Visions of Housing
Kroha’s vision for the future sustainable housing concerned above all the socially underprivileged group. That is why he began together with his students to analyze the former Czechoslovak society from the sociological, typological, and economic viewpoints. His works, entitled as “The Sociological Housing Fragment” (89 collages) appeared between 1930-1933 and “The Economic Housing Fragment” (137 collages) in 1934. These were studies of contemporary towns encompassing not only the problems of hygiene but also of energy, recreation and residential areas. Photomontage images, color designs, graphs and statistics were conveyed in a clear and easy to understand manner in order to inform the general public about the issues to be resolved in the society.
Within the period of 1934 till 1965, Kroha issued “The Humanist Housing Fragment” (54 collages) that focused on the upcoming higher demand for the residential housing. In these pages he tried to deal with cultural and biological as well as psychological aspects of individual and family activities. In his views, “dynamic” apartments had multiple extended and reduced possibilities such as multimedia projections, built-in furniture etc. In 1970 Kroha continued his Fragments in the form of his vision how to construct the public apartment houses with 20 to 40 floors with green areas inside of them. He referred to this project as “Grid Houses.”
In Kroha’s own words, his “Fragments” pointed out the persistent problems of the public housing in 1934, and contributed to his persecution. He was suspended from his teaching duties as professor and sentenced to the three-month prison term. The international campaign for his release was organized and supported (and the memorandum signed) by P. Chareau, A. Jeanneret, F. Jourdain, Le Corbusier, A. Lurcat, R. Mallet-Stevens, P. Paul, A. Perret and A. Derveaux.