Finalist of the category:
Outstanding Academic

Pavel Gregor

Restoration of architectural heritage

As important as what you tell your students is how you do it.

There are many historically valuable buildings that have been forgotten and neglected, or they are destroyed by inappropriate interventions by builders. Many are in danger of extinction. It is the rescue of architectural monuments that prof. Ing. arch. Pavel Gregor, PhD. dedicated his professional life to. He works at the Institute of History and Theory of Architecture and Monument Restoration of the Faculty of Architecture and Design of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, and is also the dean of the faculty and president of the national committee of the International Council for Monuments and Sites ICOMOS.

Monument restoration is very closely connected to science and research. Pavel Gregor, as an active architect, uses the results and knowledges of the monument research. At the same time, as a theorist and methodologist, he also participates in the research. "Architecture is a special combination of science and art, which makes it all the more interesting for me. I am devoted to the creative aspect of architecture, as well as to the theory of monument restoration, i.e. the methodology of restoration and presentation of cultural and historical values, "says Pavel Gregor, adding that we all encounter the outcomes of scientific research of this type in everyday life, or as part of the cultural and historical environment that form us.

According to him, the mission of universities is primarily the development of the educated part of society. The role of a university professor is to pass on the latest knowledge from their field. In this respect, personal experience, based on one's own scientific research or artistic activity, plays an irreplaceable role. Without it, a student does not have to believe their professor at all. That is why it is important for a university professor to do science as well.

"In almost forty years of my pedagogical work, I have learned that the most difficult part is to arise students’ interest. I still remember the experience of my very first lecture. I had prepared it intensively for two weeks convinced that it would be an excellent lecture, filled with facts, knowledge and coherence. However, the result was students' lack of interest, almost no feedback, and realisation that just as important, if not more, than what you tell them is how you say it. This has been validated to me to an even greater extent now in the time of distance learning, when the professor communicates only through static images with initials of students on the screen, "says Pavel Gregor.

The condition for arousing students' interest in the subject is that they see and understand its meaning and practical use in practice. As Pavel Gregor points out, he was lucky to be able to participate in the birth and development of the branch of the former Faculty of Architecture SVŠT in Banská Štiavnica, today known as the Faculty of Architecture and Design. The historic building in the town centre was restored by more than 400 students, who contributed to its rescue. Today, this building is home to the Scientific Research Centre for the Restoration of the Architectural Heritage and Art Education ARCHA, which Pavel Gregor founded in this historic town.

Professors and students thus have the opportunity to continue the work of their predecessors of Slovak architecture who documented the facades of historic buildings in Banská Štiavnica directly in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This place is the venue of the 11th year of the Autumn University of Architecture, an international multidisciplinary workshop that helps students learn to work in a scientific team. "Today, I also use the experience from constructing this place in my role as the dean of the faculty, where I initiated the establishment of the Creative Centre, in which students can develop their scientific research and artistic activities. It is a platform for informal meetings, networking and the like, "adds Pavel Gregor.