River Transport Authority building
Pribinova 24, Bratislava
bratia Bohumír a Martin Zaťkovci
1942 (palierne plány)
1940 (early 1940s)
Originally intended as a residence for the shipping crews of the Slovak Danube Transport Company (and now known as the ‘old bargees’ home’), the structure is almost hidden for most passersby, thanks to its position in the centre of the Bratislava river port. The attractive appearance of the building captivates at first sight through its composition of masses, its nautical symbolism, and equally its relatively intimate scale. On an oval plan with a recessed upper floor and a tower recalling a captain’s bridge, the various components create an strong whole. The organisation of facades was determined by the building’s setting, with the articulating elements being the two-part windows and the small balconies on both ends of the four-storey oval mass. The main entrance is situated at the centre of the building, facing the port, leading into a circular entrance hall that still retains its original terrazzo floor. Adjoining the round hall is a narrow two-part staircase. All of the upper floors are in three tracts with a central corridor. In the ground floor were a kitchen and dining hall, on the second floor were company offices and above them bedrooms for ships’ crews, trainees and captains. The recessed top floor was occupied by two flats.
The building captivates our attention with its dispositional and functional purity, and the high quality of materials that marked construction in interwar Czechoslovakia. Its simple corridor layout emerging symmetrically from the staircase required only small alterations for adaptation to its current, exclusively administrative purpose.
FAJGLOVÁ, Katarína: Sídlo divízie riečnej dopravy. Architektúra & urbanizmus 38, 2004, 1 – 2, s. 99 – 100.