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
European commercial real estate investment volumes reached a record high of €312 billion in 2018. This represents a 0.3 percent increase on 2017, which was previously a record, when total investment volumes reached €311 billion, according to the latest data from leading global real estate advisor, CBRE.
Germany is the sixth European country in which the Slovak developer HB Reavis is active. In mid-February it announced two major acquisitions in Berlin and Dresden totalling 3.5 hectares. The announcement followed only a few days after media reported on the sale of some HB Reavis projects in the Czech Republic.
The oldest shopping mall in Bratislava, Polus City Center in Bratislava’s Nové Mesto borough, is undergoing major reconstruction. With an investment of €4 million euros, the interior and exterior of the shopping mall will undergo radical change.
The first of three residential towers of Sky Park, a project designed by the prominent Zaha Hadid Architect studio in Bratislava, reached its final height at the 31st above-ground floor at the end of last year. The other two towers will reach their final height during the first half of this year. Construction of the first of two office buildings and restoration of the historical heating plant known as Jurovičova Tepláreň are going on as well.
At the end of 2018, the offer of housing units in newly finished apartment buildings in Bratislava hit a low since 2002-2005, when this market started developing in Slovakia. This resulted in an increase of average prices of apartments.
The iconic building of the British retail chain Tesco department store in the centre of Bratislava has changed hands. The new owner of the building is the Mirage Shopping Center company of Žilina-based businessman George Trabelssie. Since 2016 the retail chain Tesco has sold five department stores across Slovakia. Trabelssie, who is close to former chair of the Slovak National Party (SNS) Ján Slota, acquired Tesco department stores also in Nitra and Žilina, the Hospodárske Noviny business daily reported. Tesco will continue to operate in the building on Kamenné Square as it will rent the premises.
The reconstruction of the Park Inn by Radisson Danube hotel in Bratislava has become the ugliest new building constructed between the years 2011 and 2018. As much as almost one third of 1002 participants in a survey organised by the website Trend Reality of the economic weekly Trend voted for it. The weekly launched the survey in early December. Its goal was to start a discussion and hold up a kind of mirror to developers.