Loft lovers and fans of industrial architecture don’t have much to look at in Brno, when it comes to renovations, new projects or former factories turned into places to live. Places that citizens of New York City often turn into apartments with cranes or beams left across their living rooms are practically non-existent in Brno (click on photos to enlarge them).
There are huge demolition works in progress now, just two blocks from my apartment, i.e. within ten-minute walking distance from downtown. It is fair to say that it was not a factory but rather an army facility. And it is a widely known fact that the pre-1989 Czechoslovak Army did not care about architecture. And neither did communists who did not hesitate to turn former monasteries, castles and fortresses into barracks that nobody cared of/about.
The place where this demolition is taking place will see a brand new project in a few years — one in which famous Czech architect Eva Jiricna participates. Apartments, offices, businesses and recreation and sports facilities should be there when the project is completed. Any renovation of the former buildings would allow MAYBE offices only. However, Brno city developers are trying to avoid projects that would remain dark and unoccupied at night. In other words, you don’t want two blocks east-to-west and two blocks north-to-south to accommodate firms only.
The loft target group does exist in this country, but the conditions are not suitable for it: there are ownership right problems, certificate of occupancy issues etc. Strangely, many lofts are renovated by construction development companies that sell the loft apartments to clients.