But let’s start from the beginning. The original building of the former Research Institute of Viticulture and Enology on Matúšková Street was for sale with a valid permit for the remediation and construction of 36 new residential and non-residential units. Although the original design certainly had something to do with it, we knew that this building and location had much more potential. We took it as a challenge and an opportunity to create something valuable.
Matúškova Street is a win and inspiration in many ways
We know the location of Koliba very well. At that time, we successfully completed the Na Kolibe Residence project, so calculating the benefits of the Matúškova Street location was very childish. The foothills of Koliba are among the most sought-after localities in the Bratislava III district. – Nové Mesto precisely because of its accessibility. It is only a 20-minute walk from the historic center of the capital, and the main transport hubs such as Račianske, Trnavské mýto, and Hlavná stanica are also within easy reach. By car, you are in the center within 5 minutes.
Another, no less attractive, advantage is the orientation of the slope. The south side of the hill guarantees the property a lot of natural light and warm sunlight. We didn’t need more arguments why to get involved in the project. Perhaps just the view in front of the building offers additional confirmation that the Wine House will be attractive to both the developer and the buyers.
The project on Matúšková Street had a clearly defined volume of construction,
therefore, we were able to fully concentrate on what our Wine House will offer to its residents inside. We were looking for details that would give the project a specific identity so that the new appearance of the building would match the character of the site in all respects. In essence, we have almost completely turned the original proposal upside down. We reworked the architecture, landscaping, involved more natural materials, and the use of renewable resources. In the end, the whole product came much closer to the preferences of the target group than in the original solution.
As the location is largely influenced by the proximity of the railway line, it does not offer the best basis for quiet and especially long-term housing. We found a solution to this situation in temporary housing for short-term rent, thanks to which Wine House could be attractive primarily as an investment opportunity in the style of Airbnb. In the pre-pandemic period, this idea seemed like the ideal way, to which we then adapted the rhythm of the whole optimization.
What was the mentioned optimization?
The goal was simple from the beginning – to create a project that will take future users into account as much as possible. From that short-term but also long-term. Therefore, we made the biggest change in the layout of apartments, which were to meet the requirements of the market at the time as much as possible. We have optimized the original 36 units to 40 flats and apartments with well-arranged day and night parts. We also designed enough storage space for each unit. We tried to adjust all layouts so that there were no unnecessary areas for which the end-user would have to pay. The result of such optimization has been lower absolute prices and thus more affordable housing units.
We have placed 30 apartments on the first two floors above ground in order to attract buyers with investment plans. We managed to create a relatively attractive benefit by removing the mass in these two above-ground floors, which created space for large terraces with a depth of 2-2.5 m² and a view of the city. These psychologically compensate for the negative perception of the fact that it is an apartment on the ground floor. We spread the saved volume into floors with apartments, where there are more valuable spaces. We did it so that the added volume did not affect the quality of housing in neighboring buildings. In addition, with this step, we have made all housing units more attractive at 3.-5. above the ground floor.
The solution of the flats was to guarantee a higher standard of living. They include a generous living area seamlessly connected to a large terrace or balcony with views (almost) of the entire city. We wanted the whole building to be compact, in tune with the location and at the same time provide its inhabitants with the greatest possible comfort. With the retreated top floor, we managed to provide an acoustic shadow that eliminates noise from the railway. And what is just a plus, in the end, this optimization step resulted in a reduction of the gross floor area by 33 m².
We wanted the Wine House to be more sustainable
Another change compared to the valid building permit is the choice of technologies. In general, we take it for granted to use procedures and make decisions with regard to the environment and long-term sustainability in new construction. Wine House was proof of this as at the end of the optimization it met several points of the Envirostrategy 2030.