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History of the Faculty of Architecture of Brno University of Technology

The school of architecture in Brno was established in 1919. In the newly established state of Czechoslovakia, favorable conditions were created, in which many years' efforts to set up a department of architecture and civil engineering at the Czech University of Technology in Brno (ČVŠT) could be realized. The department opened in the academic year 1919/1920, and architect Prof. Karel Hugo Kepka was appointed its first Dean.

The new department developed gradually. Initially, instruction was provided by faculty members of the Department of Structural Engineering, but new teachers were soon hired. Since the beginning, the leading architects were Prof. Karel Hugo Kepka and Prof. Emil Králík. After them, Prof. Adolf Liebscher, Prof. Vladimír Fischer, Prof. Jaroslav Syřiště, and Prof. Jiří Kroha were successively appointed. The premises of the developing department were not sufficient to accommodate its needs. Theoretical subjects were taught in the Czech University of Technology's main building and continued to serve previously established departments. Specialized institutes were located in unsuitable apartments that were rented in several apartment buildings. In the mid-twenties, plans were made to construct a pavilion to house the department, but it was never built. In 1934, the department was relocated from the rented apartments to the ČVŠT Pavilion of Mechanical Engineering and to the third floor of the then new Law Faculty building in Veveří Street.

During the Great Depression, the Brno school of architecture was on the verge of being closed down. Thanks to the efforts of faculty members and support from the public it remained in operation.

Even though the process of building the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at ČVŠT was not finished during the time of the First Republic (1919-1938), a substantial amount of work was completed within the twenty years of its existence, often under difficult conditions. During that period, Brno school of architecture developed into a distinctive school, where architectural education attained European standards. The school identified with the theoretical and creative spirit of the interwar avantgarde and became an inseparable part of the progressive Brno architecture.

During the Nazi occupation, many teachers, students and alumni of the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering actively participated in the national resistance movement, even at the cost of imprisonment in concentration camps. Vladimír Krondl, Jaroslav Poledník, Hugo Foltýn, and Vladimír Neumann lost their lives in the time of the occupation.

In the academic year 1945/46, the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering was fully restored. Much effort had to be made to secure premises and equipment, cope with personal losses in faculty and to manage the large number of students, who wanted to catch up on schoolwork missed during the occupation in the shortest possible time. In the postwar years, Prof. Antonín Kural, Prof. Bohuslav Fuchs, Prof. Bedřich Rozehnal, Prof. Vincenc Makovský, Prof. Miloslav Kopřiva and Prof. Alois Král joined the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering. Architect Prof. Jaroslav Syřiště was appointed the first postwar rector of the established University of Technology in Brno.

The new Institutions of Higher Education Act of May 1950 introduced the division of universities into faculties and joined related institutes into departments that became the basic organizational units. Deans' Offices and Faculty Boards were established at the faculties. The Faculty Boards later developed into the Scientific Boards of the faculties. In 1951, the Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering was integrated into the newly established University of Civil Engineering (VŠS). At that time, the faculty was located in various buildings.

By 1 September 1956, Brno University of Technology was established with a Faculty of Architecture and Structural Engineering, which was not abolished and remained part of the university thanks to the personal influence of Prof. Fuchs. Since 1958, Brno University of Technology was headed by architect Prof. Vladimír Meduna. In 1960, the Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering was merged with the Faculty of Structural Engineering into a newly established Faculty of Civil Engineering. Its first Dean was Prof. Zdeněk Alexa.

In the mid-seventies, the benefits of studying architecture within the framework of the integrated Faculty of Civil Engineering were reconsidered. Merging the faculties did not bring the expected raise in quality of education in the field of architecture and urban design, because the specific needs of architectural education were not adequately respected. For this reason, an autonomous Faculty of Architecture that offered a program in architecture and urban planning was established by separation from the Faculty of Civil Engineering. Doc. František Bartek was appointed the first Dean of the faculty. In the late seventies and the eighties, the next generation of professors of the Faculty of Architecture was appointed. Prof. Miroslav Martínek served as Dean since 1987.

After the fall of the communist regime in November 1989, the Faculty of Architecture elected Prof. Ivan Ruller its Dean. A new concept of architectural education was adopted, and the organizational structure of the faculty changed. Former departments were transformed into institutes, and a new two-stage model of bachelor's and master's degree programs was introduced. In 1994, Prof. Alois Nový was appointed Dean of the faculty. The faculty became more open to experts and established contacts with domestic and foreign cooperators. Since 2000, the faculty was headed by doc. Josef Chybík. Further reorganization was carried out and new studios, departments, and centers were established. In 2006 Professor Vladimír Šlapeta took over the leadership with experience from The Technical University of Prague. Faculty has undergone many structural changes, strengthened its international position and developed cooperation with IIT Chicago. Since 2014 the school is lead by doc. Jan Hrubý.

Faculty building at Porici Street

Prof. Bohuslav Fuchs and Prof. Bedrich Rozehnal

Exhibition of structive models in The Brno House of Arts

Art and model making studio, Dept. of Drawing

Final architecture studio reviews

Marena – student event
© Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, Porici 273/5, 639 00 Brno, Czech Republic
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