THE RENEWAL and restoration of historical architecture is the theme of Days of Architecture 2014, taking place between May 15 and 18 in Bratislava. However, an exhibition that opened on the first day, called Monitoring of Modernism, will last until the end of June.

From Thursday until Sunday several events will take place, mainly the opening of the doors of historical buildings in Bratislava (and one in Žilina) to promote architectural heritage among the public. All participating sites have been recently renovated or restored after damage sustained during the communist regime (1948-1989), the TASR newswire wrote. Some were seized from private owners, while others were threatened by a lack of interest, resources or professional knowledge among the owners, including state institutions. Modern developments sometimes threaten historical buildings due to insensitive treatment.

The selection offers various types of buildings, from a family villa through the Reduta concert building, to examples of modern Bratislava industrial architecture, like the Water Tower and the Istrochem complex. Jewish monuments, including the functioning synagogue on Heydukova Street (as well as one in Žilina) are featured, too. However, it is advisable to register in advance. The participating sites offer a wide range of approaches to renovation and restoration.

“We are joining this European event, organised by the Verein Architekturtage from Vienna, which takes place biannually,” the event’s coordinator, Henrieta Moravčíková, told TASR. “This time, the stress on monuments is under the motto Staré Novým (The Old by the New), meaning, these are structures that got a second chance thanks to renovation and reconstruction.”

The exhibition will be open to the public in the Institute of Architecture and Construction (ÚSTARCH) of the Slovak Academy of Sciences on Dúbravská Cesta 9 until June 30, the SITA newswire wrote. It reflects contemporary practices in caring for the heritage of modern architecture in Slovakia. The Monitoring Modernism exhibition brings eight examples of top works of Slovak modernism, as well as good practices and mistakes and losses that occurred when protecting Slovak architectural heritage. “The exhibition will bring unique images, but also real ‘fragments’ of the works like Behrens’ synagogue in Žilina, or Dědeček’s Slovak National Gallery,” the organisers of the Days of Architecture 2014 promise.

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