Mlynica, a former industrial building in Bratislava rebuilt into a multi-purpose building, is one of 40 projects shortlisted for the prestigious European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. The biennial competition is considered to be the most prestigious architectural award in Europe.
“More and more people see, feel and experience that architecture is no longer about self-reference, about doing the most chic and shiny thing. Instead, it is really about improving our lives and the way we live together,” said Angelika Fitz, one of members of the jury and
cultural theorist and director of the Architekturzentrum Wien, as cited by the organiser of the award Fundació Mies van der Rohe.
The seven-member jury have chosen works which highlight the opportunities and trends of today’s architecture in the European territory: adaptive reuse, housing and culture, the Fundació Mies van der Rohe wrote on its website.
The five finalists will be announced on February 13 and the award ceremony will take place on
May 7 in Barcelona.
Zuzana Moravčíková from Archinfo, a website dedicated to architecture in Slovakia, pointed out that candidates for the award are put forward by a broad group of independent experts from all over Europe, as well as from architect associations. A project must be nominated, it is not possible to enrol for the biennial competition. Last time no Slovak project was shortlisted for the award.
The Mlynica project in Bratislava’s borough of Nové Mesto is an excellent example of the successful conversion of an unused industrial building.
The Slovak-Austrian construction company Ise bought the building, which stands within the abandoned premises of a company producing construction materials, and engaged architects from the GutGut architectural studio.
“The investor’s basic idea was to create something other than traditional administrative architecture and to preserve the spirit of the industrial building,” said Lukáš Kordík, one of the architects who worked on the conversion of the building.
The design by GutGut builds on the contrast between old and new, highlighting the quality of the original building. With this approach it was necessary to get rid of unnecessary layers in order to emphasize the structural logic of the building and thus maximise the potential for its new use. The reconstruction transformed the former industrial complex used for purely technical production into a modern mixed-use building for cultural events, business presentations, administration and, in a lesser way, an open living plan.
Photo: Jana Liptáková
The new city district Bory, between the Small Carpathians and the Morava River in Bratislava, continues to grow. Its developer Penta Real Estates has announced two more phases to the residential area. After completion, the new district will feature offices, shops, parks and amenities including a kindergarten, besides housing.
Housing construction in recent years has lagged behind consumer demand in Slovakia. Not only were new apartments bought, but also older homes, whose prices were pushed higher by the acute shortage of new residential buildings.
Long-term manager and developer of logistics warehouses, P3 Logistic Parks, continues to record strong growth over the past 12 months. This has been driven, in part, by the boom in online demand, which has fuelled the need for strategically-located warehouses in Europe. P3’s customer base has grown by 20 percent, with customer retail share surpassing 30 percent for the first time in the company’s history.
Housing affordability in the Bratislava Region is the lowest compared to the remaining seven regions of Slovakia. This is true for employees with an average monthly wage of €1,360 and average prices of residential real estate. While the average wage in this region is 39 percent above the national average, the average price for one square metre of real estate is 117 percent higher than the average, specified VÚB bank analyst Andrej Arady.
Company owners are searching for more effective solutions for managing their companies. One of such solution is shared office space; as much as 80 percent of companies using this solution put cost reduction as the reason. This way they save especially on costs needed for acquisition of offices and rentals, as well as repair and maintenance costs, a survey conducted by International Workspace has confirmed.
Extensive reconstruction of Mlynské Nivy Street in Bratislava and construction of a brand new central bus station, including an adjacent high rise office building, are progressing. Currently almost 450 workers of various professions and 18 cranes are working on it, the biggest construction site in central Europe at 4.4 hectares large. The developer HB Reavis still promises to launch the new bus station in late 2020.
In the former industrial zone on Račianska Street in Bratislava, next to the Lidl retail store, stands an old brick smokestack and concrete beams. These are the remnants of a long defunct parquet factory. Developer Corwin plans to replace the remnants with Guthaus, a residential complex with a new vision for housing quality.