Stara Trznica, Old Market Hall located in the middle of Bratislava, has been an example of bringing a positive change in its surroundings. Not only does it invite people to come together and cooperate in unconventional ways, but it has also focused on allowing people to benefit from it financially and socially. The Old Market Hall Alliance has its essence in bringing people together and cooperate to build a strong community. It has a socially inclusive approach where people from all age groups and all backgrounds can find their place. Innovating with every chance they get, the team brings in new ideas and plans to further improve its impact on the community. Starting with social and cultural events, Stara Trznica is now focusing on artistic collaborations. The market hall space is flexible in this way that it has the opportunity to accommodate various kinds of events and gives the opportunity to the users to interact on different levels with space, as well as each other. The first artistic installation was displayed in the hall from June 2021 till the end of August.
…We are also trying to implement art to the program now, a project that was planned for last year will happen this year. A site-specific art installation that has a net installation that can be walked on by humans, and it is done by Numen / For use, Austrian-Croatian group. It is something that we would like to continue with, for example, every summer.
An interactive art installation was organized by Stara Trznica. This installation is the work of Numen/ For Use, a team of visual artists that is comprised of artists, architects, designers, and set designers. The Tube is a free-floating network of pathways that allows the visitor to perceive the space and the installation from different perspectives. The visitor takes a journey by walking through a semi-transparent floating tunnel. It becomes a sculpture to view, as well as an installation to interact with. Tube installation was on display for several days, an artistic experience free of charge, to give the community an event to look forward to, particularly after being confined in their homes due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our main focus is always to keep the cultural and social events, but due to sound limitations, we also try to come up with different kinds of projects. Such projects not only help us in revenue-generating activities but are also beneficial to the public and cultural life.
Stara Trznica is not only expanding its reach in terms of activities but also expanding its intervention in improving the social and cultural life beyond the market hall building.
The Vivid Square Project is a case study done by the Old Market Hall Alliance. It is a project in construction since 2019, which deals with the surroundings of the market hall. It is a wide-open space located in the center of the city that holds a lot of potentials but currently has no function. It is only used as a transit space. After extensive research and work with partners, subtle and small-scale changes in the square were suggested that could add character to the square. The site was opened for an architectural competition to bring in experts to visualize how the square will look like in the future. Now, after an extensive architectural competition between studios from all over Europe, the project has been announced in April 2021. The winning was from design studio Loidl from Berlin, which unifies three squares in the city center and is a design solution for traffic and climatic demands.
…the whole area around the market hall will change soon for the better. The project involves small interventions in the whole area, from reduced vehicular parking and increased spaces for walking, relaxing spaces.
In the past year with the Covid-19 pandemic, Stara Trznica has adapted to different ways in which it can keep its activities and social and cultural events. Home delivery of locally produced foods to help the vendors, giving space to the homeless to sell newspapers, a community kitchen for the migrants, and a Christmas fair for local artists to sell their products are only a few of the activities that were arranged by Stara Trznica during this time.
Covid-19 taught us to move away from things that we don’t enjoy and are all about money and move towards events that we enjoy and are more beneficial to the community. It is the value of things that we see and experience even more. With everything closed, it gave us time to think about things in a different light, try out new things, and experiment. In the past, it has been very fixed and scheduled, about what will happen when in the market hall. And now that it’s closed we have the physical and mental room to try out new things.
The basic principle will still be that the essence of the place is that people meet in person. This becomes the most problematic aspect when you consider the pandemic, but we cannot take it away. Converting it to something else will not work the same way. We didn’t shift to online events when everyone else did. We rather waited for things to fall back into place.
Now, with everything going back to normal, the Old Market Hall Alliance hopes to resume all of its activities in its full spirit. As many community-led initiatives shifted to online activities during the pandemic, the Stara Trznica team waited patiently for things to settle, and took this time to prepare and plan for in-person events.
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Eutropian is proud partner of the Open Heritage project, which identifies and tests the best practices of adaptive heritage re-use in Europe. We lead the research on case studies and produced documentary films on select sites.