ESET Campus concept architect selection in its final phase

Bratislava 11.12.2019

In September 2019, ESET launched an international call for a concept architect for their project that seeks to transform the site of what used to be a military hospital at Patrónka, Bratislava, into a center of innovation and creativity called “ESET Campus”. Rather than looking to choose what the intended campus will finally look like, ESET saw the call as an opportunity to find a long-term business partner who would actually implement the project. Upon thorough scrutiny of the candidates’ proposals based on numerous criteria, three renowned architectural design studios were shortlisted in the end: Denmark-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG); the Dutch architectural design atelier MVRDV, and UK-based WilkinsonEyre. The three candidates made their concluding presentations in Bratislava yesterday and the final results of the selection procedure are expected to be disclosed in January next year.

Over the past few weeks, the three studios that made it to the shortlist inspected the site of the future campus at Patrónka and took part in two workshops focusing on more detailed function specifications of the intended project, as well as its future location-specific interconnections.

„The workshops immediately showed that the three shortlisted design studios had a lot of experience implementing similar campuses and large-scale projects for global technology companies. The candidates’ global views and expertise demonstrated during our talks will help us a lot in steering our ESET Campus project in the near future,“ says Pavel Luka, ESET’s chief operating officer.

The concluding presentations saw as many as five independent experts, whose expert opinions will be an important part of the referral that is due to be sent to ESET’s board with a view to helping them choose the best concept architect for the project. Slovak experts on the committee were represented by Prof. Ing. arch. Pavel Gregor, PhD., Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Design, Slovak University of Technology; Ing. arch. Juraj Šujan, an architect, lecturer, and member of numerous expert committees and associations; Ing. arch. Kornel Kobák, an architect, urbanist and expert in the architectural line of work; and Igor Marko, an urbanist working at the London-based studio Marko & Placemakers. Paying special attention to the context and broader perspective of the project in the making, the committee was chaired by Robert Bishop, a renowned British architect from StudioN who worked as Head of Europe Studio at the world-renowned architectural design studio Benoy for over 25 years.

ESET is choosing a concept architect for their project in cooperation with experts in property development solutions. The initial longlist included as many as 270 proposals from 26 countries on 3 continents, 40 of them being from Slovakia. Based on a number of criteria, the original list of potential candidates was later reduced to 30, still later to 10, and finally to 3. The most important selection criteria primarily included previous projects focused on master planning, campuses, innovation centers, modern housing, and the latest trends in the sphere of working life. Naturally, the candidates’ capacity to implement a project of this size was a determining factor as well.