It is with deep sadness that we share the news that Professor Jiří Mareček (*3rd June 1930, †26th January 2024) died at the age of nearly 94 on Friday, 26th January. He was a great teacher, expert, and person, a legend in the field of garden and landscape architecture.
He was the director of the VÚKOZ research institute in Průhonice for many years and a professor at MENDELU in Lednice na Moravě. As the only Czech landscape architect, he was the recipient of the First Grade Medal for Merit, which he received from the President of the Republic on 28th October 2022, for his lifelong work in the field.
He also worked at our alma mater for a long time. He has done a lot for our university. He is the author of the landscape modifications of the CZU complex in Prague, where he developed the original urban and architectural concept of the complex from Prof. Dr. Ing. architect Jan Čejka. We can all come across his work every day and admire his feeling for combining the urban design and individual buildings of the campus with a brilliant composition of trees that connects the individual buildings into a harmonious landscape whole. He was also at the birth of study programs at our university that deal with garden and landscape architecture. His long-term effort resulted in the accreditation of the "Landscape Architecture" study program, which we can now teach at FAFNR CZU Prague. The news of his passing deeply affected all of us fortunate enough to know him personally. The Professor was an expert with unceasing energy who always spread optimism and enthusiasm for the field around him and thus inspired many generations of students.
I would very much like to share with you one of my personal experiences with the Professor, who was always able to capture the interest of virtually anyone who listened to his description of the principles of works of landscape architecture as well as their aesthetic, dendrological, and meaningful contexts. On one of the many foreign excursions to Western European parks that he led, our bus drivers had a mandatory rest break between trips. However, instead of going to sleep, both drivers followed the Professor and, with all the students and other participants of this excursion, listened intently to his charismatically led expert explanation about the park's beauty in question.
The last farewell to the Professor will take place on Friday, 2nd February 2024, at 11 a.m. in the Large Ceremonial Hall of the Crematorium in Prague-Strašnice.
Honour to your memory, Professor. Thank you.
Doc. Ing. Matouš Jebavý, Ph.D.
Head of the Department of Landscape Architecture
Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources CZU Prague