KCAP and Cityförster have entered a new phase of designing the new cultural district for Bratislava, Slovakia with particular attention to a new creative identity. The quarter will be transformed into a contemporary car-free neighbourhood featuring a concert and congress venue, a series of green and public spaces alongside places for living and working; becoming a new centrality in Bratislava’s urban system.
The Trnavské Mýto quarter in Bratislava is expected to undergo a fundamental change in the coming years. As winners of the international architectural competition held by site developer Immocap in 2019, the two architectural firms from Rotterdam, KCAP and Cityförster elaborate the masterplan, architecture, and landscape design to enhance the quarter's original function as a cultural and social hub; envisioned is a district where art, culture, and creativity will define a unique identity and form an integral part of everyday life. ‘The project wants to create an inspiring meeting place of different art forms and styles, strengthened by outstanding installations that create a festive atmosphere for this new urban living room, where culture and daily life come together,’ says Jeroen Dirckx, partner at KCAP.
The 97,000 sq m development connects culture, working, and living in an integrated ensemble, with the new multifunctional venue for concerts and conferences as the district's heart. Transforming the former location with a landmark building that opens to the city, New Istropolis is a highly adaptable cultural centre that can host a large variety of events, from rock concerts to classical music, sports or conferences. The challenging architectural project was developed with renowned theatre and concert hall experts Charcoalblue in the hopes of designing a venue with optimal acoustic responses, technical requirements, and cutting edge innovations.
The planners conceived New Istropolis as an extension of the city, as an open 'living room' for all citizens of Bratislava. The rich collection of art, materials, and craftsmanship of the former Istropolis complex will be preserved and will find a second lease of life in the new building. That means the re-use of original artworks as well as the circular use of materials, such as the marble facade of the existing hall and the tropical timber panelling, which makes for a more sustainable building and has materiality rooted in its location. The ambition is to receive the new Slovakian energy standard A0 and LEED Certificate for the office buildings.
Underlining the mixed-use strategy for Trnavské Mýto, a 100m high rise office tower will host several possibilities for contemporary working environments. Different floor plan sizes, larger than 2,000 sq m in the low rise and 1,000 sq m in the tower, atria, and outdoor terraces will guarantee flexibility for both concentrated and communicative work. The office buildings will be complemented with high-quality urban residences. The generous floor plates will offer a mix of apartments from studios to four-room family apartments and penthouses. Plenty of daylight, direct views of the Karpaty Mountains and the Bratislava Castle, and high-quality finish materials of the architecture will establish the residences of the Trnavské Mýto as a unique living environment in the city. A mixed programme of cafes, daycare and shops on the buildings' ground floor will contribute to a holistically developed and socially sustainable neighbourhood.
The urban design of the new district addresses the current fragmentation and traffic congestion of the site, paving the way for the Bratislava of tomorrow. By creating a high density neighbourhood next to the existing crucial tram and bus station and the planned redevelopment of the former railway station Filiálka, New Istropolis will become a vital hub and nodal point for Bratislava.Martin Sobota, Partner, Cityförster
The plan fosters the concept of a car-free creative quarter with special attention to cyclists, including bike storage. The project draws on the scale and urban block structure of Trnavské Mýto, reinforcing the quality of the boulevards and quiet residential spaces that are a signature of the surrounding neighbourhoods. Three new public spaces offer several sub-identities all connected by exceptional artworks. The Event Square becomes a natural extension of the multifunctional hall that can host collateral outdoor performances, and the Urban Square offers a platform for rotating art installations, amenities and cafés. The more quiet Courtyard with its playground is the ideal place to relax in the green.
With the long term vision for New Istropolis, Immocap is setting the agenda for a challenging urban renewal based on a unique combination of history, culture, mixed-use, and public space to create a lively and sustainable environment.