Revitalization of Square of Freedom

  • Competition: 2017
  • Location: Bratislava, SR

The current shape of the square is the result of a competition from the 70s. The idea of ​​the competition was to build a square with Klement Gottwald memorial. The statue on the elevated pedestal was situated so that a kind of tension arose between it and the Druzba fountain. After the revolution, the monument was removed and Klement Gottwald Square became the Freedom Square.

There is a question if the square is really free. The square lost the element, which made up a significant part of the composition and got a new name. So how did the composition of the square change? Is it really possible to preserve the idea and composition of the square after deleting one of its key parts? Can change of the name help to square? And if it helps, isnt it a bit of hiding the dirt under the carpet? For us, in this state, is a parallel with our company – the name has changed, but did society change? In trying to solve the situation with the square, only two options are available. The first is to return the original form to the square, including a memorial, to create a reminder of the time here. A memorial that would be preserved in time, as a reference for future generations about where it worked. Or approach to a new one.

We do not think that change of name, new pavement, coat of benches or new baskets will make the square modern, designed for today’s generation. If we want the square to be modern, sustainable and help to improve the climate, we need to come up with a new one.
Our idea is dominated by the idea of ​​creating a relatively flat monumental area on the square in its central part. To solve the terrain differences, the stairs and ramps are designed in the northwestern part of the square.

Square as a public space will serve to meet citizens and their rest. In the central part there is the opportunity to spread the stage and organize various kinds of cultural and social events. The design also includes a space where small cafes and civic amenities can be placed.

Fountain Druzba on the origin Gottwald Square was a response to the fears of using a large space for the demonstration. Its location had to fill the lower part of the square and along with the corridors it was created, the space was divided into small parts. Today, the fountain is in a desolate state and its main reason for placement has ended (hopefully) with the former regime. Repairing and rehabilitation of the fountain would be very costly and inefficient. At the same time, the main idea of ​​our proposal is to create a large open space for people’s gathering and not division. For these factors, we decided not to keep the Druzba fountain. Within the square we leave water elements – smaller water areas and water jets.