Rodina LIVING



Minds meet to weigh fate of Hotel Kyjev
NA, 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

Flexible flats become new standard of development projects

Flexible flats become new standard of development projects
3 days ago

The flexible form of flats is becoming more attractive for people. They can design their dwelling themselves and adjust it to their own needs and concepts, almost as if they were designing a family house. Developers thus offer the possibility to their clients to individualise their future housing more often, the TASR newswire reported.

Central awarded the LEED silver medal

Central awarded the LEED silver medal
1 week ago

Bratislava’s shopping centre Central was awarded the silver medal of the internationally acclaimed rating system Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). It is granted by the non-profit organisation U.S. Green Building Council.

Slovakia saw record volume of investment transactions in 2014

Slovakia saw record volume of investment transactions in 2014
2 weeks ago

Slovakia’s commercial real estate market registered record activity in 2014. The volume of investment transactions amounted to about €562 million, which is twice as high as last year. This stems from the survey carried out by the Colliers International consulting firm.

Twin City gets first prominent tenant

Twin City gets first prominent tenant
3 weeks ago

Swiss reinsurance company Swiss Re will use nearly one whole building in the Twin City project in Bratislava which is currently under construction. It rented the space for 10 years from the company HB Reavis which is building the complex near the capital’s main bus station.

Industrial park close to Senec is nearly full

Industrial park close to Senec is nearly full
1 month ago

Of spaces offered within the recently finished Building 7B in the Prologis Park Bratislava, only 1,000 square metres remain available. The company announced it has signed two new lease agreements totalling 13,700 square metres at the park.

Rents of flats in Bratislava down

Rents of flats in Bratislava down
1 month ago

THE PRICE for letting of flats in Bratislava dropped significantly compared to last year. The main reason was the falling prices of energies, the Bencont Investment analysis showed.

Activists launch petition against high-rise on Šancová

Activists launch petition against high-rise on Šancová
1 month ago

A group of activists launched a petition against a high-rise which should be built on Šancová Street in the capital’s Old Town district. They call on the investor to decrease the number of storeys from a planned 23 to eight as was originally designed, the TASR newswire reported.