Spiritual centre Fláje with the church of St. John the Baptist

by Barbora Klusáková from Faculty of Architecture, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic
Tutored by: Prof. Ing. Arch. Akad. Arch. Václav Girsa

Author comments:

The task of the project was to transform surroundings of water dam Fláje and bring life into this monumental technical marvel close to the border of the Czech Republic and Germany. Almost no one lives in the area around the dam, which is a consequence of the expulsion of German population of Sudety after the World War II and also the flooding of the valley. The dam is surrounded by highlands with deep woods which gives it a big potential for touristic activities.

The main topic of the project is a design of a centre for education and cooperation of professions focusing on the soul aspect of man – priests, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, etc. There is no such spiritual center under the auspices of state in the Czech Republic nowadays. Part of the project is an underground Via Crucis with a new church of St. John the Baptist, a connection to the flooded village Fláje and its former church. In addition there is a commercial use: information centre, restaurant, outdoor seatings and excursion to the water dam.

New building of the center follows the shape of the dam and creates a non-violent connection to the terrain. The mass of the building is based on basic geometry - intersection of cylinder and cone. It also includes new entrance to the bowels of the colossal dam. For the outside look structured concrete was chosen.

New Fláje komplex connects secular and spiritual human needs, it revitalizes this place both materially and symbolically.

Tutor comments:

The diploma project of Barbora Klusáková was created in design studio focused on historical preservation. In the design process we put a major emphasis on sensitive approach to cultural heritage. In her project Barbora Klusáková demonstrated understanding and positive relationship to the values of previous generations with capability and creativity of a well educated architect. Her solution of bringing life to this abandoned place is aware of these values within the context of significant and unrepeatable atmosphere of this unique locality.
With respect to the remarkable technical monument - water dam Fláje - we consider the project of spiritual centre Fláje as a greatly conceived and successfuly designed new building for both its invention and contextuality.

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