? Mies was successful in completing this task, managing to combine all of these issues into an icon of 20th century architecture, with just the right amount of complexity and experimentation, with a different spatial concept, and with exceptional, rich materials. The interesting thing, however, is that when the villa was completed it remained unnoticed or overlooked by architectural critics of the time. The main reproach was that it did not correspond to the then current modernist movement, that it was too expensive (which it was – it cost as much as 25 “ordinary” family houses) and that it was therefore too showy. You can read more about it in the title theme of this year’s autumn issue of Piranesi, in which Vladimir Šlapeta reveals the parallels of that period, while the other authors cover the recently accomplished renovation of the villa. The history of the villa has not lacked renovations and modifications, but its inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001, as well as the present renovation, have finally reclaimed its former shine.

The interview in the present issue features last year’s award winner at the Piranesi Days of Architecture, Bernardo Bader fromVorarlberg,Austria. The Piranesi Award was not the only award he received for the Islamic Cemetery in Altach, Vorarlberg; he also received the Aga Khan Award, conferred for achievements in Islamic architecture. Bernardo Bader belongs to the younger generation of Austrian architects, and has already accomplished a number of outstanding works for which he has received numerous awards and recognitions. His designs of single-family wooden houses are particularly noteworthy.

Two Piranesi recognitions were also awarded last year, and are published in the present issue: the first is for the rowing centre by Lake Como inItaly, and the second is for the landscape architecture design of a square inInnsbruck. Two diametrically opposed projects, yet both undertaken with additional architectural and spatial value.

Contemporary Czech architecture is looking for role models in its modernist architecture. Thus it often indirectly relates to the works of Mies, as we can read in the article on the family house in Mšeno. Of course, this recent architecture cannot be literally compared with the Tugendhat Villa. Observing its design, however, one can find hidden or more apparent parallels. Slovenian architecture is represented by two projects: the longitudinal concept of the Secondary Technical School in Koper and the renovation of the Dominican Monastery in Ptuj. The renovation was planned and designed by architects from the Enota office, who maintained a clear concept and placed the seating tribune in the sensitive space of a medieval monastery. All of the interventions are carefully designed so that none of the existing volumes or walls have been affected. A similar attitude was adopted by Hungarian architects when they approached the renovation of the Szatmáry Palace in Pecz.

Exhibition layouts and graphic design are this time covered by the pages devoted toDomen Fras, a designer and architect who also designed the overall visual image of the Piranesi magazine. The exhibition on the presence of Slavs in Prekmurje has a multilayered concept, both in terms of its content and its final graphic design, surpassing by far the average exhibition set-ups in the Slovenian sphere.

To conclude this editorial, let us raise a topical issue that arose during a round table discussion about the media in architecture, at the BIG conference held in October this year inLjubljana: Why insist on publishing a printed version? Why not just publish an electronic version of the magazine on the web page? The answer could be simple: because we believe that certain issues deserve to be covered more broadly and in more depth, so that they will be preserved in this flood of instant digital information and instant architecture. And because a printed magazine is still a surplus that one can hold in one’s hands and thus feel architecture, at least with one’s finger tips, and relive, for instance, Mies’s architecture.