Much-criticised wooden-metal construction under SNP Bridge to be removed

The new design for the space will result from an architectural competition.

Dismantling of the criticised construction has begun.Dismantling of the criticised construction has begun. (Source: FB of Vatúš Vallo)

The much-criticised construction under the SNP Bridge on the Petržalka bank of the Danube is to become history. The Zemeguľa company, operator of the UFO restaurant and the outlook platform on the bridge, started the removal of this unauthorised construction on Wednesday, November 18, Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo informed on social networks.

“As I said during my campaign, the entrance structure, whose wooden skeleton you could see on the Petržalka side [of the bridge], clearly does not belong in this place, in this form,” wrote Vallo, architect by profession.

After he took office in December 2018, his colleagues began to negotiate with the tenant over the replacement of the construction with an entrance building that would better suit this national cultural monument.

The city council will look for a new architectural solution for this space via an architectural competition to be prepared by the Bratislava Metropolitan Institute (MIB). This body is cooperating with the Bratislava Regional Monument Office on the preparation of documents for the competition.

The vision is that the new construction will be a minimalist intervention in the architecture of the SNP Bridge and that its composition will respect the bridge’s material and shape solution.

Illegal construction

The Zemeguľa company removed the steps leading to the SNP Bridge and the entrance construction, which housed a lift up the pylon to the restaurant, some two years ago, arguing that they were in bad condition. It planned to replace them with a cyclist and tourist centre, which it also started to build. But the construction office regarded these works as exceeding officially announced remedy plans and the preliminary construction permission. The company halted the construction work in May 2018.

History of the SNP Bridge

The SNP Bridge is only the second bridge across the Danube River built in Bratislava. Considering its technical solution, this steel bridge hangs on only one pylon. Although the bridge was unusually modern with a rather audacious design for those times, it is difficult to deny the devastating effect it had on the Old Town’s history and urban fabric. In spite of this it was declared the construction of the century in Slovakia back in 2001.

The bridge was put into operation on August 26, 1972, the 28th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP).

Its special attraction is the flying saucer-shaped restaurant with an observation deck, on the top of the pylon at a height of 85 metres above the river water level.

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