Hardly has there been anything as interesting as industrial heritage in the previous years, i.e. conversion projects for abandoned warehouses, textiles, factory halls, breweries, ironmongery or power plants. They draw attention to the possibilities, they represent the current topic of architecture and urbanism, they resonate with contemporary tendencies in art. They fill the emptiness that remains after the disappearing industrial age.
Realizations that were included in the Architecture of Conversion summarizing project had to meet demanding criteria in relation to the original usage and value. Projects have been divided by the curator's team according to the newly defined function: from utility buildings (offices, warehouses) or commercial (shops, restaurants), to residential (apartments, hotels), to publicly accessible ones (museums, libraries) and those that are temporarily accessible or used for so-called initiating projects, often associated with culture and other creative disciplines.
The relics of the Czech industrial past and their meaningful reviving are a constant essential theme of the platform called Industrial Footprints, with which the Architecture of Conversion exhibition is closely related. The exhibition is a part of the Industrial Topography project and is followed by a narrative publication of the same name, mapping the successful transformations of industrial buildings. "The book is not just a set of spectacular buildings – it also reflects the social atmosphere in which buildings were changed or still have been changed," says Benjamin Fragner, head of the Research Centre for Industrial Heritage at the Czech Technical University in Prague.
Within the Landscape Festival Pilsen 2017, the exhibition is complemented by examples of Pilsen's successful recent transformations – Moving Station, DEPO 2015, Pilsen – station, Techmania and the Old Brewhouse in the Pilsen Urquell brewery.