This documentation compiled by photographer Hertha Hurnaus and architects Benjamin Konrad and Maik Novotny analyses buildings from the era of socialist late modernism in Eastern Europe – a style of architecture that marks a whole period of time when planning was obviously the product of a collective vision. Interviews with the most influential Slovakian architects of the time give the photographs a historical and personal context.
In Western European countries the idea of Slovakia is indistinct. Barely anyone can describe an image of Bratislava, one of Europe’s youngest capitals, not to mention its architecture and design. Today it is almost forgotten that Slovakia was one of the most innovative and progressive European countries in the field of architecture and technology from the 1920s to the 1960s. To promote awareness of the enormous potential of Slovakian architecture and design in Europe, a photographer and two architects took a journey to cover temporal as opposed to spatial distances. Most of their experiences and discoveries recorded in this book took place less than a day trip away from Vienna. What is important, however, is that each building the three have visited has opened a door to another era. They are time capsules and spaceships; they resemble aircraft that have just landed after an endless journey. Thus, the interiors dating from the 1960s and 1970s have remained unaltered, and appear now creepy and deserted. This aspect of the past once used to harbour the promise of a “tomorrow”, or even a time beyond that.