The Moravian Square in Brno, a place with rich history, is located on the northern edge of the historical centre of the city and until the 1st half of the 18th century it belonged to the city fortification with a bastion. At the end of the 18th century it was a busy place full of life and after the demolition of its ramparts after 1850, its green areas and buildings formed the city ring road. Later, from 1888 to 1891, a German house was built in the middle of the park, accompanied by the statue of Joseph II, serving thus as a cultural house for the German speaking citizens of Brno. The monument was removed in 1919 and the German house ceased to exist by the end of the World War II correspondingly. After the war it was used as a place for burning Red Army soldiers who put their lives on the line during the liberation of Brno. Afterwards the premises were turned into a park where, in 1946, the foundation stone for the T. G. Masaryk memorial was laid. The memorial, however, has never been finished. From 1970 to 1973, the premises were modified in accordance with the ideology from those times. Thus, at the centre there was a five-pointed pool with a fountain and a Communists sculpture in the background. What remained after 1990 was only the pool. All these historical turning points represent not only the history of Brno, but the Czech nation as well. They document all the dramatic changes in society which also influenced all the changes being made on the square premises. The Moravian Square may be considered, with a little exaggeration, as a latent manifesto of our history.
The installation, designed by architects Ondrej Chybik and Michal Kristof on the occasion of Leto 2017, reminds us of these turning points and even intersects them in some unexpected moments. It evokes the desire to unite. It refers to the long forgotten history of ramparts and the community of Bohemia and Moravia with the Habsburg monarchy, it reminds us of the largest Brno minority – the Moravian Germans, then the Red Army soldiers and the long years of the Communist regime.
The task was to creat a summer pavilion which would be composed of a stage, bar, beer terrace, an outdoor gallery and their backgrounds. The layout of these single functions on the given premises comes from the layout scheme of the German house and is based on a structure made of scaffolding pipes. Above the main front there is the main motto of the festival – Unity in Diversity – in languages of all the nations which have ever appeared on the Moravian Square premises. The central part of the pavilion serves as a stage, whereas the bar and the beer terrace are located on the right and the outdoor gallery with an exposition of visual arts on the left. What serves as a dominant feature at the centre of the space is a red star, painted on the pavement, and the Communists sculpture was made by the sculpturist Pavel Karous. Concrete pyramids, located towards the centre of the city, should remind the visitors of the deceased Red Army soldiers. The ramparts are represented in the form of a simple fence. Moreover, an information panel is provided with a description of the single fragments.
During summer, visitors may look forward to a range of cultural and social events, getting started with the Meeting Brno festival and offering also folklore, theatre, music or beer festivals. The rich programme is going to precede the whole square refurbishment which is going to take place in 2018. The author of the concept, the Consequence forma architects, was chosen in an architecture competition in the second half of 2016.
--- Client: Meeting Brno, z.s. Location: Brno, Czech Republic Year: 2017 Program: temporary pavilion for summer festivals Size: – Status: realised Team: Ondrej Chybik, Michal Kristof, Martin Holy, Krystof Foltyn, Lucie Skorepova
Photo by Lukáš Ildža, Fabrice Fouillet, Ludmila Koresova, Lukas Pelech