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Chalupkova District: From Abandoned Area to Vibrant Urban Hub

Urban Oasis, Bratislava, SI / Stefano Boeri Architetti

Stefano Boeri Architetti

Italian firm Stefano Boeri Architetti has won a global contest to rejuvenate a three-hectare ex-industrial area in central Bratislava. Referred to as the Chalupkova district, this zone has been overlooked for a while despite its strategic position close to the old town and the Danube. Nevertheless, with the successful implementation of the “Urban Oasis” blueprint, this abandoned area is set to undergo a remarkable metamorphosis into a dynamic urban hub, featuring modern architectural designs and a rejuvenated cityscape.

The “Urban Oasis” masterplan, designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti, emerged as the winner of the competition announced by Penta Real Estate at the end of the previous year. This winning concept proposes the development of a new central hub for the city, aiming to revitalize the dynamics of the strategic district of Bratislava. The centerpiece of this plan is the establishment of a vast public park, encompassing a skyscraper and four medium-density buildings that will offer 1,300 apartments. These residential units will cater to a diverse range of users, providing a variety of housing options in terms of size and layout.

In comparison to the proposals put forth by other renowned international architecture firms such as BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Gensler, MAD Architects, and MVRDV, the Jury acknowledged the distinctive quality of the Stefano Boeri Architetti project. The Jury particularly appreciated the project’s embrace of a “European matrix,” which involves the integration of traditional stone and brick facades with abundant greenery. This approach creates a harmonious blend of architectural heritage and natural elements, all centered around the expansive public park.

Urban Oasis, Bratislava, SI / Stefano Boeri Architetti

“The Urban Oasis project brings a new and innovative residential neighbourhood built around a large public park with high plant biodiversity to a dynamic city and a country that is winning the challenge of integration in Europe. Presenting itself as a new central area for Bratislava that is open and welcoming to the flows of everyday life, the Urban Oasis best represents the challenges of the contemporary urban world without forgetting the Central European architectural tradition” says architectStefano Boeri, who adds “Thanks to the Urban Oasis, Bratislava will be taking a step forward towards the model of the Archipelago metropolis: in other words, a city in which the different neighbourhoods are nuclei of clean energy production, featuring that variety of functions and inhabitants that is typical of European cities combined with living nature in the form of plants and trees at the centre and on the facades of the buildings.”

Urban Oasis, Bratislava, SI / Stefano Boeri Architetti

“As part of the Urban Oasis project we have worked on how to generate architectural quality in a former industrial urban area undergoing considerable transformation. We have looked at how to optimize direct natural light while at the same time offering protection from wind and noise pollution and also at how to enhance the accessibility and usability of the park, while at the same time maintaining its character as a ‘secret garden’. We also considered how to transform it not only into a flexible and high quality public space, but also an important element for regulating the microclimate, humidity and the urban heat island effect. We are very satisfied with the project and believe that it can truly represent added value for the city, the district and all the inhabitants” comments architect Pietro Chiodi, Stefano Boeri Architetti Partner.

Urban Oasis, Bratislava, SI / Stefano Boeri Architetti

Set in a strategic location within the masterplan and the surrounding neighborhood, the tower will serve as a prominent landmark in Bratislava, offering an unparalleled panoramic view of the city. In contrast, the other buildings within the vicinity have been meticulously designed to optimize the ingress of natural light into the park, each boasting varying heights. Additionally, these structures will incorporate terraces and green roofs, providing recreational spaces accessible to the community. By fostering a harmonious relationship between the park and the residential areas, the commercial spaces and public services will further enhance the overall ambiance.

The facades of the buildings exhibit a remarkable level of diversity, aligning with the dynamic nature of the neighborhood. These facades feature a series of irregular geometries and undulations, intentionally crafted to disrupt the concentration of sound waves. Rather than transmitting sound directly through the buildings, these design elements disperse and weaken the noise. Along the bustling streets, the facades are equipped with loggias, offering increased protection against both sound and the strong winds commonly experienced in Bratislava. Conversely, the facades facing the park incorporate balconies, providing a more open and inviting atmosphere.

Urban Oasis, Bratislava, SI / Stefano Boeri Architetti

The integration of nature is a pivotal aspect of this project, contributing to the enhancement of local biodiversity and optimizing the ecological benefits of urban forestry. This is achieved through the incorporation of plants on terraces and green roofs, as well as the establishment of a green ring surrounding the entire perimeter of the project. Acting as a buffer between the residences and the road, this green ring, in conjunction with the park, acts as a natural filter, absorbing sound and reducing noise pollution in the surrounding environment.

Thanks to the predominant role of pedestrian areas and cycle paths within the park, the project significantly promotes sustainable mobility over the use of cars to enhance the quality of life in the neighborhood. The path winds through green areas and connects all ground floors, encouraging residents to walk or cycle instead of drive.

Urban Oasis, Bratislava, SI / Stefano Boeri Architetti

In addition to promoting sustainable transportation, the project also aims to reduce the neighborhood’s environmental impact by installing solar panels on the roofs of buildings. These panels cover an area of approximately 4,600m2 and contribute to the neighborhood’s energy needs by producing renewable energy. Furthermore, urban drainage systems are included in the project to manage water runoff through green roofs, permeable pavements, rainwater collection, and management basins.

The construction of the first residential phase is scheduled to commence in 2026, pending the progress of the authorization process. Subsequent phases of the project will be implemented after the successful completion of the ongoing modification of the territorial plan. The project will be carried out in four phases, with an estimated completion time of approximately ten years.