Slovakia is home to more Cold War-era prefabricated housing blocks, locally referred to as “panelaks,” than anywhere else in the former Soviet bloc. After the fall of communism, many called for the demolition of the panelaks, seen as unwanted reminders of a difficult history. In Bratislava alone, 130,000 people live in panelaks; destroying and replacing that much housing would have been prohibitively expensive.
Slovakian architecture firm GutGut instead renovated and reconfigured a dilapidated tower block, updating the appearance, inserting communal space such as café, gym and sauna on the ground floor, providing a variety of apartment types.The renewed building envelope is simple and compact, embellished with suspended steel balconies which add a distinctive feature. The reconstruction also involved removal of prefabricated partitions, opening up the floor plan though the entire cross section of the building, enhancing the spatial character of the apartments. the most valuable apartmens are the penthouses located located in the new roof extension.