JURAJ HERMANN’S OPINION OF PANORAMA CITY
How would you size up your new work, Panorama City?
My intention is that everyone involved in this project can one day say that we together created this exceptional work. It will be the result of the systematic work of many years for the developer, us architects, and many eminent engineers who are involved in this project. All of us will take part in the implementation of these two tallest residential buildings in Slovakia.
To what extent does the current image of the project differ from the original proposal by the Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill?
The original proposal by the world famous Catalan, Ricardo Bofill, for Panorama City was created in 2007, which means that it was before the global economic crisis that considerably influenced the real estate business all over the world, including Slovakia. The whole project Panorama City had to significantly adapt to new market demands. What has remained from
Bofill’s proposal is the two residential towers with their typical triangular floor plan. Bofill designed slender glass towers that evoked administrative high-rise buildings, so we designed open residential loggia for each apartment in the project’s current image. Besides the loggias, the new architectural look of both residential towers is influenced by white horizontal and sill strips of varying height in the places of windows and loggias. Characteristic is also the new tower ending, where large glazed terraces are dominant in the corners, evoking some kind of affinity with our architecture of the nearby Tower 115.
Panorama truly is a masterpiece, but also massive projects are created from significant details. Which details shaped this new residential complex?
From the occupant’s viewpoint, detailed solutions of loggias with glazed handrails will enable magnificent views of Bratislava from the interior of the living room through glass external loggia walls. Further, corner windows in bedrooms will provide expansive vistas and plenty of daylight, even in cloudy conditions. The overall detailed facade solutions will also enable exclusive views and natural ventilation of bedrooms and living rooms even with closed windows, in a way that the apartment interior is secure against wind and rain and is acoustically protected against noise from the exterior. The sophisticated solution of individually controllable cooling will contribute to comfort in the apartment. I am convinced that the future occupants will also appreciate the quality detailed heating solutions, and solutions of domestic hot water directly in the apartment, good lighting, high-quality wiring and sanitation, which received our full attention. For the apartment owners, these technical solutions will enable a detailed control of operating costs, and individually controllable consumption of individual sources. Last but not least, I would like to mention the quality detailed solutions of all common areas and their surfaces; for example, the carpets in the lift lobby and common corridors absorb the sound of footsteps and also generate luxury incomparable to anything.
What is unique about this project that will make people interested in it? What is exceptional about Panorama City that will attract people over other developer projects?
This project brings a couple of unique benefits. First, it has the ideal location directly in the newly expanding Bratislava centre near the Danube. Second, mass and high-rise construction enables magnificent panoramic views of Bratislava, the Danube, the Small Carpathians and the Pannonian Basin. The architecture of the entire project is also pretty and timeless. This project also brings a sophisticated and quality disposition solution of individual apartments, and a greater height (up to 17 cm) of bedrooms and living rooms compared to other projects. Furthermore, it is the superior amenities of apartments and their technical aspect, e.g. the central distribution of cool water for the better cooling of the apartments. Last but not least, this project brings a large number of parking places for residents, and a superior solution of entrances with a reception. In addition, this project has a supermarket, and other shops and services on the ground floor – all with ‘dry feet’ accessibility for residents due to the awning surrounding parterre of the entire structure. I believe that residents will also appreciate the fast and spacious lifts, which will comfortably convey them from the ground floor or all garage floors through the spacious and pretty lift lobby to the 33rd floor.
Panorama City has 606 apartments. What did you emphasise while creating the disposition of that number of apartments?
Our primary goal was to find a reasonable balance between the total area of individual apartments and their room areas. I think that individual apartments are optimally adjusted for the real needs of our potential customers. We transformed the criteria of the current market into the effectiveness of the layout. We also tried to use atypical triangular floor plans for interesting apartment layouts in the corners, which change their area with the rising height of the structure. I think that within these 606 apartments, we have indeed created a vast amount of alternative layouts, sizes and types of apartments with varying orientations, so that every customer, who wants to call Panorama City their home, will have the opportunity to choose among these tailor-made apartments.
The apartments are separated by plasterboard partition walls that are commonly used abroad, but people in Slovakia have a prejudice against them. How do you see the plasterboard partition walls as an architect?
Technical developments and advances are progressing everywhere, including construction and architecture. Plasterboard is an excellent modern building material enabling the basically dry construction of residential and partition walls. These have got much better features than for example partition walls from bricks. They are straighter, smoother and have much better sound attenuation than brick, especially when, as in Panorama City, they are completed with a steel plate over the entire partition wall twice on the side of each apartment. This solution also prevents the intervening, or demolishing, from one apartment into the other. Looking into the future, the usage of plasterboard partition walls also enables the variability and flexibility of layouts of apartments. It will be possible without any problems to enlarge or scale down individual apartments in accordance with the needs of apartment owners, independently from the carrier system of the whole construction.
Today architecture is experiencing a boom. Projects all over the world are a fascinating exposition of originality, resourcefulness and creativity. How do you see current architecture in Slovakia?
Architecture is a material reflection of the economic, social and cultural development of the society in which it occurs. So current Slovak architecture is a material mirror of our social circumstances. It really lacks state intervention, an enlightened investor in public structures, which could create quality, superior and prestigious architecture. In Slovakia, such structures basically do not exist. Therefore, the development of our architecture weighs essentially on the shoulders of private developers. However, I believe that the superior quality of our project, Panorama City, will indeed considerably contribute to the story of current architecture in Slovakia.