Opening in the late 1980s after more than ten years of construction, the Slovak Radio Tower is an unmissable feature in the landscape of Bratislava. The building, an inverted pyramid of steel frame construction, was designed by Štefan Svetko, Štefan Ďurkovič, and Barnabáš Kissling during the height of socialist realism.
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The history of Slovakia is riddled with political unrest and unwanted occupation, with the Slovak people having repeatedly been denied a voice throughout history. In the years following World War I, Slovakia was forced into the common state of Czechoslovakia; the territory was dismembered by the Nazi regime in 1938 and occupied by the Nazis for most of the Second World War, before being eventually liberated by Soviet and Romanian forces in 1945. Over the next four decades of communist rule—first by communists within Czechoslovakia itself and then later by the Soviet Union—the architecture of Slovakia came to develop into a unique form of sci-fi postmodernism that celebrated the shift in industrial influence at the time.
The former Czechoslovakia 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, but Slovakian architecture firm GutGut had a different idea.
Trenčín is currently facing changes connected with the relocation of the railway track directly within the city centre as part of the modernisation of the European railway corridor, with planned completion in 2016.
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