Railway and industry in the urban planning of Bratislava (Pressburg) in the 20th century
By Katarína Haberlandová
The paper focuses on the construction of railways in Bratislava (before 1918 Pressburg, Pozsony, Prešporok), which was a factor determining the concentration of industrial areas along the railway line, especially on the periphery, but also near railway stations situated on the edge of the current central part of the city. It also analyzes the issue of railways in the city – initially helpful, but gradually hindering its further development.
The idea of connecting Bratislava with Vienna arose in the first half of the 19th century. However, the connection of Bratislava to the steam railway at the border with Austria was unrealistic at that time. Although horse railways were considered archaic in Europe at the time, it was decided such a railway would be built in Bratislava to help with development of the trade in the region. The routing of the railway track and locations of stations were based on several basic tasks – transporting soldiers, horses, commodities and the civilian population. The railway was to connect the city center and the river bank with the port and the industrial district in Mlynské Nivy, with the prospective industrial periphery and towards the wine-growing towns of Rača, Svätý Jur, Pezinok and Modra, through Trnava to Sereď.
The original plan was to connect the Danube port in Bratislava with the port in Sereď. In Bratislava, the railway had a departure station at the inn U zeleného stromu (now the Carlton Hotel) and another station near Trnavské mýto (Bratislava – Blumental station) at the intersection of Krížna and Legionárska streets, from where it continued along Račianska street out of the town. The station, from which the first horse railway train set off in 1840, was designed by the builder Ignác Feigler. The whole railway to Sereď was in full operation since 1846.
At the same time, the idea to build steam traction from Austria persisted. It was successfully completed in 1848, when the first steam train arrived in Bratislava (Pressburg) at the station in Šancová Street. The horse railway was converted to steam in 1873. In this period, factories began to be established near the Bratislava-Blumental station – the Stein brewery and the Ludwig’s mill. The historical cattle market was located at Trnavské mýto too. Therefore, the construction of a modern slaughterhouse was planned in that location, but its premises were completed much later – in 1925 (by the Pittel and Brauswetter company) in Miletičova street. Since the 1870s, also the oldest industrial district in Mlynské Nivy has developed, although at the time, it was not considered the most suitable area for the construction of industrial enterprises. Nevertheless, the largest factories in the city were gradually built there – the Kablo factory, or the Apollo mineral oil refinery.
The station in Šancová Street, where trains from Vienna initially came, could not be connected to the line to Nové Zámky and Pest. Therefore, the construction of the main station began nearby, but the terrain was difficult and it was in a bend. This location of the station was criticized and before long, architects dealing with the regulatory issue came up with the idea of moving the main railway station to the east. Antal Palóczi, the author of regulatory plan (1917), also supported the idea and suggested that the station be relocated. An interesting aspect of his plan was also the construction of an industrial water canal leading from the Danube port to the northeast, where it was to be connected to the Váh river. However, this daring vision, as well as the relocation of the station, were not implemented.
Architects Alois Balán and Jiří Grossmann worked on the design of the station, as well as the design of the area in front of the station, in the interwar period. Despite the fact that the Directorate of Railways was working on the conditions for the reconstruction of the existing station and the railway issue was the main topic of the regulatory competition in 1929, these proposals were not put into practice. Respectively, in the 1930s, there was an initiative to modernize the main station, but this renovation took place later – during World War II – based on the projects of architect Anton Parkman. However, the architecture has been only formally commented on, as it was mainly a question of removing historical elements from the facades of the station building. Plans for the reconstruction of the station and the station area from the 1960s by Ján Baránek and Vojtech Fifík were also not implemented. The same happened at the end of 1980s, when the competition was held again, and the authors of the winning proposal were Karol Hoffmann, Gabriel Koczkáš and Alfréd Rajnica and in 2001, when the competition concerning the reconstruction of the area in front of the station was won by the architecture studio BKPŠ. Eventually, temporary extension of the station building was built in 1990.
