Kukurica tower in Bratislava prepares for facelift

The one-time highest residential tower in the capital will serve administrative and accommodation purposes.

Kukurica tower waits for reconstruction.Kukurica tower waits for reconstruction. (Source: Sme)

The cylindrical tower dominating the Nové Mesto borough of Bratislava, known as Kukurica (Corn Cob), is gearing up for an overhaul. When renovated, this former military accommodation facility, Hviezda, will serve administrative and accommodation purposes.

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“The administrative part will be used by individual organisational units of the Defence Ministry and the accommodation capacities will serve the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic,” said ministry spokesperson Martina Kovaľ Kakaščíková, as cited by the TASR newswire.

The costs and deadlines will be calculated only after an exact project is elaborated. In 2013 they were estimated at €8 million.

Experts have pointed to the bad technical condition of the tower since 2013. It was closed in 2017.

Tower with elegant silhouette holds some records

The cylindrical tower on Jarošova Street is one of the architectural landmarks of Bratislava. It was erected in the early 1970s as an accommodation facility for the Military Political Academy. At that time, with its 25 storeys and a height of 82 metres, it was the highest residential building in Bratislava, as well as the highest building with a cylindrical floor plan in Europe.

Each storey had 17 double-bed rooms with balconies. These created distinctive rings on the façade, which in the end gave the building the look of a corn cob. The rooms have a conical shape rather than a rectangular one. The accommodation capacity was 2,600 beds.

The author of this exceptional design is Ján Strcula. He recalled for the Sme daily the problem they had getting a crane high enough for its construction, as at that time cranes only reached up to the 10th floor. Also, during the digging of the foundations, they found the bodies of dead soldiers and old stocks of diesel.

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