ESET to create an inspiring ecosystem focused on research and innovation at PatrónkaBratislava 18.9.2019
Having acquired a plot of land at Bratislava’s Patrónka in 2017, the company is now making plans to transform the site of what used to be a military hospital into a buzzing place that will turn this part of Bratislava into an epicenter of innovation and creativity. „We have always envisaged the site at Patrónka to be an exciting place for establishing our company’s HQs and R&D center in, which is why we have also been thinking about it in wider perspective,“ says Pavel Luka, ESET’s chief operating officer.
„At ESET, we are well aware of the fact that one of the greatest challenges for any company – or any country, for that matter – is to retain the highly talented members of their workforce and allow them to fully leverage their potential. And so, we started thinking about our new headquarters not as an office block, but rather as an integrated and inspiring ecosystem that will support people’s creative potential and provide them with an environment they will be drawn to when it comes to both work and leisure time activities. That is how our idea of building a campus was born.“
ESET Campus explained
Thanks to its natural surroundings and convenient location, ESET Campus will provide a highly comfortable and stimulating environment for cutting-edge IT and technology businesses, networking them with technically oriented universities. In addition to ESET’s all-new global R&D center, the campus will also provide office premises for innovative tech companies, as well as an incubator for startups.
„Besides the high-quality working environment itself, such entities will also have a chance to benefit from synergies generated by the concentration of creative potential in one place, as evident from similar campuses that have recently been built abroad,“ adds Pavel Luka.
ESET cooperates with universities and colleges around the world. With the Slovak Academy of Sciences being at a stone’s throw from ESET’s Patrónka site, the future campus will surely be conveniently located, plus there are several technology-oriented university faculties nearby. „Students and academics are important to every creative environment. Our campus seeks to appeal to such target groups by creating attractive educational premises as well as making commuting between the existing faculties and the campus easier.“ Another idea that ESET is contemplating has to do with modern ways of co-living for students, which might eventually facilitate a deeper integration of universities into the innovative ecosystem in the making.
Balance of functions
In addition to a high-quality environment for innovation and research, the campus will combine a wide range of other services and facilities, public spaces and, to some extent, also residential premises, which are bound to transform this part of the city into a buzzing area that will be lively even outside working hours. Intended mainly for company employees, the residential function will come in the form of apartments for rent.
There will be also be a number of other useful services and amenities, including restaurants, cafes, shops offering daily goods, a canteen, a pharmacy, a dentist’s surgery and an on-site nursery for employees’ kids. In combination with the adjacent administrative complex with a floor area of 100,000 sq. meters that is just over the road, the campus is bound to generate a sufficient and sustainable demand to attract quality service providers.
Another important part of the campus will include sports infrastructure (a gym, a sports shop, a bicycle rental service, etc.) and an auditorium, and many of these spaces will also be available to the general public.
Biophilia as an underlying principle
ESET Campus will be built on the principles of functionality, sustainability and ecology. „It is intended to be simple to use and designed to make people feel comfortable, inspired and free to leverage their potential in full. Our goal is to create a place that subtly and naturally motivates people to live a healthy life style full of sports activities,,“ says Peter Moravčík from InFlow, ESET’s partner in charge of the sphere of development management.
The site of the future campus is adjacent to Železná Studnička – one of the most beloved parts of Bratislava’s forest park, frequently visited by locals seeking a bit of relaxation or a place for sports activities. As a matter of fact, the adjacent park and its greenery will be one of the defining elements of the future campus.
„Our biophilic design is based on the assumption that an environment that is rich in natural elements and images has a positive impact on people’s emotional experience, boosting their ability to concentrate and reducing their level of stress and anxiety. The campus site will include a park and spacious green areas, but it is largely the immediate vicinity of Železná Studnička that allows us to create a biophilic environment for work and life in a very natural way,“ explains Peter Moravčík.
Emphasis on public transport and eco-friendly ways
While putting emphasis on maximum comfort for pedestrians, the campus will also encourage the use of public transport lines and alternative nature-friendly means of transport as much as possible. Needless to say, the project will include secure bicycle racks and a bicycle repair shop.
On top of a variety of convenient tram and bus stops, the ESET Campus site is located near a small train station, so the area may see train connections become a fully-fledged part of Bratislava’s public transport network. “The topic of integrating train connections into the public transport network in the area is important to us, which is why we have been paying a lot of attention to it. We have already had initial talks with the Railways of the Slovak Republic, so we are looking for the most effective solution to make use of the Červený Most station,” says Pavel Luka from ESET.
Despite the general preference of public and alternative means of transport, however, the campus will also be ready to accommodate a fair number of vehicles. Expected to be mostly used by campus employees on weekdays, the parking places will also be available to the general public at the weekend, e.g. to facilitate access to Železná studnička or events organized in the area.