The construction of railway stations and the construction of railway lines are processes that accompany the urbanization of cities, and they have occurred in Bratislava since the middle of the 19th century. The railway line, bringing with it the construction of factories, was an important element not only for transport flows of commodities, but also as an urban formation factor. After 1900, the railway, as one of the main attributes of modernization, gradually became a barrier to the development of other types of transport and the construction of new residential structures. It became evident, repeatedly, that the city would develop mainly to the northeast. The presence of railways initially helped this development – it combined the interest of the predominant cargo transport with passenger transport. Later, these two types of transport separated, while passenger rail transport, unlike cargo, was still tolerated in the city. Town planning concepts, which addressed the relocation of the main station and the displacement of railway lines from the city, were only partially realized. They were never implemented as a comprehensive task.
From sport to commercialism: History of planning and construction of buildings for sport in Bratislava
By Laura Krišteková Pastoreková
The development of modern sports in the former Hungary began in the middle of the 19th century. One of the oldest sports in Bratislava is horse racing, which was organized in Petržalka as early as in 1826. In 1839, Bratislava residents founded the Horse Racing Association, and gradually various other sports and physical education associations began to emerge. Both in the city and on its outskirts, several sports grounds were created, large and small, although most of them were only minor landscaping creations or temporary wooden stands. The first regulatory plans did not yet account for this typology, and the sport and recreational function was provided for mainly through the design of city parks, gardens and other green areas.
More significant development of sports in Europe, as well as in Czechoslovakia, began after the end of the First World War. Even in this period, architects and urban planners in Bratislava identified with the idea of developing sports facilities near the Danube on the right bank of the river, but several of them were already considering the creation of another sports center in the eastern part of the city. The visions of the transformation of Petržalka into a sports center of Bratislava in the newly established Czechoslovakia were thus even more significantly reflected in its construction development. From 1923 until the beginning of the Second World War, several important sports facilities and grounds in the waterfront zone were realized, such as a football field and tennis courts for the ŠK Bratislava club, the Lido natural outdoor swimming pool and two rowing club buildings.
After the annexation of the right bank of the Danube and the Devin forests by the Nazi Germany, Bratislava lost most of its recreational areas and almost all sports grounds. The city council designated the location of Tehelné pole for their new construction, where a large summer swimming pool had already been under construction since 1938. In addition, this flat area was still sparsely built-up and relatively well accessible from the center. Before long, therefore, they started the construction of the so-called all-sports stadium, open-air artificial ice rink, tennis courts and the Stadium of the German Physical Education and Sports Association. During this period, the city also planned to build several swimming pools in other parts of the city, but due to the war events, these plans were not implemented. In the first years after the war, the city initially continued with the construction of sports facilities in the area of Tehelné pole that had been either already planned or under construction. Shortly afterwards, after the change of political regime in 1948, sports became an important public interest and an aspect of the planned economy, which allowed urban planners to design large sports and recreational areas. In the first post-war directive plan, architect Milan Hladký designed sports and recreational facilities for the individual sports stadiums located in different city districts, as well as for three concentrated sports and recreational areas. He also designed a new sport complex in the western section of Mlynská dolina, but this idea of the third sports center was eventually not implemented. Therefore, the north-eastern embankment of Petržalka and the area of Tehelné pole remained the main sports centers in the city. Furthermore, a new indoor Športová hala Pasienky (Pasienky Sports Hall) was built and the new urban planning concepts for both areas included also the construction of larger-scale bodies of water intended for natural swimming pools. During the construction of the Petržalka housing estate, the need to modify the Danube floodplain and use it for sports purposes began to be increasingly emphasized.
After 1989, the transformation from state-planned to market economy had a profound effect on the architecture of sports facilities. Despite the valid zoning plans, which defined the size and location of sports areas, many buildings disappeared, or adapted their operation to commercial use. Sports facilities have gradually found themselves in a situation where they were not used primarily for sports, but for “additional” services of the gastronomy industry, or for cultural and other commercial events. Although this was a natural reaction to the social demand associated with the increase in the quality and complexity of offered services or the opening of the previously closed facilities to the public, it also involved the advancement of commercial interests and privatization of the formerly public spaces.
