Credit: Michal Palaščak and Helena Lukášová

Winning Design Selected For Tribute To Queen Eliška Rejčka in Mendlovo Namesti

An expert jury has selected the best proposal in a design competition for a monument to the life and work of Queen Eliška Rejčka. The basic layout of the proposal from Michal Palaščak and Helena Lukášová is of nine white blocks connected with a small orchard of almond trees. The design was awarded the 2nd prize in the architectural and art competition organised in cooperation with the Brno City Architect’s Office (KAM) and the City of Brno’s Department of Culture. The jury decided not to award a 1st prize. 

Queen Eliška Rejčka (1288-1335) was a Polish princess who by marriage became the queen-consort of both Poland and Bohemia. She spent the last 15 years of her life in Brno, during which time she established a monastery, church and hospital on Mendlovo namesti. She is buried in the square’s Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

Brno City Council discussed the results of the competition on Wednesday. The public will be able to see all 34 proposals at an exhibition in the Urban Center at the Old Town Hall, from the second half of May, or online here.

Credit: Michal Palaščak and Helena Lukášová.

“The selected public proposal will bring a green space providing a place to rest and pause in the busy city life,” said the Mayor of Brno, Markéta Vaňková. “The almond orchard is supposed to represent the spiritual dimension of the place, while the concrete blocks represent nine manuscripts made for the female Cistercian monastery.” 

Each of the blocks also carries a Latin word characterising the Czech and Polish queen Eliška Rejčka and revealing her rich and dramatic life. The whole proposal is a comprehensive redesign of the entire area between the Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Pekařská and the tram loop modified for the future, including ensuring accessibility from all sides. 

According to the designers Palaščak and Lukášová, the decision to avoid figurative sculptural rendering was important, as Queen Eliška Rejčka does not have a fixed iconographic form or attributes with which she would be depicted.

Credit: Michal Palaščak and Helena Lukášová.

“The proposal brings a conceptually sober and clearly thought out contribution to the solution of public space,” said Petr Bořecký, Brno city councillor for spatial planning and development, who was a member of the expert jury. “As jurors, we could well imagine the potential of its realisation in improving the quality of the place. The individual blocks of the artistic element have both a symbolic role and a practical function, it is possible to sit on them or lie in the shade of the almond tree. The proposal is also economical.” 

The architectural-artistic one-phase open project design competition for a tribute to Queen Eliška Rejčka in Staré Brno was launched on 3 November 2023. The deadline for submission of competition designs was set for 1 March 2024. The expert jury meeting took place on 14 March 2024.

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