Principles of Modern Housing and Urban Planning in the Works of the Architect Jozef Marek

Princípy moderného bývania a urbanizmu v diele architekta Josefa Mareka

Josef Marek was an architect of Czech origin who arrived in Slovakia in 1919 along with his colleagues – young architects who had studied in Prague. He began his professional activity in Bratislava in the newly established democratic state – the Czechoslovak Republic. At that time, architectural designs as well as the construction industry in Slovakia were not at the same level as in Bohemia. There was no independent school of architecture that could establish a national tradition. Therefore, Czech architects faced many problems – from enforcing new regulatory plans for Slovak towns to the application of a national architectural style. This eventually appeared in the work of Czech architects for only a short period of time during the first half of the 1920s. Josef Marek, a student of Jan Kotěra – the founder of modern architecture in Bohemia, was part of this complicated process and created a number of major works, including regulatory plans for several Slovak towns, the capital city, Bratislava, and Petržalka in Bratislava. Housing as well as city and municipal construction were the two areas he focussed on the most. After all, his apartment building Avion is one of the most significant buildings of the 1930s in Slovakia. The railway employee accommodation in Nové Mesto nad Váhom, on the other hand, is a typical example of employee housing where he was inspired by the work of his teachers – not only Jan Kotěra but also by the architecture of Dušan Jurkovič. Marek's work is thus an integral part of the interwar history of architecture in Slovakia.