Small in size but big in its ambitions, Bratislava as Slovakia's capital is quick to accept new trends while holding onto nostalgias. While residential and administration towers are being built, places like Petržalka - the city's memento of late socialist urbanism - stand the test of time. Bratislava's crossroads position is both its privilege and its curse - tourists tend to stay for a day before moving on to other nearby capitals.

See events happening in Bratislava

Shared Cities: Creative Momentum in Bratislava focuses on reviving the city’s many Iconic Ruins. One the city’s symbols, the castle, was a ruin for 150 years. Its reconstructions, in 1950s and the recent one, try to bring this half-dead building back to life. Iconic Ruins are buildings on their way to losing their relevance – as their ideology becomes obsolete they turn into empty containers. Yet these empty containers are still strong in their presence, shaping the city fabric.

Project Partners in Bratislava

Department of Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design

Despite being rather small, the Department of Architecture is an influential school of architecture, where students benefit from an intensive contact with their lecturers. This individual approach enhances the development of innovative technical aspects of design. Presentations of student works in front of invited critics, lectures held by prominent guests as well as various exhibitions, encourage inspiring interactions and critical thinking. The focus of the department in response to Shared Cities: Creative Momentum is conducting research on Iconic Ruins – buildings of cultural and social institutions that were designed as monuments but today are in a state of ruin. Through work collaboration with students, a lecture series and workshops, the department explores the possibilities of how these complex buildings in prominent urban spots can be transformed into viable buildings without having to compromise their architectural qualities.

Alliance Old Market Hall

The Old Market Hall alliance is a civic association founded in 2012. Its main aim is to revitalise the before-abandoned and closed historical building of The Old Market Hall in the centre of Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava. The association has been in charge of the building since September 2013 and has gradually turned it into a modern urban centre providing space for conferences, markets and cultural events. Old Market Hall’s activities catalyse progress in its whole neighbourhood, with the Shared Cities: Creative Momentum project being the next step on its journey. The case study Expert Public of Alliance Old Market Hall focuses on reconstruction of Namestie SNP (Slovak Uprising Square).

Watch Bratislava – Vivid Square

Watch Bratislava – Iconic Ruins

Materials from Bratislava

Bratislava – Iconic Ruins

Let's value symbolic buildings of Central Europe‘s post-war socialist architecture and find a new way to use them for our society. The Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava designed different ideas for that in their project “Iconic Ruins”.

Bratislava Permanent link

Bratislava – Vivid Square

The Old Market Hall Alliance remembered how the square in front of the Market Hall used to look like and revived it through their project “Vivid Square”.

Bratislava Permanent link


Iconic Ruins are high quality architecture that lost their ideological and programmatic meaning, and have become a modern-day ruin. What are the biggest challenges you face when dealing with these buildings? And what are the most distinguishing features, and opportunities for the Iconic Ruins? Find the answer in the interview with Vít Halada from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Bratislava Permanent link

VŠVU: Iconic Ruins / Strategies

What is the future of Iconic Ruins? After the transition to democracy, these buildings have slipped out of public and political interest. Under the scope of 'Shared Cities: Creative Momentum' architects and students conducted research into the re-use of these abandoned buildings. Download the publication 'Iconic Ruins / Strategies' to get the latest information on their studies. Available now!

Bratislava Permanent link


What is crucial when it comes to creating a lively public space – be it transforming squares, bringing unused buildings back to life or revitalizing inner courtyards? Find the answer in the interview with Jan Mazur from the Old Market Hall Alliance, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Bratislava Permanent link

Vivid Square/Živé námestie

The objective of the Vivid Square / Živé námestie project is unification and regeneration of SNP Square (Slovak National Uprising Square) and Kamenné Square in Bratislava, which, once improved, could be an example of functional and accessible city spaces.

Bratislava Permanent link

Vivid Square, Bratislava. Shared Cities Diaries #6

Central and Eastern European municipalities often face the same challenges. One common issue is that city governments work with limited budgets and - at the same time - typically underuse resources available to them. Read more about a case study tackling this problem in Bratislava in the 6th edition of the Shared Cities Diaries. Written by Jan Mazur from Aliancia Stara Trznica.

Bratislava Permanent link

Deconstruction and Material Circulation as a Way to Build – Interview with Lionel Billet

If you express the recycling rate in terms of value (the residual value of recirculated products in relation to the initial value of all building products being discarded), it equals approximately 1%. That's the way we look at it. We think that next to the logistics of waste management, we need a system that allows us to maintain circulation elements with a value – this value being technical, cultural, or economic.

Bratislava Permanent link

Iconic Ruins Online Publication: available now!

Download an issue of the Slovak Architectural Review magazine: Projekt 3-4, 2017 dedicated to the topic of Iconic Ruins. The monothematic double issue deals with iconic architecture choosing transformation, rather than demolition or historically true reconstruction as an approach. The magazine displays the extensive research and work of established architects and students on selected iconic buildings in Berlin, Prague, Katowice and Bratislava conducted under the scope of Shared Cities: Creative Momentum.

Bratislava Permanent link


The October edition of WhatCity? in Bratislava on the topic of sharing is on Soundcloud now! Eleven experts, eleven experiences with sharing in cities - listen to the intense exchanges between speakers and guests in one-on-one dialogues.

Bratislava Permanent link