Design of New Istropolis Bratislava by KCAP and CITYFÖRSTER is progressing

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After the public project presentation earlier this month, KCAP and CITYFÖRSTER enter 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 state-of-the-art concert and congress venue, a series of green and public spaces alongside places for living and working. It becomes 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 m² 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 ambitious architectural project was developed with renowned theatre and concert hall experts Charcoalblue for a perfect acoustic response, technical requirements, and cutting-edge innovations.

The planners conceived New Istropolis as a seamless extension of the city, an open 'living room' for all citizens of Bratislava, well connected to the neighbourhood. 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 paneling, 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 100 m high-rise office tower will host several possibilities for contemporary working environments. Different floor plan sizes (larger than 2.000 m2 in the low-rise and 1.000 m2 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 floorplates will offer a mix of apartments from studios to 4-room family apartments and penthouses. Plenty of daylight, direct views to 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 program of cafes, daycare, and shops on the buildings' ground floor will contribute to a holistically developed and socially sustainable neighborhood.

‘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 neighborhood 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,’ says Martin Sobota, partner at 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, 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, together with the team KCAP and CITYFÖRSTER, the local architects PANTOGRAPH and Siebert+Talaš, and the theatre and concert hall experts Charcoalblue, for an ambitious urban renewal based on a unique combination of history, culture, mixed-use, and public space to create a lively and sustainable environment. 

Client Immocap Architects KCAP and CITYFÖRSTER, with local architects PANTOGRAP and Siebert+Talaš Theatre and acoustics consultants CHARCOALBLUE Program Multifunctional concert and congress hall, hotel, offices, residential, retail, community amenities, cafes and restaurants Visuals © Playtime Drawings © KCAP