Rodina LIVING



Minds meet to weigh fate of Hotel Kyjev
7 years ago, Charlotte Arden, The Slovak Spectator

Minds meet to weigh fate of Hotel KyjevContemplating the end: architect Štefan Šlachta speaks about the Kyjev. James Ball
TWENTY international artists and architecture theorists took part in a site-specific symposium at Bratislava's icon of modernist architecture, the Hotel Kyjev, between April 4 and 13.

The project was the brainchild of the International Coffeeshop, an artist-run initiative dedicated to artistic collaborations that address art and politics throughout Europe.

The meeting's theme was entitled "End/Ending," which was particularly relevant considering that the Hotel Kyjev has been slated for demolition.

In late 2006, Lordship, a British-based real estate developer, unveiled the Centre Plaza project, a Sk5-billion plan to redevelop the entire area around Kamenné Square. According to Bratislavahotels.com, the project envisions two new hotels, office space, luxury apartments and a new home for the Tesco department store.

Lillian Fellmann, director of International Coffeeshop, arranged for the symposium's participants, who were mainly from Slovakia, Switzerland, the United States, Germany and Poland, to receive unprecedented access to the hotel's numerous unique architectural features.

"The Hotel Kyjev, aside from its beauty, is symbolic of the notion of ending," Fellmann told The Slovak Spectator. "Nobody knows what will happen to it, although its life is undoubtedly doomed and because of this, it is a fantastic location for our artists."

The opening reception for the week started with a lecture from Ivan Matušík, the Kyjev's architect and a vocal opponent of the demolition, who took guests on a tour of the area.

Each morning started in the uber-stylish Luna Bar with a so-called critical breakfast, a talk given by various international figures from the arts and architectural industry. Proponents of Slovakia's modernist movement, including architects Štefan Šlachta and Henrieta Moravčíková, head of the Docomomo modernist building conservation group, delivered impassioned speeches on the future of the Kyjev to a packed audience.

The remainder of the days were then left to the artists to create works that addressed the theme, with daily presentations that culminated in an exhibition on April 12.

Zurich-based artist Roland Roos spent the entire week inconspicuously restoring worn down parts of the hotel. Staff and guests walked by without batting an eyelid as he fixed and filled holes and repainted damaged areas.

Berlin-based performance artists Nicolas Galeazzi and Beatrice Fleischlin contributed by demonstrating a week in their life if they were 80. They began with daily presentations and ended with a full make-over that visually advanced their appearance. Their finale was a chilling "dance of the dead" in their hotel room.

Resident Slovak performance-party artist Eric Binder took a more anarchic approach to his presentation, using his personal experiences of the hotel as inspiration. He arrived in a battered white Mercedes Benz, stormed into the Luna bar, pulled out a guitar, and proceeded to sing-shout a profane English song, until a friend set his guitar alight.

The highlight of the week was soprano Maria Turnová, a close friend of Bratislava-based gallery owner Petra Feriancová, who performed sections of Verdi's La Traviata (including a scene she subtitled "Falling apart - The End is Inevitable") to tumultuous applause.

The closing show also included text and video projections, installations and sound pieces that filled the hotel's beautifully dingy interiors, beguiling some guests in the process.

Fellmann deserves a great deal of appreciation for putting this extremely impressive event together.
Meanwhile, Lordships's senior management has been tight lipped about how the Centre Plaza project is progressing, leaving it to forge ahead in a wave of muted controversy.



More articles

Compiled by Spectator staff

Compiled by Spectator staff
1 week ago

The eighth year of the CE.ZA.AR awards, organised by the Slovak Chamber of Architects, now knows its winners. The award ceremony took place on October 8 in the Old Town Hall.

Residential complex in New Town district receives zoning permit

Residential complex in New Town district receives zoning permit
2 weeks ago

New residential complex Residence Pri Mýte will be built in Bratislava’s New Town district. Situated between Račianska, Kominárska and Škultétyho Streets, it will offer four residential buildings together with 335 flats. The investor of the project, financial group Penta, will invest €34 million into construction, the SITA newswire reported.

Map shows green energy use

Map shows green energy use
3 weeks ago

NON-governmental organisations in cooperation with the European Union have created the Repowermap, a European map for promoting renewable energies and energy efficiency, the Magazin.reality.sme.sk website reported.

Slovakia hosts World Green Building Week

Slovakia hosts World Green Building Week
3 weeks ago

VARIOUS events focused on introducing projects in Slovakia that are constructed sustainably and are energy efficient take place between September 22 and 26 in Bratislava and Košice, as part of World Green Building Week. Slovakia is participating in the event for the third time.

Every sixth household expects better financial situation

Every sixth household expects better financial situation
1 month ago

EVERY sixth household in Slovakia expects its financial situation to improve in the following 12 months, with people planning to buy a new car, reconstruct their homes or build a new family house, an analysis of Poštová Banka showed. The report is based on Consumer Barometer III, carried out by the Slovak Statistics Office in July, the TASR newswire reported.

Demand for industrial real estate increases

Demand for industrial real estate increases
1 month ago

DEMAND for industrial real estate increased significantly in the second quarter of 2014. Customers were looking for altogether 48,205 square metres of space, which is 9.6 percent more than in the first three months of the year. When compared to 2Q 2013, demand rose even more notably: by 27.4 percent, the CBRE real estate consulting firm wrote in a press release.

Construction starts on Nové Šuty residential zone

Construction starts on Nové Šuty residential zone
1 month ago

CONSTRUCTION of the new Nové Šuty residential zone in Bratislava’s Vajnory borough began in mid-August. Slated for completion at the end of 2015, the development is to be built on a total area of nearly 12,000 square metres by construction firm Skanska SK.