Completion of the Academy of Performing Arts

The design of the building is based on the need to enlarge the premises of the University of Performing Arts in Bratislava.

The design of the building

The assignment defined the needs of the individual faculties of the school, where the most significant element of the extension is the premises of the Faculty of Theatre, the renamed Faculty of Film and Television and the Faculty of Music and Dance.

Project name Completion of the Academy of Performing Arts
Typology university, office
Location Bratislava, Slovakia
Year 2021
Status Competition, awarded design
Design team Ing.arch. Tomáš Dimun, Ing.Michaela Vatraľová, Ing.arch. Romana Maľová

Due to the large space requirements, we based the proposal on the possibility of connecting to vertical cores in the existing Theater Faculty, but if a separate core is needed in the newly designed building, this core can be applied within the layout. We considered it appropriate to build a building without internal cores and a separate entrance also due to the preservation of only two entrances to the VŠMU buildings from Svoradová Street, where each entrance is controlled. The forecourt of the building is designed in the form of public and semi-public areas, intended for meeting school students, formed by ramps, stairs and nets, suspended from the forward structure of the building and with climbing plants. The proposed object is considered (intended) as a reinforced concrete wall and column system, divided into seven modules in the longitudinal direction, where in the middle module on the ground floor there is an entrance to the car lift / auto stacker using a ramp. With its central position, this ramp divides the building’s forecourt into two parts, where we planned to enlarge the boarding areas for the Faculty of Theater and the Faculty of Film and Television. Students currently lack this common living space.

In the left part of the building’s ground floor, there is a leeward space that may serve several purposes. With its glazing, it can serve as an exhibition space for the promotion of performances even for a random passer-by, with its opening and access via a ramp, it can function as a separate entrance to the multifunctional hall during performances, where there will be no need to use the passage through the adjacent DF building, or it can also function as a stage for „street“ performances, where residential ramps and stairs in the forecourt will serve as an auditorium. All possibilities are enhanced by the windowless facade in the right part, where cladding made of red corrugated sheet metal or red polycarbonate boards and a red curtain made of thick rubber bands, functioning as a theater curtain, are used. The space also communicates with the existing public staircase from Zámocká street, and its extension creates an urban dialogue with it.

Due to the location of the DF and FTF building, we used the possibility of connecting the right corner of the proposed building to the entrance to the Film and Television Faculty, and the left corner remained recessed in relation to the Theater Faculty. Our intention was to give way to the ground floor, in order to create the above-mentioned forecourt and not disturb the street view. On the other floors, the main mass of the object in its right part is solved in an oblique position, due to the connection to the object FTF and DF. The left part is aligned in the floor plan with the raised mass of the Theater Faculty building. This division into a straight and an inclined parts, running along the height of the building up to the ceiling of the 4th and 5th floors, is stepped back and forms a roof terrace. In front of the slanted part of the facade, there is a projecting structure that aligns the mass of the object to one street level and at the same time creates terraces with cylindrical masses of polycarbonate, which serve for the staying of students and teachers in a covered exterior, or provide space for gathering and training.

These functions are connected to the left part of the building through an external steel staircase. This part of the proposed building has an all-glazed facade with a pre-set second facade, formed by harmonically opening components made of perforated sheet metal, serving as shading. The same division of the facade is also used on the courtyard view of the building, where the glazed facade is replaced by window fillings in a grid of modules, enhanced by projecting vertical and horizontal profiles. 1st and 2nd underground floors are also accessible from the ground floor using steel stairs, leading through the terraces, belonging to the premises of individual faculties and creating the possibility of staying in a covered exterior. The terraces were created by the retreat of the facade towards the inside of the building, and it is planned to cover them with nets in the vertical direction, where climbing greenery will be planted, which will at least partially filter out the view of the parking lot.

The individual floors of the building are functionally divided in such a way that there is space for one faculty on each floor. The need for higher clear heights and the connection to the DF object is solved with the help of an integrated lifting platform for the needs of barrier-free access, or ramps. We do not consider parking in front of the building to be adequate due to the disturbance of living spaces, therefore the capacity of parked cars in the 3rd  basement was increased to 26 with the help of a two-level car stacker, where the driver places the car in the car lift on the ground floor of the building and with the help of automatic control the car stacker places the vehicle in the given place and after being summoned, the vehicle will transport him back to the ground floor of the building. The underground garage is accessible by a new staircase from level at 2nd underground floor. This staircase is used to service the auto stacker technology.