Southbank Bratislava Architecture & Urban Design Competition

Summary of the competition

A total of 52 proposals from all over the world were submitted to the competition. Its international scope and the number of participants made it a truly unique occurrence that has not been seen in Slovakia before.

The aim of the competition was to find a future solution for the development of the area along the southern bank of the Danube River, between Bratislava's Old Bridge, Apollo Bridge, and Harbor Bridge.

This location is one of the most valuable building lots suitable for development in the capital, thanks to its close proximity to the historic city center, the new city center, and its location on the southern bank of the Danube River.

The jury of professionals evaluated the winning proposal based on its underlying concept, its complexity, the quality of urbanism and architecture, as well as its approach to public spaces with an emphasis on greenery and natural context of the project’s location.

Other attributes that were taken into consideration were the architects’ experience with projects of similar urban scale and context as well as sustainability and feasibility of the design.

Winning Proposal

Snøhetta + Studio Egret West + gro architekti

The winning proposal for the Southbank Bratislava project stands out for its inventive concept of continuous urban landscape that seamlessly integrates into the natural element of its surroundings. The design effectively utilizes public spaces complementing other public areas as defined in the zoning plan. In the immediate vicinity of the site, there will be a large central park and a sports-recreational zone along the Danube River, among other amenities.

David West, founder, and director of Studio Egret West, explains their approach to urban planning and public spaces: "Our design is inspired by the natural environment along the Danube River. We wanted to create a space that feels as though nature itself has shaped it. The public space will span across multiple levels, connected by a promenade which will become a hub for community gatherings and a focal point of public interest."

The proposal works significantly with the terrain thus creating distinctive focal points known as "bowls," each with its own unique function and character.

"During our first visit to Bratislava, it became evident that nature is a key element of this locality. Therefore, we came up with the 'bowls' which preserve existing mature trees and other greenery while also incorporating a sustainable drainage system. Water thus becomes a central component of the landscape architecture," adds Patrick Lüth, Managing Director of Snøhetta.

Overall, the project will provide approximately 1,000 apartments and over 85,000 square meters of leasable office and commercial space.

"We're currently at the beginning of the entire process, preparing the assignment for the architectural survey that will further develop the proposal in greater detail. The architectural competition helped us select the best concept and partners with whom we will continue to refine the proposal as part of the project preparation to achieve its final form. The jury chose the best design for the location, and I believe that the final concept and its subsequent implementation will significantly elevate the standard of architecture and real estate development in our capital city," said Juraj Nevolník, Managing Director of Penta Real Estate Slovakia.

The winning studios have an impressive portfolio of award-winning projects across the globe. Some of the most famous projects of the Norwegian studio Snøhetta include the opera and ballet building in Oslo, the headquarters of the French newspaper Le Monde, or a natural pavilion for reindeer observation. Among other things, the studio is well known for its sensitive approach to natural context and its influence on urbanism and architecture.

London-based Studio Egret West is known primarily for its urban projects in Great Britain, where they focus on creation of vibrant public spaces.

Visualizations of the Southbank project winning proposal:


The site in question is one of the most valuable building lots suitable for development in the capital city of Slovakia, Bratislava, thanks to its proximity to both, the historic city center, and the new downtown as well as its position on the southern bank of the Danube River.

For decades, the city of Bratislava has been planning to transform the area between the two bridges on the southern bank of the Danube River into a new city center. This area is considered strategic in terms of city’s development plans with the intention to create a compact city by the river.

The main goal is to create a new central city district interconnected with the already emerging downtown and to join the opposite sides of the river, out of which the southern is significantly underdeveloped. The purpose of this competition is to find suitable and functional masterplan concept with outstanding and unique architecture, landscape, and public space design.

We are confident that our project – defined by its location and scale, has strong potential to become the most valuable addition to the city center as well as an attractive and comfortable urban place for life, work, and free time.

Mixed use zone:

  • 210 000 sqm of the GFA,
  • 48% Residential,
  • 52% Office and Retail,
  • maximum height 110 meters.


International, open, two-round, non-anonymous, Architecture & Urban Design Competition.

Final result announcement

1st place

  • Snøhetta + Studio Egret West + gro architekti

2nd place

  • KCAP

The rest of the teams in no particular order

  • Bjarke Ingels Group + Pantograph + Inflow Design, Zaha Hadid Architects, Office for Metropolitan Architecture, William Matthews Associates + Boele + Sadovsky & Architects + Mikhail Riches + Expedition Engineering + LOLA landscape architects + Studio Akkerhuis

We would like to thank all the teams who participated in the competition and extend our congratulations to the winning team.


Public announcement of the competition
First round design period begins


First round submission deadline


First round results announcement
Second round design period begins


Second round submission deadline


Jury meeting Presentations


Final presentations


Jury meeting


Final results announcement


The winning project reveal


Independent jury members

Prof Ing. arch. Eva Jiřičná

CBE, AI Design
(architect and designer)

Dipl. Ing. Peter Gero

Peter Gero Consulting
(architect and urbanist)

Igor Marko MA Arch ARB

Marko and Placemakers
(architect and urbanist)

Ing. arch. Juraj Benetin

(architect and urbanist)

Ing. arch. Ján Doubek

Metropolitan Institute of Bratislava
Architecture Competitions Department

Jury representatives of the organiser

Ing. arch. Juraj Nevolník

Penta Real Estate, s.r.o.
Country Managing Director Slovak Republic

Ing. Petr Palička

Penta Real Estate, s.r.o.
Country Managing Director Czech Republic

Mgr. Michal Rehák

Penta Real Estate, s.r.o.
Business Director Residential

PhDr. Pavel Streblov M.Sc.

Penta Real Estate, s.r.o.
Business Director Commercial


Ing. Arch. Kornel Kobák

Vice-Chairman of the Slovak Chamber of Architects, AVK architects, FORFORM
(architect and urbanist)

Ing. Marcel Martišek

Penta Real Estate, s.r.o.
Head of Project Management

Penta Real Estate

Our goal is to create buildings that contribute to urban development of a specific area. For these reasons, we always work with the top-of-the-class architects, engineers, and other respected professionals in the field. Our experience together with their creativity and competence guarantee the highest quality and investment value of our real estate portfolio. This is the main reason why the world’s most renowned architects such as Zaha Hadid Architects, Massimiliano Fuksas, Vietzke & Borstelmann Architekten, Benthem Crouwel Architects and others, participate in our projects.