A contemporary headquarters
The new headquarters of Slovakian real estate company VI Group is the result of a cutting-edge building design project that follows the current office architecture trends of multifunctionality and spatial integration.
In this project, local firm Smerek Architects was tasked with renovating a historical building dating back to 1919 and formerly used as a hotel in Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital on the River Danube, and converting it into an innovative headquarters.
The architects remodelled the building’s structure and reorganised the interiors to create a multifunctional space which now houses the real estate company’s offices and canteen, a cellar and a series of penthouse apartments. Each of the building’s new functions has been interpreted in a contemporary way. For example, the office area features classic open spaces with a series of desks, private meeting rooms and relaxation areas such as small lounges, refreshment areas and more private spaces for personal telephone calls.
“We tried to maintain consistency between the new work and the classic structure of the building and to assign a clearly defined role to each part of the envelope,” said Juraj Hubinsky from Smerek Architects. “For this purpose, we used custom-designed wood elements made by highly-skilled carpenters to enhance the windowsills and the ceiling cornices, installed backlit false ceilings and made room for design objects to create an organic environment.”
As Juraj Hubinsky again explained, the choice of the colour palette and materials also played an important role in the design process. “Oak veneer, travertine, metal and black granite, vinyl, traditional clay bricks, copper sheet, concrete and ceramic tiles alternate to create distinctive spaces that stand out for their dark colours and high-impact lighting system,” he said.
The basement cellars have a coarse, unfinished look created by applying rough, dark-coloured plaster to the walls and ceiling alongside the concrete of the floor. This contrasts with the canteen, bar and kitchen where the architects opted for sophisticated ceramic tiling in keeping with the metallic style and clean use of materials that define the entire project while creating surfaces with their own distinctive personality. The chosen products – the small size Terra tile and sophisticated Cubo decoration from Marca Corona – contrast elegantly with the wood and concrete used in other areas. This porcelain tile collection guarantees a high degree of durability, ease of cleaning and maintenance, as well as a low environmental impact. In particular, the Terra collection from Marca Corona has obtained the international Ecolabel and LEED certifications demonstrating its compliance with green architecture criteria.
Marca Corona, Terra
Grey Antracite and Cold Mix
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA ULA UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): < 150 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): R ≥ 45 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): A ≥36 DRY ≥36 WET
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant