Peter Stec (*1976) holds a Diploma from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and a Master’s degree in architecture from Princeton University. His own architectural practice builds on previous experience at Eisenman Architects, OMA and Herzog & de Meuron. The office recently won and completed a boarding school master plan and other urban and architectural projects. The practice is interlaced with academic research, including a recently completed Fulbright Advanced Research fellowship at Rice University and previous studios at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Slovakia. A continuing thread in these projects is an exploration of process as an architectural medium through interactive installations, animated and evolutionary design, dynamic urban planning, and the tracing of design lineage.
Back to EU after completing the Fulbright Advanced Research at Rice University in Houston. Thanks Texas!
Congratulations Adriana Debnárová for winning the Archiprix 2015 World's Best Graduation Project!
The City of Trenčín decided to license our submission for the international competition "Trenčín City on the Water" designed in collaboration with Kika Rypáková, Mark Balzar and Zeynep Aksoz. The project proposed an interactive approach to the redevelopment of the city's riverfront.
In collaboration with soma, Peter Stec has won the competition for a masterplan for the LEAF Academy Campus in Slovakia. The concept design phase will be finalised by the end of the year. LEAF is a non-profit organisation with the aim to build a central European educational institution that develops the students’ character, excellence, and drive for change.
Interactive spaces from our studio are exhibited at the Fragner Gallery in Prague, together with student work from die Angewandte, Innsbruck University, UMPRUM and FA ČVUT.
From the Jury Report:
"As an idea the proposal is fun and unique. The logic of the suburb has been turned on its head: what looks like the street is in fact a garden. The plantings and small gardens form green corridors between the blocks of detached houses and cars are placed in the rear yards of the spaciously designed blocks."
(Bratislava, 25 June 2010) The 3rd prize in the Ostrava Black Meadow competition has been awarded to “URBANISM GONE WILD,” a project of our international team. Almost seventy submissions proposed urban ideas for a cultural cluster planned as a bid to host the 2015 European Capital of Culture in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The program included a symphony hall, galleries, a music center, schools and housing.
Office: Mecikova 26, 841 07 Bratislava, Slovakia
Organization ID: 42266106 (Mag. Arch. Peter Stec, ArtD.)
Registration number: 2025 AA (www.komarch.sk)
The office is searching for motivated collaborators. For job enquiries, please send a portfolio and CV to email@example.com
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We discover a city through fortuitous encounters with its spaces, gradually layering newly perceived images on top of memories. But unlike a metaphor of memory, where newest impressions of a space, or of an object, would coexist with a fading remembrance of its previous impres-sions, the city is different: buildings that are consecutive in history can-not coexist in the same space. Slow change occurs, minor interventions improve major disturbances, or become replaced for another trial.
Instead of a futile attempt to ape the medieval city formally, or to superimpose an abstract modernist grid on the project area, we propose to link the urban and natural poles of the site through an artificial topography, and thus introducing the scale of landscape urbanism. This topography incorporates two major qualities: it negotiates the influence of surrounding elements by creating a geometrical force field, and it shows the potential of programmatic adaptation and redistribution by providing an abstract system of gradient subdivisions.
The deformed grid permits various occupations of its meshes. They can be left abandoned, rented out, cultivated, developed or scraped again. It is in fact an adaptive checkerboard for the opening of Trenčín's urban game, to which our project provides the rules. Its inhabitants can thus create a diverse but enticing river-front.
The site on top of a hill is currently occupied by a large modernist block. The master plan reacts to its articulation, but at the same time attacks its homogeneity by extending the old construction grid into it checkerboard pattern of pavilions. These are placeholders for future structures erected in collaboration with the concerned departments - minimal loft structures completed by students of the school.
Besides the pavilion volumes, the master plan focuses equally on delimited voids that create a hierarchy of nodes intensifying interaction and collaboration between the departments. The strategy extends to the old block, where one out of the eight subvolumes is removed to create a central node accessing the large building mass, with an additional study of corridors as interfaces.
The currently developed residence in Prague aims to blur the difference between garden and interior. The whole plot is a house, inhabitable in its entirety, with conical pods floating on the terrain. Each has a different program and orientation, but they all inherit a common scheme. Some merge, while a few stay separate.
The site is simply divided into three zones related to medieval garden types and programmed accordingly. The hortus contemplationis is a simple square surface divided into areas of greenery, water or wood, entering gradually the interior. The hortus catalogii is a utility zone with plants and a greenhouse, as well as the home office. Finally, hortus ludi contains programs for play and relaxation.
Information becomes increasingly accessible, but also overwhelmingly delocalized. How to organize this dimensionless and ubiquitous flow of data to make it useful? Paradoxically, an example from the pre-Gutenberg era may provide a solution, using one of our most developed faculties – spatial memory.
Prior to the invention of press, long speeches were remembered as virtual "Memory palaces". Their various spaces related to various arguments, interior elements could link to examples etc. We propose to actualize such a palace in the memorable space of Helsinki's Central Library. We propose to link various specific spaces and different media through a connecting "Information Landscape".
