Danubia Park Center

Čunovo (in proximity to Bratislava), Slovakia
Competition 2011

Circulation diagram of various flows interacting on main public route along marina / beach with proposed buildings.

For description of the proposal click on | more|

Danubia Park Center

Public-realm of the competition proposal:

Intensions of masterplan by Prof. Eberle, called DANUBIA-PARK on right-bank of river Danube, in proximity to Čunovo, SVK, is quite unique in this latitudes. It combines the developer-oriented type of development with ambitions of enhanced public-life awareness, supported by low-land character of the area of river Danube, with abundance of leisure and sport amenities in proximity.

In our competition proposal, we reshaped the given Eberle’s masterplan to even higher awareness of public realm as originally intended.  We enclosed the main public spaces by repositioning the master-planned buildings to clearly identifiable and enclosed main square of masterplan-center. Our intensions were not only to avoid the main square to be lined with originally planned parking area from west, but essentially, to create true square – center, where various activities of public realm combined with housing, can be combined and concentrated, leading to concentration of broadest scope of public actions and interactions – from simplest ones as just standing, contemplating, observing what others do, drinking coffee in toward-square opened restaurants and coffee-shops, through talking with friends living close-by, to attending various public events (concerts, beach volleyball tournaments, market etc) that can be organized on the square,  all underlined by omnipresence of glimmering water element – where daily activities of marina subsidies the genius loci of the place.

Howsoever this may sound as very natural purpose of any public-space, we feel that attention of today-planned developments are only little focused on enhancements of its actual public life and various public interaction-opportunities. We tried here to reintroduce the very primitive but essential elements of space to allow this simple, yet very hard-to-be-achieved goal.

Proposed buildings plays very significant role in this intention as well. Flexibility of its design is the key-factor. If the development of Danubia-park succeed to avoid being elitist-oriented and will be able to attract broader scope of users of various ages and will become attractive for families to grow their offspring here, other, missing and yet unplanned amenities will be required. Nursery, school, community center but also studios and offices for those decided to stay and work here will need to be replenished. Our buildings will provide those operations with necessary space to nestle.

Accompanying report on basic characteristics of urban and building solutions and strategies of DANUBIA PARK

Parking VS desired future:

As the required parking space for residents (not mentioning expected visitors) is considerably high (resulting from expected daily commuting of inhabitants of DANUBIA PARK to Bratislava) the development faces uneasy decision to be taken: Whether to keep the ground-floors of buildings car free and sacrifice valuable space in front and in-between the buildings to parking cars and accommodate remaining car-free street-facing facades by public amenities, or to fill full or parts of ground floor of some buildings (mainly those having only small chance to attract and concentrate public life now) with parking, freeing the streets and in-between building spaces of the cars, and hope for better days, when alternative systems of public transportation will take over the individual one, as it will become more subsidized and become equivalent or even more practical thus welcoming solution of commuting.  Our proposal of the public space definitions accompanied by actual buildings design, with enhanced degree of future flexibility, subscribes more to the second-mentioned alternative of future development.

When the development succeeds to avoid being elitist-oriented and will be able to attract broader scope of users of various ages and will become attractive for families to grow their offspring here, other, missing and yet unplanned, amenities will be required. Nursery, school, community center but also studios and offices for those decided to stay and work here will need to be replenished.

This desired future will free some space of ground level of the flexibly designed buildings, used till the day by parking cars, where those required operations will find its space to nestle.


We suggest construction of Phase 1 and Phase 2 on existing bank. This will temporarily reduce the possibilities of marina and beach use (that will be fully operable only after finishing all stages anyway), however – clustering Phase 1 and 2 on existing site and building of Main Square first, has better capacity of concentrating thus self-accelerating of public life. Northernmost situated Phase 3 of the center can be constructed together with system of northern bays consisting of mainly individual housing.  Separation embankment of dam and lake water on southern- beach side of the masterplan will be used for delivery of building materials of central pier during construction of Phase 4, to avoid building-traffic through already in use Phases 1 and 2.


Houses of center are of hybrid construction system, consisting of reinforced concrete skeleton and custom-made prefabricated solid timber panels of outer walls and in between-flats wall-divisions.  Such hybrid structure combines advantages of both concrete, well-adaptive and structurally efficient building material together with required high thermal storage capacity, and prefabricated solid wood panels that significantly speed up construction-time on one side (helps with reduction of construction time of individual phases) and on the other side helps to compensate the primary energy needs / CO2 balance of construction of whole development. Wooden panels combined with suitable thermal insulation and surface render also provides vapor-permeable building shell, well suitable for utilizing energy saving building equipment as ventilation with heat recovery and others.

Building types:

Solution of Center consists of two main building types: Atrium type and longitudinal type. As Atrium type possesses more ground accessible space and has greater flexibility (see illustrations of adjustability of Atrium type on competition panels) it is used in Phase 1 and Phase 4 of Center construction as, compared to Phase 2 and Phase 3, this phases are more amenities-space demanding.


Atrium type houses (that we focus in closer detail in first round of competition) accommodate more socially open type of housing as accesses to individual flats are led through access galleries. Those galleries, supplemented by multipurpose suspended platforms in several positions each floor, represent significant impulse to building neighbor relations. Galleries themselves are quite wide, to allow users to utilize them custom-defined semi-private functions like “garden” seating, flowering (as most of the galleries receive direct sunlight all year long), bike parking, children playing etc.

Such decision was inspired not only by social awareness, but also by its budget-responsibility. Flats compositions clustered abound higher number of vertical shaft (each accommodating staircase and lift), on contrary to 4 corner ones as used in our scheme, represent relatively significant cost-investment.

Flats composition within the scheme is quite variable. Here presented composition orients living rooms always on south sides of the building wings – thus some oriented outwards and some inwards the atrium. Here presented composition keeps access gallery peripherally open, however to provide higher level of privacy, they could be closed in some positions if required.

Due to zigzag roof composition topmost floor provides more valuable and spatially-interesting interior solutions that allow utilization of duplexes in higher ceiling positions of the flats.

Overall energy requirements and sustainability:

Only combination of decisions taken consequently from earliest stages of design can lead to satisfactory results in respect of energy-consumption and environmentally-responsible-oriented use. Overall carbon footprint has to be taken in to consideration. Chosen construction techniques, possibilities of custom-made prefabrication (affecting of construction time requirements), as well as selection of building materials with good carbon balance plays significant role here.

Proposed buildings are of relatively compact and closed shape. They utilize number of passive solutions as brise-soleils, louvers or atrium-access galleries used for shading during the summer. Buildings react responsively to north-south orientation by altering size of the glazed surfaces to maximize solar gains and heat losses during the winter, both on its external as well as internal (atrium-oriented) facade.

Accommodation of systems of ventilation with heat recovery, combined with heat pumps using of accumulation capabilities of surrounding water are inherent part of the concept.

Danubia Park Center

Čunovo (in proximity to Bratislava), Slovakia
Competition 2011

Danubia Invest Client

approx. 14 ha (140.000 sqm) Site area

approx. 24.000 sqm Building area

approx. 51.500 sqm Total Floor area

4 stories Scale

Concrete / Prefab. timber panels Structure

Prof. Dietmar Eberle Masterplan of Danubia Park

P-U-R-ADesign Architects

René Dlesk, Michal Bernart, Igor Hobza Competition Team

P-U-R-A Digital Imaging

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