Students to come up with solutions for unused presidential villa

It is an interesting challenge for young people, said President Zuzana Čaputová.

The presidential villa in Bratislava.The presidential villa in Bratislava. (Source: SITA)

The presidential villa near the Slavín memorial in Bratislava has been abandoned for years and is gradually falling to ruin. However, this state of affairs may soon be changed by students of architecture and building construction via the ideological urban-architectonic competition.

This year’s assignment is to present solutions for the villa, the TASR newswire reported.

“It’s an interesting challenge for young people and students,” said President Zuzana Čaputová, under whose auspices the competition is held, as quoted by TASR. “Their work could be the basis for the future of one interesting architectonic piece that will represent our country to any guests the head of state may receive in the future.”

Although the competition is only ideological in character, she would like to see these ideas become the inspiration for the final project. The question of the residence has been on the table for a long time.

“We’ve decided to take the first step,” Čaputová added, as quoted by TASR.

Students will work on assignments in winter semester

The ideological urban-architectonic competition should show the possibilities and potential for the plot of land on which the residence stands, with proposals for whether the villa should be reconstructed or replaced with a completely new building.

“We would like to do things that would move the situation and the issue of presidential residence forward,” said Ľubica Selcová of the Faculty of Architecture of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, the competition’s guarantor, as quoted by TASR.

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Students will receive the assignment at the beginning of the winter semester and will be asked to submit their work by the end of February 2020. The jury, composed of Slovak and Czech architects, should meet next March and subsequently evaluate the works in three rounds.

Only one president has used the villa

The villa was bought by the President’s Office in 2001 for 36 million Slovak crowns. More than 10 million Slovak crowns were invested into its reconstruction the same year.

However, it was in use for only three and a half years during the tenure of Rudolf Schuster.

Apart from the representative rooms and presidential office, the villa also has a dining room, a kitchen and four bedrooms, TASR wrote.

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