Updated 20. 5. 2015

On Saturday 16 May, two winning proposals from the International Landscape Competition within the European Capital of Culture Pilsen 2015 project were introduced in the defunct village of Výškovice in the former Sudeten area. The Czech team unveiled the winning land art installation and the German team presented an exhibition based on a survey among the citizens of Pilsen, Planá and Tachov in which the authors asked people’s opinion about how to deal with similar defunct villages in the border region. The vernissage in Výškovice was part of the international conference The Border Landscape: PEOPLE-EMOTIONS-LANDSCAPE-SOLUTIONS which took place on 14 & 15 May in Pilsen.

Výškovice – land art dílo českého týmu


Výškovice – svěcení stolu


Výškovice – německý tým – anketa


15 teams from Europe submitted applications to the competition called in 2014. An International Panel initially chose 5 teams and later, based on a shared workshop in Výškovice in September 2014, chose two winning proposals, a Czech and a German one. The Czech team of architects, Eva Wagnerová and Vít Rýpar, symbolically renovated the farmyard of the defunct estate in a land art installation.

“A place where a farm No. 1 used to stand was paved with flat stones from the ruined buildings around. The authors then placed a 5m x 1.5m wooden table in this space and created a stone-paved road leading to it. The symbolical gate to the farm was created with four newly-planted cherry trees which used to grow here before, according to period photographs,” describes the winning land art installation the architect Klára Salzmann who is the author of the whole project titled The Renewal of the Czech-German Border Region.

The authors of the work hope that the visitors to Výškovice will use the table to relax and also as a place where people can meet and organise festivities.

“This old, empty and derelict farm estate is a symbol of the history of Výškovice. It is a very powerful place. And for this reason, we decided to symbolically lay out the road again by which people used to arrive to the village and by which the last inhabitants left. We perceive the table as a basic family attribute of the estate’s owner, a symbol of inhabiting a place, hospitality”, said the architect Eva Wagnerová during the vernissage.

The German team of authors: Edgar Kaare, Stephanie Ritt, Oliver Engelmayer, Peter Boerboom and Carola Vogt form the architectonic studio Department for Public Appearances in collaboration with Irene Burkhardt Landscape Architects Urban Planners presented the results of a survey in which people expressed their ideas how to deal with similarly affected places in the landscape.

“The form of expression were flags in three colours. Each of them had a question printed on them: Leave it? (a blue flag), Preserve? (green), Renew? (yellow). In all the towns, the green and yellow colours won. The participating people wish to either preserve or renew the defunct villages,” commented Klára Salzmann on the survey results.

“Only the future will show whether this project starts new possibilities, ideas and specific actions,” the German team assessed the survey results.

Also the participants of the International Border Landscape Conference: PEOPLE-EMOTIONS-LANDSCAPE-SOLUTIONS, which took place on 14 & 15 May in Měšťanská Beseda in Pilsen, learned about the process of the project.

The general public can learn about the project and its two-year realisation through a travelling exhibition which was opened during the conference and will run until 28 May in Měšťanská Beseda. The next stop of this exhibition will be Munich, Germany, after that it will travel to the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen and then to other schools in the Czech Republic.

“The Renewal of the Czech-German Border Region project is only the beginning in efforts to open an international dialogue on “what to do next with the Sudeten landscape”. It appears that this is not the only project. It is a long-term process in which the most important role is played by people. It is clear that Výškovice is just the beginning of something much bigger which can transform the damaged and traumatised region. It is only up to us, people and our goodwill how the fate and values of this beautiful and remarkable landscape in the centre of Europe shall develop…,” said Nigel Thorne, a British landscape architect, in his summary of the conference and the vernissage.

Daniela Vítová

Press Service for Pilsen Media
+420 603 736 159

Ing. Klára Salzmann, PhD.

Landscape Architect
+420 724 749 086

About the project:

The International Landscape Competition was called in February 2014 by Pilsen 2015, under the auspices of The Czech Chamber of Architects, The International Federation of Landscape Architects, CIVILSCAPE – organisation supporting the implementation of the European Landscape Convention, The Federation of German Landscape Architects; the partner of the call was the township of Chodová Planá.

The event has been supported by the project Target 3, Czech Republic – Free State of Bavaria 2007 – 2013. The Bavarian partner of the event was Bayerischer Landsesverein für Heimatpflege e.V. (the Bavarian Association for the Homeland Care).


Updated 16. 5. 2015

Invitation for download in PDF (12 pages)


Registration form

The brochure for the conference PEOPLE – EMOTIONS – LANDSCAPE – SOLUTIONS (pdf)

Konference se koná v Měšťanské Besedě v Plzni.

První společenský večer 14. 5. v zahradách Kalikovského mlýna.

Druhý, neformální večer, se koná 15. 5. v Papírně.

Exkurze 16. 5. se koná ve Výškovicích u Chodové Plané, na oběd se přejíždí do Chodové Plané.

Parkovací místo v Plzni Rychtářka (mapy Google).

Článek na Plzen 2015