However, the lack of sports facilities in the city, which is also acknowledged by the valid Bratislava zoning plan from 2007, is at least to some extent compensated for by smaller investments by the city district councils or sports associations. One of such successful projects is the JAMA park designed at the place of the demolished cycling stadium, which preserved the original terrain modeling with a trace of the old track and, at the same time, gave the whole park a contemporary, urban-like appearance. It is one of the first of such projects in Bratislava and it shows us a potential direction of the development of sports grounds in the city, which can retain their original content and, at the same time, still fulfill their urban and public functions.
Design strategy in industrial design – university environment
By Martin Baláž, Zuzana Waszczuková Pergerová
The paper mainly focuses on the creation and formulation of a design strategy in a creative process, on multidisciplinary communication, personal experience and teaching methodology. An important although not the only result of our research is a university course Design Strategy in Industrial Design, intended for the 1st year of master’s studies in the study program Design at the Faculty of Architecture of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava with a multidisciplinary connection within an integrated course module. A path full of individual effort and initiatives by the Faculty of Architecture and by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava led to the creation of the course. Basically, it was the university environment and opportunities for multidisciplinary communication that inspired us at the beginning and finally brought the results, which are discussed in more detail in the paper.
In an effort to deepen the previously rather formal contacts, the personal initiative of students, pedagogues and doctoral students of design and construction programmes resulted in a creation of an open design team FAST at Faculty of Architecture (team leader Mgr. art. Martin Baláž, ArtD.) and cooperation with FME Racing Team from the faculty of Mechanical Engineering, which began with a project Futuristic Prototype within the competition Shell Eco Marathon 2014, intended for university teams. Democratic leadership and individual initiative far beyond the lesson plans provided a first impulse, the first signs of a team design strategy. Nevertheless, moving towards the goal was initially not easy for everyone, even though the opportunity to design a functional vehicle was appealing. The relatively different nature of the cooperating departments, with their own design strategies, pace of work and output expectations, has posed a challenge that persisted throughout the whole project. A significant convergence of our views and opinions, of course, came by happy chance with a successful result. The joint project received a grant from the Tatra Banka Foundation – „Viac dizajnu“ (More Design), and the results have been exhibited even in the Czech Republic and Germany. A number of presentations, lectures and articles, for academics and for the general public have been accomplished concomitantly. Thanks to its media presentation and the exhibitions, the project became known to the professional and general public. Both research teams thus gained more support from the heads of their faculties, and the mutual cooperation could fully develop.
After evaluating the results of our first multi-disciplinary collaboration, we chose a strategy of greater integration with the teaching/learning process, so we decided to incorporate few bachelor’s theses (in vertical studio of Mr. Baláž) in our next project and to improve the communication with supervisors from cooperating departments, with a positive impact on students, who therefore could also cooperate more extensively. At the same time, as part of the new accreditation, a new subject Design Strategy in Industrial Design (guarantor, pedagogue Mgr. Art. Martin Baláž, ArtD., ArtD doctoral assistant Mgr. Art. Zuzana Waszczuková) began to fully develop, with the objective to mediate closer multidisciplinary contacts for a wider group of students. From the perspective of semestral design topics, this compulsory elective subject is similar to the Studio Design Courses, but has lower expectations as to the level of the final output. The emphasis is placed on communication and gaining knowledge and experience from the multidisciplinary cooperation. The character of the semestral design topics and the way of teaching the course are discussed in the second part of the paper, where we explain the evaluation of students working process and design strategies, which we observed, and we pay attention to the “intermediate phase” of the creative process, by which we mean a stage where many students temporarily lose motivation, usually while they focus too much on technical and production parameters of their designs. Experience has shown us that every student experiences this phase during the semester; the only difference is which design strategy they choose next. Based on almost 5 years of experience with the subject Design Strategy in Industrial Design, we would like to emphasize that direct cooperation with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering has clearly enriched and streamlined the design process for our students. The “action-centric” or “learning by doing” approach also brought positive experience. For the purposes of this paper, we have approached graduates of this teaching format with a request for anonymous feedback. We quote the results of the survey in the “design research” section.
In conclusion, we present selected results of our pedagogical efforts in the form of case studies of student work from the subject Design Strategy in Industrial Design at FA STU in Bratislava. We also present a publication that has resulted from a multidisciplinary cooperation with the course Bodyworks (pedagogue Ing. Jana Gulanová, PhD.) at FME STU in Bratislava.