Considering the fact that the original “Alexander’s Alley”, built by the Beautification Association around 1904 in the historical centre of Kezmarok, has survived more than one turbulent century, we believe that there are several possibilities to revitalize this public space in a cultivated way for the benefit of the citizens and visitors of the town.
Mudr. Vojtech Alexander, who was born, lived and worked in Kezmarok for a long time, was a modern and timeless man for his time. In the field of radiology, he successfully experimented with the plasticity of the X-ray image in the form of spatial, 3D imaging. In our conceptual proposal we therefore present a contemporary view of this personality in the form of a project for the restoration and modification of the original green area with a tree avenue. The proposed solution includes the construction of an intimate museum building with its multifunctional use.
The overall concept is based on the wider context of the historic city centre and thus forms a natural part of it.
The initial study of the revitalization, consists of two interconnected levels.
The first is the intimate museum building itself, set on the edge of the tree lined avenue. The mission of the museum, is to present the available information about this important figure in a contemporary form of representation using the latest interactive technologies. By slightly elevating the building above the level of the adjacent roadway, we add an airiness to the architecture, using comfortable, wide stairs and ramps that are functionally centered on the adjacent terrace.
Typologically, it is an architecture of basic geometric character and modern means of expression. The designed water surface, as a symbol of the original oxbows of the Poprad River, underlines the coherent natural character of the solution. At the same time, this water surface connects and mirrors on one level the interior of the permanent exhibition with the exterior of the surrounding greenery. In a full view perspective from the interior, this offers the visitor a continuous view of the installation of the exterior art objects in the green area.
On the second level, we are making the avenue accessible to visitors in a natural way with a new central walkway, park landscaping with benches and indirect lighting. Along the entire length of the walkway, on one side, we propose the installation of art objects depicting enlargements of Vojtech Alexander’s original glass images, with an emphasis on their exceptional artistic value. The backlit large glass panels – City light, are accompanied by factual information about his life and work, including a textual selection from his poetry.
With this proposal, we offer the citizens of the city and its historic urban core, a modern revitalized territory, a relaxation area for all, a venue for small forms of cultural and social events, a meeting point for young people and an information and education point for visitors of the city.
As an equally important part of the concept, we consider a broad schematic overview of the topic. In the form of a geometric “Triagon”, we have created a logical spatial scheme in which, by simply linking the historically relevant and given points of the city centre, we have reached a natural structure of three spatially situated points with their culmination in a spatial fourth point that is so intrinsic to them.
Here, Vojtech Alexander’s relationship to the individual positions in the situation binds almost identically. Life and work, history and tradition, progressiveness and vision. All this, without a strong spirituality, seems almost unimaginable at the time.
Although the architectural proposal deals with a solution in the “Alley” locality, it is directly impossible to exclude from the concept the restoration of the original part of the small park in front of the evangelical church with the return of the “Svetlonoska” statue. The original historical installation of the statue was connected with Vojtech Alexander’s contribution to the electrification of the town. It is this historical epicentre of the city’s architecture, which is one of the most visited in terms of tourism, that deserves significant attention in the overall concept. A statue bringing light, as a symbol of modern times and progress with vision.