Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vocational Day in Bratislava, by Aaron

My vocational day in Bratislava was spent with Architect, Martin Kusy and his partner from B.K.P.S.
(  Some of you may be wondering why I am spending my vocational day with an architect, but development and property management industries are very different here than the USA.  I have been more than happy to spend my time with these architects, as both vocational days have provided me the opportunity to see commercial projects from an "inside" view that I would otherwise never have the opportunity to see.

My day began at the office of B.K.P.S., but please know, this is definitely not your ordinary office.  The office is located inside of a water tower!  Yes, that's correct,  a water tower.  The structure was the water tower of an old ammunition plant that was owned by Alfred Noble, we know him as the person in which the Noble Prize is named after, the history in this country is unbelievable!  Once again, I am amazed at how they are using old abandoned structures and reconstructing them into functional buildings.  Here are a few photos of the office....


They were eager to share their projects in Bratislava with me.  Mr. Kusi and his partners have designed prestigious buildings in this City such as the National Bank and the National Theatre.  They have also designed the German Embassy for Slovakia, which they shared a unique "open door" concept, that would make people feel welcome.  We also toured the roof of the water tower.  It was a windy day but with spectacular views. You will see how windy it was in the photos below.  You will also see that we decided to take the stairs down the tower.  It's a good thing I'm not afraid of heights!!

After lunch, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the National Bank of Slovakia, yes, they actually let me through security!  And also visited the National Theater.  I must say, the theater was most interesting to me because of the connection with the Virginia Tech Performing Arts Center currently under construction in Blacksburg.  Arts and Culture in the community, add value to the quality of life and the growth and wellness of the economy.  Slovakia has a beautiful center with 3 stages.  An Opera stage which seats 900, drama (seating 650) and also an experimental studio or black box theater which seats 200.  Due to the political times in this country, this project took 27 years from initial design to completion, and I must say what an amazing project this turned out to be! 

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