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  1. ArchDaily
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  3. Klasik: The Image of an Average Czech Family House 1989–2015

Klasik: The Image of an Average Czech Family House 1989–2015

  • 10:19 - 30 May, 2017
Klasik: The Image of an Average Czech Family House 1989–2015
Klasik: The Image of an Average Czech Family House 1989–2015, Canaba Classic, designed in 1991. Photo © Oskar Helcel, Martin Netočný.
Canaba Classic, designed in 1991. Photo © Oskar Helcel, Martin Netočný.

As the building production had been limited during the preceding socialist era, buying land for building a house was next to impossible and the society as a whole preferred mass housing construction of block of flats, the idea of a house was wrapped in the aura of scarce goods. Thus, it was no wonder that after 1989 many new designs and building companies responded to the existing strong demand. The individually owned family house, inspired by the image of “happy” lifestyle of the Western countries, represented embodiment of the dream of modern living. It was a dream influenced by the desire to express one’s own individuality and the attempt of the newly forming middle class to present itself. The winner of the free choice contest was usually a turnkey catalog house.

The exhibition focuses on the development of the image of an average Czech house as it was presented and offered by design and building companies and as it was described in magazines of that day. It is divided into five stages that follow and pervade one another. Each is represented by one house that is the best example of the given period. It is an average house of its time, designed to be best available for a great number of possible clients and it also one of those that sold the best. At each individual stage, you can find a number of texts that describe the overall situation of that time.

The exhibition thus tracks how the architectonic discourse, but also the clients’ taste or the real chance that one could afford this kind of housing have been changing until today. This is closely related to the possibilities of state financial support and financial tools such as government housing loan subsidies and, most importantly, mortgages. The exhibition also in this way creates, using the typology of houses, an imaginary catalog of architectonic expression of the middle-class development after the Velvet Revolution, its cultural, social and economic status.

Curator: Jana Pavlová
Concept: Eva Bortelová, Irena Lehkoživová, Jana Pavlová, Barbora Špičáková
Installation: Martin Hrubý
Photographs: Oskar Helcel, Martin Netočný

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Cite: "Klasik: The Image of an Average Czech Family House 1989–2015" 30 May 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/872484/klasik-the-image-of-an-average-czech-family-house-1989-nil-2015/> ISSN 0719-8884