IIt is a small village near Klatovy and is surrounded by five other even smaller villages which fall under the same municipality. The mayor takes us for a walk around his dominion and points out a couple of topics to focus on. It seems to us that there is no central square or anything of that sort in Bolešiny. The parking lot by the community center is quite new and has no significant impact on the life in the village. We feel the little park in front of the public school would deserve attention and are trying to find a solution in connecting the school park with the center. The paved area should be revitalized into a central square. Not having the central square in this village feels like having a body without the head. The mayor is clearly relieved that we have reopened this topic and we start working on proposals right after a collective discussion with the locals. Presentation of the actual layouts is taking place in front of the citizens and we get a direct feedback from the city council. We are slowly beginning to understand that the issue has been defined. It is difficult to reach an agreement but it is clear that something can be done at least. The die is cast – drawings are made! We sleep in the school garden and work in the gym…
With the ambition to spread the religion of architecture With the ambition to change the world a tiny bit, we set out on a scout adventure to pursue a good deed to a small village called Bolešiny. I was left curious and full of anticipation by the idea of leaving the comfort zone of our office for the unknown. It felt like leaving for a summer camp back in the days. It turned out I was not far from the truth. The contrast between our idealistic visions and the limitations of a remote village was emphasized by typical small-town scenarios: old smoke-filled pub, muddy pond, rusty football field located in the center and yet on the outskirts, bare functionalist design of the local aspiring grocery shop, and the almost tangible relations and interlinks among people. On the other hand, Bolešiny is a vivid place of communal elements which outgrow their own dimensions by the actual impact. Time flies at a different pace here and it takes a while for us to get used to it. Outdoor office, barbecues under the stars, long walks in the surrounding countryside, bending the schedule as we please… Work blends in with vacation. There is space for any kind of intervention. Reality, however, presents clear limits. Even the smallest change is quickly debated in the conservative environment of longestablished local meeting points. Any change feels like a big one and ideas quickly meet the wall of objections. It feels like a movie sometimes. We struggle to soften the perception of absolute fatality which locals show facing each new proposition. We rejoice with every constructive contribution to the debate. MAK is an amazing idea, a free impulse, a kick start for those willing to listen and change things. For those who do not share such spirit, ideas and stereotypes do not remain unopposed at least. Even if nothing is finalized, the asset of posing the challenge of changing perspectives and points of view is undeniable.
Petr Jašík, Adéla Kyselová – guests colleagues
Allow me to give a modest feedback on the MAK 2014 project which took place in our village in August. Given that the community was in the middle of finalizing a new local plan at that time, the suggestions from MAK were a very valuable and most appreciated contribution which primarily helped to encourage the locals in sharing and providing ideas. The MAK team sensibly motivated the citizens, which was demonstrated in high participation in communal meetings about public space solutions. It was the fusion of the presence and the past that gave birth to the ever so unique urbanistic solution of our central square. Right now, it is a rather cold and unattractive place. Hopefully, after resolving all utilities – water, sewage, public lighting and underground low-voltage connection, we will be able to add some gloss to this key area of our public space. So far, we have finished the water systems, public lighting and underground connections, sewage systems and the disposal plant are on the agenda for the upcoming year. Wish us luck. I remember with pleasure the time of your stay and your activities in our village. It was definitely an asset to our community. Warm regards,
Ing.Josef Sommer – Bolešiny mayor