istropolis_bratislava
Photo Credit: KCAP

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.

istropolis_bratislava
Photo Credit: KCAP

“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.

The new multifunctional hall enables Istropolis to meet Bratislava’s real needs and leverage the potential of Trnavské mýto, and will foster cultural and congress tourism. New Istropolis offers the capacity to host various events simultaneously, such as acoustic, rock, jazz, pop concerts, numerous events and cultural events, and conferences and congresses of all sizes. The hall will be able to hold three different events simultaneously and have a maximum capacity of 3000 seats and 5000 combined seats for sitting and standing. The unique in-the-round seating configuration brings the audience close to the stage, creating a sense of intimacy and connection with the performers.

In addition to renowned architects, the developer also invited to the project a world leader in the consulting and design of concert and congress halls. Charcoalblue studio’s involvement is a guarantee that New Istropolis will provide the best technical conditions for performers and outstanding cultural experiences for visitors.

istropolis_bratislava
Photo Credit: KCAP

“KCAP is one of the absolute leaders of urbanism and architecture in Europe, but for us, their way of thinking about the urban space and the challenges of this important location at Trnavské mýto was important in particular,” said Martin Šramko, Immocap CEO.

“We entered into the project with the ambition to bring to Bratislava a modern, multifunctional cultural and social centre with a capacity significantly larger than the current one, and with this intention, we are continuing our preparatory works. The new Istropolis will be a venue for various multi-genre events, even those that have never been held in Bratislava yet, thanks to the flexible layout and the cutting-edge technical and acoustic equipment. After years of absence, the people of Bratislava will be given a magnificent cultural venue to be proud of, ”
added Martin Šramko.

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.

istropolis_bratislava
Photo Credit: KCAP

“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.

This article was implemented with the financial support of the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic.

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