The Istropolis monumental cultural complex located in Bratislava is to be torn down, with demolition work expected to start in mid-January, the developer Immocamp announced on Monday. The investor had obtained an official decision on removing the building, located in the Bratislava borough of Nové Mesto. After it is torn down, a new Istropolis is to be constructed on the same site. In addition to the centre itself, the developer also envisages constructing two residential buildings, three administrative buildings and a congress hotel within the New Istropolis project. One of the buildings is planned to be 116 metres high. Furthermore, Immocap intends to renovate the surrounding area.
The demolition of Istropolis has sparked controversy because of its architectural value. It was constructed in numerous stages from the 1960s until the 1980s. The main hall can accommodate 1280 visitors and it has received special certification for its excellent acoustic conditions. Moreover, Cuban marble is used for its façade of the complex.
Matúš Čupka of the local municipality criticized also the timing of the demolition. He stated that the investor does not yet have permission for the construction of the new complex. “For the next few years, we will have to live with an empty piece of land behind a construction fence at one of the busiest intersections in Bratislava,” wrote Čupka on social media.
The investor has promised to store the tiling gently so that it will be ready for reuse directly in the New Istropolis, as well as for municipal or state organizations that might express an interest. Moreover, the company has promised to take the same approach with the artworks and artefacts from the current complex, which should be stored in a special warehouse in cooperation with an expert company and later used in the new project.
Immocap considers the location of Trnavské mýto and the New Istropolis project to be the most suitable alternative for the establishment of the National Culture and Congress Centre (NCCC) and has offered the state the option to take part in the project. However, if the state does not show interest in cooperation, the developer has expressed that it is ready to maintain the cultural and social function of the site on its own.