The high ambition of the Library is a bet on the importance of place for the transformation of information into knowledge, a bet on the importance of localized access for the expansion of memory. In fact, in any medium, a clear and memorable localization of information elements may lead to novel ways of linking them to create a new edifice of knowledge. By suggesting to locate fiction or science books, recordings or video in precise spots on a continuous but finely differentiated landscape, we believe to bind the spatial experience of visitors to the information content of the media, all exposed and embraced in a visual entirety.
The boundary to landscape is evolving. The shift from a hard compact wall of the fortified cities to the infinite blurred contour of sprawl traces centuries of changing social organization. After the mostly unattainable vision of Garden Cities, we follow the emergence of a more specific goal: living on the edge between complex urban amenities and immediate rich ecosystems. In geometrical terms: a dense and limited urban area, with an infinite boundary.
For Turku, we envision such a boundary by proposing to pull both the surrounding landscape and urban pockets into the site. Never do these areas intersect. However, we carefully extend and design their interface, creating a blurred transition from one to the other. On one side are continuously branching corridors of vegetation. We named them the Orchard Avenues. In a reversal, the other side becomes access: the Urban Courts. In between, a gradient of various house types creates a visually permeable membrane.
For the site, we propose three types of spaces related to culture. The first condition, a space for exploration, we term WILDERNESS. The second condition, the space of provisional community, we term CLEARINGS. The third condition, the stable spaces dedicated to the harvesting of ripe cultural projects, we term ROOMS.
We argue that cultural activity benefits from access to these three distinct spatial conditions. First, culture is practiced through free play and discovery. This requires a space apart from the demands of intensive production and performance, a space in which exploration is first allowed, and then encouraged. Second, culture requires a place of interaction - spaces of community that move beyond a radical individuality, where common languages can be developed, where ideas can be exchanged. Third, culture both requires and produces spaces of cultural interaction that have developed into types that are recognizable by all: types such as the theater, the museum, or the concert hall. Through their stability, we are able to connect these types through time and space.
This proposal, then, can be seen as itself a kind of culture - and an experiment to grow novel urban conditions and contemporary ideas of public space. The combination of such radically different types of space cultivates an attitude of cultural exploration in which not just trained artists, but all the people of Ostrava, indeed all the people of Europe, can participate in the invention of culture.
Spaces are mostly defined by their boundaries. But once buildings attain a certain size, boundaries may become imperceptible. This project looks back at the hypostyle halls of antiquity and other precedents, where the architecture is articulated by the inserted punctuation of columns, rather than by its enclosing walls. The transitions in such spaces are gradual, as opposed to the sharp delimitation offered by partitions.
But instead of repeatedly using a simple column, here in this hyperstyle space, varying but formally related vertical elements are used to create zones with different programs that continuously change from one condition into the next. Predetermined rules organize these zones into clouds of gradually changing spatial density. Instead of a homogeneous hall, a diverse quarter results from this system of repeated variation.
Central Bratislava is divided by a bridge. The projected landscape blurs this gap. A crumpling surface forms a transition between the hill, the waterfront and the city, blending smooth park topography, interchange infrastructure, and linear blocks delimiting a plaza.
Quake supports the body in the strangest positions. If the surface is calm, it is possible to lay down and fall asleep.
Tension in cords makes the furniture move and quake to become an ephemeral sculpture, inciting the invention of new sitting positions.
Paradoxically, voids can create high density. The Glacis (protective areas around fortresses), the Green Belt (the ring of vegetation surrounding London) or the Sky Planes (surfaces defining the incidence of light onto the streets in New York) are all artificially defined volumes of emptiness that concentrate cities inside forms prescribed by law. The disappearance of void control leads to sprawling suburbs and exurbia. Only in a compact city does a subtractive urbanism work: shrinking and taking away, rather than adding and growing.
In the Gallery 4AM, we are testing a surface conceptually similar to the zoning envelopes of cities. It is an almost immaterial wrapper that nevertheless changes the homogeneous character of the exhibition space. It defines empty volumes and catches all the light sources on one of its sides. It creates a "lightscape" that reacts contextually to the white box of the gallery (fine arts) and to the black box of the previous intervention (performance arts) by inserting a sort of "light box" that can be crossed in a few points. The installation is an instrument, testing the reaction of the upcoming unpredictable interventions to the modified potential of the gallery space. It may start a fight for light.
Forms vs. Formations - the speed of information is melting the urban space. New interactive tools connect previously independent elements into formations adapting to constant change. What concepts, discovered within urban processes, may equal in importance previous discoveries in urban space? [...]
Peter Stec, "Dynamic Models of Cities," Era21 05 (2011): 16-19.
The facade of the La Tourette monastery in Evreux reenacts in a condensed plane the play of intensities throughout the building: a monastery where the structure and delimitation of spaces shows an inversed progression from dense cells at the top under the roof garden to light voids with sparse structure at the bottom, levitating over the ground.
Iannis Xenakis was working on the facade around the same time as he composed one of his early pieces, Metastasis, and a correspondence between both works can be found. The intriguing notation that can be seen in the conceptual sketches for the facade can be compared to his scores. In the drawings a continuous gradient becomes darker, then fades away for a length only to start abruptly again and to continue such pulses of strokes, as in the glissandi at the beginning and end of Metastasis. A directly musical notation of sound intensity from piano to forte is used on top of each floor drawing to translate the continuous variation of distances between panels. [...]
To be published...