After a demanding three-year process of project preparation and permitting, 18 months of implementation itself followed, which transformed the previously neglected area into a quality public space with an area of 4,060 m2. The very concept of the central square was the main element in the urban design of the Compass architects studio, also thanks to which the design of this studio became the winner of the architectural-urban competition for the whole territory. "Our goal from the beginning of the project was to make the square especially a pleasant place for everyone, which corresponds to its scale and function. That's why we called in to help the most experienced from the markoandplacemakers studio, led by architect and urban planner Igor Marek, who is an expert in functional public spaces, ”explains Milan Murcko, CEO of YIT.
The four elements of the new square
Most of the paved area of the square is free to offer space for temporary events, markets or small cultural events. A smaller pocket park for business will provide space for outdoor work for employees of offices in Pradiarna and the surrounding area. The developer eliminated all traffic in the area by diverting it to an underground garage with a depth of up to four underground floors. He also built an underground roundabout in the garage, thanks to which the square can serve pedestrians and cyclists undisturbed. The main material used was high-quality stone mosaic paving, which was completed by special earthenware lines with historical references to the original former black factory.
Based on the recommendations of Igor Marek, an expert in public spaces, the developer finally chose one of several concepts called BALANCED Square, which is to sensitively provide space to several groups of people and connect it so that it is in balance. "The basic elements of the new square have therefore become the ground floor, greenery, water and art - four" elements "that will provide space for fun, shopping, work, refreshments, but also relaxation and a moment to slow down," adds senior project manager Pradiareň 1900 Stanislava Paulíková.
Although post-revolutionary architecture neglected this element in our country, it is gaining in importance again. It is a ground floor in contact with the street, which serves the inhabitants of the building and passers-by and thus opens the building towards people. More than 6,000 m2 of new retail space will be created within the area, which will provide space for up to 59 retail operations on the ground floor of the Pradiarna and ZWIRN residential buildings. This will create terraces for cafes, restaurants, shops and various services.
Even with regard to changing climatic conditions and rising urban temperatures, it is important to create as many natural elements as possible. The square thus brings 33 tall plane trees and also green micro-gardens.
Water also belongs to nature - a fountain with 85 nozzles and a fog that changes colors will be not only an interactive element, but on hot days especially a grateful source of refreshment.
The square near Pradiarna will bring a piece of art to the area. This should be an attractive tower element in the form of an artistically designed work, which will become a clear navigation element, a meeting place and another piece of the identity of this area. Its appearance will be presented to the public in the near future.
A unique community hub for cyclists
Occupancy of the building should exceed 80% by the end of September, with most tenants moving into their premises by the end of this year. Since the end of last year, the Pradiárna has served as the seat of the Slovak IT branch of Microsoft or BK, a.s., which deals with building reconstructions, fitouts and technical management of buildings. In addition to the first retail tenant, who became the popular MTBIKER bicycle shop, there will be another space for cyclists. The Isadore Community Hub of the Velitsov brothers combines a meeting place for a cycling community, a flagship store and offices.
"The choice of premises in Pradiarna 1900 is also a certain symbolism of values for the Isadore brand. Pradiareň 1900 is a historic building with a minimalist timeless design. Accordingly, we used sustainable materials such as wood and metal in the interior, and for most furniture, a special material made from recycled tetrapack packaging, ”explains Peter Velits, co-founder of the Isadore brand. In the community mushroom, cycling fans will be able to watch the races, meet on regular group rides, gather new knowledge and inspiration at workshops or watch how Martin and Peter Velitsovci manage to fight the coffee machine. In the flagship store, they will be able to see and try the latest collections and favorite pieces from previous seasons. In the end, Pradiarna also favored the location in favor of the choice of premises. "For us as a bicycle brand, it was crucial to be in a space that is easily accessible for cyclists. The barn with its square is a great place where the community of cyclists can meet and go on joint trips, "adds Peter Velits. His words are also confirmed by his participation in the very first joint cycling ride on the occasion of the opening of the cycling hub, which he will take part in on Saturday.