Bratislava sets new height limits for buildings

The city aims to preserve its current panorama, a new study shows.

A view of Bratislava on April 17, 2022.A view of Bratislava on April 17, 2022. (Source: TASR)

Bratislava will follow new rules when it decides on the maximum height of new buildings to spring up in the future.

Drawn up by the Bratislava Metropolitan Institute (MIB) and the Bratislava City Hall, a new urban study, said to be considered when drafting changes to the city master plan, has been taken note of by councillors.

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“An important principle of this new study is to preserve the panorama of Bratislava in regard to the Little Carpathians and well-known landmarks such as Kamzík Hill and Bratislava Castle,” Annamária Ondrejková of the MIB explained to the TASR newswire.

Read also: Bratislava's own 'mini-Pompidou Centre' gets a facelift Read more 

The institute recommends that the city should see and accept as binding the regulation regarding maximum height and position of Bratislava landmarks within the city centre, the assessment criteria for high-rise buildings and the altitude levels for stabilised areas.

No more than 160 m

The maximum height for local landmarks [observable from less than 5 km] is determined in the study by the height of the inner courtyard of Bratislava Castle with an altitude of 226 m, which represents a relative height of 90 m.

“The key to determining the maximum height of city-wide landmarks [observable from a distance of 10 to 15 km and part of the city’s identity] is the silhouette of the Little Carpathians, and maintaining a view of the forested parts of the Carpathians,” the MIB said. This means that the maximum altitude of the construction development line on the slopes of the Little Carpathians should serve as a basis on deciding how high future buildings with a city-wide impact can be. It averages 260 metres above sea level, which represents a relative height of 120 m.

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The height of city-wide landmarks is also influenced by the air traffic in the city. For Bratislava international airport, 309 metres above sea level, which is a relative height of 169 m, this represents a height that must not be surpassed in the city. Simultaneously, the study sets the maximum height of city-wide landmarks at 300 metres above sea level, a height ranging from 160 to 164 metres above sea level in the given area.

Where to build high buildings

The study also suggests where multi-storey buildings can be constructed.

For example, on the right bank of the Danube in the city centre, it will not be possible to exceed an altitude of 260 metres above sea level. When choosing a location, it is necessary to respect the dominant natural element, the institute said. In this case, a floodplain forest.

Read also: A feast for developers? New construction law passed after almost 50 years Read more 

As for the left bank of the river, the Chalupkova and Pribinova zones will serve as a “guideline” for the maximum height of buildings. Here, several high-rise buildings have been constructed or are under construction. The highest building in this area will measure 164.9 m. The MIB noted that this building exceeded the limits still applied in the area and increased the maximum height in the city to a new maximum.

In addition to the specific maximum heights for individual buildings, the study outlines five different height limits for urbanisable areas, ranging from 11 to 46 metres. Bratislava has not had such a plan to date.

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