BRAND NEW CULTURAL AND CONGRESS CENTRE IN BRATISLAVA
Istropolis, the former Trade Union House in Bratislava is expected to undergo a fundamental change in the coming years, but its original function as a cultural and social centre will remain a priority. Inspiring urbanism, a high-quality public space and culture are the main visions of KCAP, which is behind the architecture of the new Istropolis. The congress centre was recently selected as a COVID-19 testing centre.
“The new Istropolis will be a venue for various multi-genre events, even those that have never been held in Bratislava yet”
Dutch studio KCAP is the winner of the international architectural competition initiated by Immocap, the owner of the land under and around the Trade Union House at Trnavské mýto.
The first part of the tender addressed 32 studios from Slovakia and Europe, from which seven international architectural studios got into the first round. In the competition, Immocap looked especially for an inventive urban solution with regards to the recovery of the cultural and social function and the revitalisation of public space, whose potential is currently neglected.
The former congress centre of the communist regime, which later also served social purposes, has fallen into disrepair for decades without any investment in its operation. The building and the adjacent public space do not meet current quality and safety requirements. Interest in its use has also declined significantly on the part of event organizers, resulting in a decrease in usability to less than 10% and an operating loss of more than EUR 100,000 per year.
A comprehensive audit of the premises revealed that almost all technologies are over their lifetime, there is no air conditioning, ventilation is not working and the original generous interior solution with huge demands on the operation is uneconomical and does not meet today’s standards. Usability of the main hall is insufficient, its fixed seating arrangement is intended only for a certain type of events that limit it in the offer of cultural events in our capital, demand for which is constantly growing.
The project is currently in the second preparatory phase, when the investor, together with KCAP architectural studio and experts from the relevant areas, are working on a more specific form of the territory, based on a number of detailed analyses, audits and studies, which over the past one and a half years examined the cultural and social needs of our capital.
“Bratislava breathes with vitality and ambition, which creates an exciting work context for us. It follows the tradition of experimental and visionary architecture alongside more familiar historical aspects, which opens up the potential for an interesting dialogue. Together with a client who has an ambition and is willing to change social conventions, we can create architecture and urbanism that can serve as an example of future development of the city and achieve something truly exceptional,” added Jeroen Dirckx.