“Undignified rabbit pens slated for liquidation” is how Václav Havel used to describe paneláks, those pre-fabricated, pre-pressed low-cost concrete pannel buildings that are the most visible and constant reminder of the communist era. But the liquidation did not happen, and paneláks are still a way of life for more than a third of the Czech population.
During the socialist period, these buildings were emblematic of a modernist and collectivist endeavor, a desirable and desired accommodation aimed at resolving the endemic post-WWII housing shortage. Architecture then became a tool to vehicle a political ideology, a tool of state propaganda.
From the origins and utopia to the projected trajectories of these buildings’ future since their privatisation, this in-depth photographic project explores the close link between architecture and inhabitants, and documents the various divarications through archive images and drawings, collages, contemporary photographs, and audio testimonials. This project was published in the form of an e-book.