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Bratislava - Southbank

2023 - current

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Studio Egret West and Snohetta, in a 50/50 collaboration, have been appointed to transform a key area of Bratislava’s Southbank.
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Studio Egret West and Snohetta, in a 50/50 collaboration, have been appointed to transform a key area of Bratislava’s Southbank.

Strategy

The site in Slovakia’s Capital City has proximity to the River Danube, the Historic City Centre and the Downtown area and is key to the City’s growth as a ‘City by the River’. Snohetta and Studio Egret West, with input from local practice Gro Architekti, will continue to shape, detail and develop a vision for a 210,000 sq m mixed use development.

The development will be a balanced mix of 48% residential and 52% workplace in a central campus with accompanying public realm and retail uses at the lower levels. This new neighbourhood will be interconnected with new and improved transport links and will have a strong focus on public realm and destination placemaking.

Location:
Bratislava, Slovakia
Client:
Penta Real Estate

Role:
Urban Design / Architecture / Landscape
Status:
2023 - current
Collaborators:
Concept Collage 2
Visual Concept Essay

Specificity

Working alongside Snohetta, our winning proposal was inspired by the natural landscapes formed along the River Danube. We asked ourselves if we could shape a place as though it had been sculpted by nature and carved by the elements. The result was a proposal of undulating ‘banks’ of accommodation and ‘bowls’ of nature and ecology. The focus is on five distinctive ‘bowls’, which are areas of public realm carved out of the raised level of the masterplan, each with a unique character and function that root our proposal in the ecology of the place. We envisage a multi layered landscape with a mix of uses animating a connecting boardwalk. The boardwalk will become a place where people promenade and a focus for the community of the Southbank, as well as a destination for visitors.

The ambition for all the residential buildings is to create a sustainable neighbourhood facilitating the needs of a diverse demographic. The residential buildings adjacent to the ‘Play Bowl’ and ‘Tranquillity Bowl’, fan out from the boardwalk maximising views towards the River Danube and Bratislava Old Town. The organically shaped, multiple aspect buildings enjoy generous terraces and wrap around balconies. The residential tower sits as a landmark within the scheme. At ground, there is the opportunity to create a community hub around the ‘Culture Bowl’ incorporating a theatre or flexible event space. We aim to make the top of the tower publicly accessible offering incredible 360 ° views of the city and beyond.

The office buildings form a family arranged around the ‘Forest Bowl’. The overall massing steps up from North to South to maximise natural daylighting and views towards Bratislava Old Town. From the highway side the forms define a symbolic “gateway”. The lower volumes and the plinths will be more earthy, natural and green and are mediating between landscape, nature and building. The higher parts of the towers will be more tech inspired and have façades that responds highly to orientation and solar gain, while at the same time generating electricity through integrated PV panels.”


Sketch Snohetta SEW Bratislava Landing copyright WAX
Aerial CGI Render Impression from the Apollo Bridge to the North WAX Architectural Visualizations

Sustainability

Nature is a key presence on this site, made apparent on our first site visit with Studio Egret West. The ‘bowls’ retain and enclose pockets of existing mature plants and trees, helping to create the sculpted landscape whilst also providing a sustainable urban drainage solution – making water a key aspect of the landscape design. Both the residential and office buildings have a multi-layered and staggered approach to their massing – as though they rise out of the undulating bowl landscape – shaped with nature. This multi-layered approach to the massing creates an infrastructure for plants and wild-life to flourish linking nature from ground floor to roof utilising integrated planters.

01
Aerial CGI Render Impression from North West
02
CGI render impression from within the ‘Culture Bowl’
03
CGI render impression from a connecting street looking towards the workspace campus
04
CGI render impression from within the ‘Play Bowl’
05
CGI render impression from within the ‘Tranquillity Bowl’
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CGI render impression from within the ‘Forest Bowl’
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CGI render impression from within the ‘Forest Bowl’
View 2 25 03 2
View from homes overlooking the Play Bowl and across to the River Danube
0435 Bratislava Southbank Landscape render plan
Phase 1 detail - Includes five residential buildings and one office building West of the Apollo Bridge.
0435 Play Bowl 231030
Sketch detail of the Play Bowl, located near the embankment. The first of five unique ‘character bowls’ each with their own identities, that utilise the existing terrain, maximise the preservation of existing mature trees and create focal points within the public realm.
0435 Play Bowl 231030 4
Flexible Central Event Space With day-time water play that can be switched off at night to provide space for evening events and activities, a cafe which can turn into a bar and a high level play area that can be turned into a viewing platform at night, this space is for all members of the Southbank community.
0435 Play Bowl 231030 5
Flexible Central Event Space With day-time water play that can be switched off at night to provide space for evening events and activities, a cafe which can turn into a bar and a high level play area that can be turned into a viewing platform at night, this space is for all members of the Southbank community.
Bratislava 2
Play Bowl - view through the ‘nature loop’ with a mix of existing characterful native trees with wildflower meadows, tumbled natural stone, weathered timber and soft gravel paths.
Bratislava 3
Play Bowl - view through into the central event space with the upper level circular walkway enclosing on of the largest existing mature trees.
Enscape 2024 03 08 17 14 36
Play Bowl - playful slides, nets and boulders make for exciting ways for children to explore the level changes throughout the play bowl.
Enscape 2024 03 08 17 16 05
Play Bowl - aerial view into the central event space - with timber play canopy mimicking the surrounding tree forms.

Awards

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