Unique Bratislava house to be spiritual centre

Just behind Bratislava's main railway station, on the corner of Vančurová and Jaskový Rad Streets in Kramáre, the finishing touches are being put on what promises to be the most unusual house in the capital. Wild with color and trimmings, the building seems to spring from the ground like a rainbow, defying the basic principles of geometry and architecture.
"It's an expression of my more than twenty years of experience in the field of applied knowledge and personal development," said Karol Beláň, the mastermind and creator of the project.
While Beláň refused to give his age or say how much the building had cost, explaining that he had "already had problems with the press," he said the project has been financed mostly through loans. In addition, a small construction company he founded before breaking ground seven years ago had contributed to the funding.


Karol Beláň's pride and joy, a future spiritual centre he spent 7 years building.
photo: Matt Reynolds

Just behind Bratislava's main railway station, on the corner of Vančurová and Jaskový Rad Streets in Kramáre, the finishing touches are being put on what promises to be the most unusual house in the capital. Wild with color and trimmings, the building seems to spring from the ground like a rainbow, defying the basic principles of geometry and architecture.

"It's an expression of my more than twenty years of experience in the field of applied knowledge and personal development," said Karol Beláň, the mastermind and creator of the project.

While Beláň refused to give his age or say how much the building had cost, explaining that he had "already had problems with the press," he said the project has been financed mostly through loans. In addition, a small construction company he founded before breaking ground seven years ago had contributed to the funding.

The riot of colour and architecture that cloaks the building are not just one man's rebellion against the nation's drab socialist-era housing, however. Beláň said the design of the house was intrinsic to its function - as a future centre for research and learning, for personality development of those with special talents, especially managers.

"The artwork [on the house] and its abstract theme has long-term implications for the development of one's subconsious," said Beláň. The research and learning centre's comprehensive programme will begin with a special diet, including supplements adjusted to individual needs, and culminate with spiritual and mental work, he said. Colour, music and aromas will create an environment that fosters relaxation.

Once the center is running, Beláň said, he plans to help defray expenses by selling food and nutritional supplemets to the general public.

So far the building has no official name, although local residents have dubbed it 'the smiling house.' "We still need to think one up," said Beláň's partner Greta Jajcajová.

The building should be finished by the beginning of December, said Beláň, and although it will not officially be open to the general public, it should be accessible to those who are interested. Jajcajova says their top priority was to create a stimulating environment by finding interesting and intelligent people (lecturers and clients) with similar ideas and problems. Rather than a live-in centre, the house will be organized as a club with the first month free of charge. For more information call 07-54 77 78 17 or 54 77 75 61 during normal business hours. Eventually, the centre's owners plan to conduct programmes and activities in English.

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