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

Furniture dealer changes face of commercial zone in Banská Bystrica

Furniture dealer changes face of commercial zone in Banská Bystrica
3 days ago

The second phase of the commercial zone Radvaň Park in the suburb of Banská Bystrica, central Slovakia, will have a new look as furniture dealer Asko plans to replace previously designed sport store Decathlon with its own premises.

Ministry launches second call for insulation grants

Ministry launches second call for insulation grants
1 week ago

Owners of family houses which are over 10 years old may apply for a grant for insulation until July 9, or until the planned limit of 500 applicants is achieved.

Jaguar Land Rover increases prices of real estate

Jaguar Land Rover increases prices of real estate
2 weeks ago

The forthcoming arrival of new automobile factory Jaguar Land Rover has increased prices of flats and houses in Nitra Region by about one-fifth year-on-year as people began to move to the area due job opportunities.

Sales within second phase of Stein2 launched

Sales within second phase of Stein2 launched
3 weeks ago

After the successful sale of two-thirds of flats in the first phase of the project, developer YIT Slovakia is offering 70 more flats in the block along Blumentálska Street starting in late-May.

Advantageous mortgages for the young more available

Advantageous mortgages for the young more available
1 month ago

Young people under 35 years who decide to buy property have a better chance obtaining a mortgage as the upper limit of income of applicants for advantageous mortgages increased in April.

Real estate prices grow fast in Slovakia

Real estate prices grow fast in Slovakia
1 month ago

House and apartment prices increased in 23 countries of the European Union in the end of 2015, with Slovakia being among 10 countries with the highest price increases.

J&T and HB Reavis join to revive Lido beach

J&T and HB Reavis join to revive Lido beach
1 month ago

Notable Slovak developers, J&T and HB Reavis, introduced the project Nové Lido (New Lido) based on a former beach of the Danube River popular in the last century.