Cultural centre Zrkadlový háj


Category: Cultural institutions

Architects: Peter Jančo, Pavel Mrázek, Anna Dandárová
Location: Rovniankova 3, Bratislava Petržalka
Design: 1977
Built in years: 1980s

Kino-divadelná sála – rozsiahla červená farebnosť čalúnenia sedadiel vytvára silný výrazový kontrast k javisku a opone stvárnených v čiernej farbe

The cultural and educational facility situated in the central part of the Petržalka district has served as a cultural centre for many years and has hosted various cultural, social, and educational events. Original interior concept of the building was, already at its birth, unique among then cultural centres and the layout scheme was very avant-garde for that time. Functional and spatial flexibility and creation of attractive spaces provoking active user interaction were at the forefront of authors’ efforts. As the authors themselves said: “The aim was to create a simple, well-arranged, and authentic space without any tendentious interior elements. Understanding the operational needs of the centre we wanted to create the atmosphere of a studio where it would not be a problem to get inspired and use one´s imagination during the preparation phase of an event or at a random moment during the event itself.” [1]


From the operation point of view, the most dominant parts of the centre are the halls which offer many possibilities for organising various events ranging from theatre shows, film screenings, balls, and concerts to folklore performances and informal meetings. The authors’ effort to minimise restrictive elements in the experimental multi-purpose hall is obvious. It helped increase the spatial and functional flexibility during events and optimise the view of the audience. The two-level concept with a gallery further enhances the flexible space concept defined above. The cinema and theatre hall with tiered auditorium floor and stage was designed in a traditional way and thus allows holding of both classical and modern performances. Besides the above-mentioned halls, the cultural centre also offers other spaces to the public. These include a  multi-purpose lobby with a cloakroom and bar, recording studio, music club and other rooms. The space of the lobby, used for socialising, exhibitions and other occasional activities, also displays features of the interior concept based on flowing disposition and flexible space arrangement. The most significant of these features are the variable possibilities of interconnecting the lobby, circulation and socialising zone with the multi-purpose hall and the variable possibilities for re-arrangement of furniture.


The interior and exterior of the building show signs of postmodernism characterised by departure from strict minimalism and introduction of geometric motifs. The main characteristic feature of the interior is the motif of a grid which appears in regular patterns on drop ceilings, wall lining, and dividing walls. The most dominant part of the interior is the interconnected red wooden grid on the drop ceiling which can be seen by the visitors from different angles. The atmosphere of the interior spaces is complemented by various structured wooden and ceramic lining of different geometrical shapes and homogeneous seamless flooring. In regard to materials used in the interior, the lining of the side walls in the cinema and theatre hall deserves special attention. The lining was made of acoustically suitable perforated bricks arranged in an atypical way. Just like in many other cultural centres built at the time, here too, we can clearly see that the authors decided for bold and extensive use of the red colour which is supposed to evoke a unique, festive, and theatrical atmosphere.      

Due to natural wear and tear, the furniture currently in use is a combination of new randomly selected pieces and original artefacts. The main examples of the original pieces, which have been preserved to this day, are the cloakroom counter in the lobby and the bar counter with bar chairs in the experimental hall. There are a few elements, however, in the case of which it is not possible to state whether they have been refurbished or they are new as this requires closer examination of the furniture. [4]

Used sources
  1. Jančo, Peter – Mrázek, Pavol: Kultúrno-osvetové zariadenie pre bratislavskú Petržalku. [Cultural and educational facility for Petržalka, Bratislava.] In: Projekt 7/259/82, p. 34
  2. Vinárčiková, Jana: Dom kultúry Zrkadlový háj, Bratislava Petržalka. Netradičné pohľady na interiérové úpravy priestorov.  [Cultural centre Zrkadlový háj, Bratislava Petržalka. Unconventional views of interior design.] Catalogue of students’ design works, Bratislava, 2016
  3. Koncepcia rozvoja kultúry v mestskej časti Bratislava – Petržalka s výhľadom do roku 2020. [Concept of cultural development in the Bratislava Petržalka district with a view to 2020.] Available at:
  4. Slabeyová, Juliana: Dom kultúry Zrkadlový háj. [Cultural centre Zrkadlový háj.] Seminar paper for the Public Interior course, Faculty of Architecture and Design STU Bratislava, Summer Term 2021–2022
Photo documentation

Juliana Slabeyová