A non-commercial assignment in a beautiful setting and with highly ethical content. And also with the irresistible challenge of thinking about the future of the area, which in its beginnings at the end of the 19th century was a corner of typical Tatra architecture with a well-functioning urban planning and landscape framework, but over time it lost these qualities. It's incredible how thoroughly traces of the past can disappear. The charming half-timbered Villa Karatsonyi burned down, the pond was filled in and the urban order gradually disappeared. The Charity House from 1935-1938 remained the last survivor, but with an addition that does not suit it.
The extensive tender included several objects - the reconstruction of the Charity House, the design of a new annex with accommodation, a restaurant and a congress hall, a chapel, a Home for Peaceful Old Age, accommodation for families with children and accommodation for pilgrims. And, of course, a landscape solution. We decided to return to the past - we returned to the historical composition scheme of two axes, we erected new buildings on the site of the original buildings, we renewed the pond and the idea of a covered colonnade. We have added several public or semi-public spaces of different character - for meetings, open-air worship, the perception of peace and nature, or community activities.
The landscape solution is conceived as a multigenerational spatial program with a rich range of accommodation and walking options. The area is divided into three zones according to the natural topography and nature of the vegetation:
1. Meeting zone – in the initial part of the complex, a busier environment connected to the ground floor, connects the Charity House with an extension with a restaurant and a congress hall, a chapel, a House for the Peaceful Old Age and Accommodation for families with children, where there is a themed Biblical garden (plants mentioned in the Bible )
2. Quiet zone - includes a restored pond and a parish meadow with original flowers, an orchard and beehives (analogy of the Garden of Eden)
3. Zone of spiritual renewal - in the forest section, offers walks and places to stay within the so-called Ways of the Word (walkway above the terrain and terraces for meditation accompanied by biblical texts) and also the Stations of the Cross.
The architecture also works with the theme of return, although its expression is contemporary. The goal was to create an atmosphere that will gently evoke the mountain recovery centers from the times when the country was not exploited so much by the density and volume of construction. The leitmotif is freedom, civil character, adequate scale and unobtrusive ordinariness.
open competition: 2022, 2nd place
client: Spiš Catholic Charity
architects: Andrej ALEXY, Andrea PRIEVALSKÁ, Veronika SLANIČANOVÁ, Erik JAKEŠ, Laura ZÁHORANOVÁ, Matúš BLAŽÍČEK