Yahia Barkaoui
École Nationale d'Architecture et d'Urbanisme (ENAU) Tunis

Project idea

Located in the heart of Bratislava, near the Danube river, the development of the project serves to revitalize the campus of Bratislava and to create a rich spatial experience for its users.
The development is focused mainly on linking the existing buildings with the project, associating it with the urban landscape, and foster a sense of community between its users.
The established five core concepts that underpin the project are :
-The linking element of the shapes in order to link the existing laboratories to the exhibition area
-the juxtaposition : The new tower is perfectly adjacent to the old building, not only does it use it as structural support, but they also work together in order to provide a new appealing urban scenery.
-The platforms that link the heavy laboratories with the exhibition area
-The usage of the university walls as a projection screen

Project description

The project started with setting the limits of the future project whereabouts, and then we proceeded to define the height of each building following each function. We took the decision to lift the project up, leaving the free spaces under this latter to be used as meeting spots in order to create a sense of place for all of the users of the building. We designed it keeping in mind to go upwards from the public functions to the more private ones.
The square part of the project consists of the research area, dedicated entirely to students, teachers, professionals and the public. It is highlighted with the presence of the circle form that mimics a well of light. Its function is mainly to enlighten the area but also to offer different sceneries on the lower levels, connecting the inside of the project to the outside.
The long catwalk in the middle is the exhibition area, where the visitor can enjoy a long and relaxing walk while looking at the different presentations available.
The tower offers an open perspective on the different urban spaces that the city provides. This openness strengthens the dialogue of this latter with the city by highlighting its massiveness and imposing structure that allows the viewers to emerge themselves with the landscape.
Not only does the tower links the university with all the main attractions of the city, but it also highlights the visibility, and thus the importance of STU in the urban scenery of Bratislava.

Technical information

We opted for an adaptive reuse of the existing building, while keeping the sustainability factor in mind. In order to achieve that, we plan to use the wood and the paper that’s already existent in all of the salvage materials that’s present in every campus worldwide. This will allow us to drastically negate the carbon footprint from all the transportation that’s needed in order to buy the construction materials. It will also allow us to shape the facades and the walls while using an eco-friendly material that was supposed to go to waste.
Sustainable design principles and innovative high performance environmental systems made all the design decisions gravitate towards an integrated, flexible, state-of-the-art community hub that serves as a plurifunctional research center.
We also plan to introduce an innovative external sunshade system which provides shade and privacy whilst geometrically connecting the new with the existing and giving the architecture of the new building a distinctive and unique character.
The architecture is embodies a simple form in a symbiotic relation with both the urban scenery and the geometric spaces and material of the existing building.
While the architecture is inviting and transparent, it is also to a degree ‘silent’ and bold. It offers a contrasting environment to the ‘noise’ of its urban context.