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Bratislava to turn erotic club into place for dining and culture

Bratislava to turn erotic club into place for dining and culture

The project is part of the renovation of Janko Kráľ Park, one of the oldest in Central Europe

The former erotic club in Bratislava’s Janko Kráľ Park, located along the Danube, will be converted into a modern place for gastronomy and culture, the Bratislava Metropolitan Institute has announced on its web page. The derelict building has marred the park’s appearance for many years. At the beginning of 2021, the Bratislava city council became sole owner of the building which cleared the way for its reconstruction.

Park’s renovation underway  

The project is part of the ongoing renovation of Janko Kráľ Park. Last summer, after a ten year hiatus, public toilets were restored, older trees were professionally treated, obsolete rubbish bins and benches were replaced (up to 200 new Prague-style benches were installed under the Bratislava Benches project).  

"Janko Kráľ Park is one of the oldest Central European parks and is also one of the protected monuments of the city. Throughout the year, we have managed to improve many things in the park so that this popular place for leisure activities meets everything that a modern 21st century park should have. Thanks to the new services that will be offered in the former building of the night salon, people will be able to spend an even more comfortable time with everything they need," said the Mayor of Bratislava, Matúš Vallo.

Caring new design

Ľubomír Závodný and Terra Florida from Studený Architekti and Architektonická kancelária studios will be responsible for the new design which will take into account the needs of the people, the architectural quality of the building and the uniqueness of the site. Both architects have experiences with reconstructing 20th century buildings.

The refurbished building will house a restaurant, a bistro and facilities for the Bratislava Cultural and Information Centre (BKIS), which organises cultural and leisure events in the park.

Frivolous changes to the original

The building, designed by architect Ferdinand Konček was inaugurated in 1982 when Slovakia was part of a communist federation with Czechia. Konček, one of the important Slovak architects, has left his mark in several landmark buildings in Bratislava, including the House of Trade Unions Istropolis and the Jur Hronec Gymnasium. His modernist work is characterized by elegance, freedom and generosity.

Originally, it was a multi-purpose building, providing restrooms for the park maintenance workers as well as a snack bar for the public. In the 1990s, the then private owner of the building undertook an unprofessional reconstruction, making frivolous changes to its appearance.

"Reconstruction in 1995 partially changed the external appearance, with the glazed areas reduced. Later, there were other unprofessional interventions in the facade, the most significant being the removal of ceramic tiles and the completion of external grilles. Therefore, we stated in the assignment that the restoration of the original solution of the facade and glazing towards the park is welcome, thanks to which the interior will be better connected with the exterior. We also place emphasis on the energetic concept of the building, where we will prefer the use of alternative sources," said Marcel Dzurilla, director of the urban development section of the Bratislava Metropolitan Institute.

The architectural study with visualizations will be completed by the end of the year. Then the project documentation for obtaining the needed permits will be fast-tracked to allow the public procurement process to start. The reconstruction works are expected to commence in 2022.

Living Places

The reconstruction of the former Zares building is part of the Living Places initiative, the aim of which is to modernize and improve neglected public spaces in Bratislava. A comprehensive urban-landscape-architectural competition will also be announced for the entire territory of the Janko Kráľ Park and Tyršovo nábrežie next year.

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