Freedom Square in Bratislava – Open Public Space

Abstract: For the Freedom Square in Bratislava, time seems to have stopped a few decades ago. The scenery is set up by post-war functionalist palaces of Technical University and Ministry of Transport and a baroque palace – seat of Governmental office. The common discourse on the Square is controversial, and its majestic history stands in contrast against its contemporary status as do societies of totalitarian and liberal-democratic regimes. This limbo situation might offer either an opening onto possibilities of new usage, or signalling the last phase of deterioration, anticipating demolition and replacement.

The paper will examine this contrast by looking at the Square as complex socio-spatial phenomena, while borrowing from concept of Henri Lefebvre of space as ’social product’. According to this perspective, the various types of spatial practices – physical, social as well as intellectual and imaginative activities— influence each other by production of space. This theoretical framework can be used as tool for linking the historical architectural visions and practices on the space of Freedom Square, which in turn can have an impact on the contemporary development of discourse on the Square and its appropriation.

Bio: Trained in architecture on Faculty of Architecture on Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (graduated in 2010). Since 2011 PhD. student at the FA SUT under supervision of Doc. Ing. arch. Henrieta Moravcíková, PhD. His thesis is focused on research of Architecture of totalitarian regimes. Since 2011 external cooperator of Institute of Construcion and Architecture of Slovak academy of sciences, collaborating on project ATRIUM (“Architecture of Totalitarian Regimes in Urban Managements” www.atrium-see.eu).

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