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Canary flies to Eastern Europe

Milieu Architects set to deliver more sustainable 'Canary Wharf' in Bratislava

by Marko Minka 02 November 2009 Urban design
London studio of Milieu Architects has won a prestigious contract to deliver a masterplan for Pharos, a new super-scale business district with an estimated total investment of one billion euros. The business centre will be built by 2020 in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, near the national airport of Milan Rastislav Stefanik.

It is expected that Pharos will become Bratislava’s most powerful business hub, as well as offering opportunities for entertainment and relaxation. The place will consist of governmental and private business offices, shopping centres, green market square, the Central Boulevard, a multi-purposed conference hall, hotels, and lots of open public spaces.

Peter Lunter, the Project Architect, compared Bratislava’s plans for a new business district to London’s Canary Wharf.

“The disadvantage of gargantuan developments such as Canary Wharf is that they were designed by an architectural ethos of mono-functionality. They were intended to serve one purpose. They’re brittle and horribly inflexible, unable to accommodate any change. With this in mind, we had to ask ourselves what happens in the future, in next five, 10 or even 50 years and how our buildings can interact.”

However, inspiration is taken from the transport links of Canary Wharf and it is the transport infrastructure that lies in the heart of the Pharos’ project, says Mr Lunter.

“The project is closely tied to European Union’s plans for building The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) that wants to eliminate missing links and remove bottlenecks in the existing road and rail European network, to boost an employment and competitiveness within EEA. As such, it will take two minutes from Pharos to get to Bratislava airport, five minutes to reach Bratislava’s city centre and less than half hour to arrive to Vienna.”

Milieu Architects believes that thanks to its excellent location, an advanced convenient transport links and a sustainable design, Pharos has a potential to become the most significant business district in Eastern Europe. The project is receiving support from local authorities, and it’s anticipated that the construction will officially begin in mid-2011.

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