Bratislava – industrial monument newly interpreted

protestant church, Milan Michal Harminc, copper roof, administrative building, Spilka Offices, Prefalz, P.10 patina green, Bouda Masár, skyline, Bratislava, Slovakia

The Slovakian architectural office Bouda Masár was responsible for a sophisticated revaluation of the listed Spilka building. Spilka means ‘fermenting cellar’ or ‘premises for fermentation’. The reconstruction of the cupola roof and the connected modernisation of the entire building on the historic grounds of the former Stein brewery are the striking outcome. In addition, the Prefalz covering in P.10 patina green also greatly contributed to the fact that the cupola shines once again with its radiance of the past.

The essence of architecture is to make a statement that goes beyond the purely functional and touches people.

Alexander Freiherr von Branca

Collaboration is key

PREFA object consultant and engineer Gabriel Boros proudly states: “We worked in a team where collaboration had top priority.” The project was accompanied “by a constant exchange of constructive ideas and different approaches.” Approaches of architects who tried to break away from the tradition they had been immersed in. Of historians and preservationists who were consulted, as preserving this industrial heritage was jointly regarded as a natural concern. And, finally, of experienced specialists of the general contractor Global System, whom Boros supported with his engineering skills during the entire project.

dministrative building, Spilka Offices, Bouda Masár, Prefalz, P.10 patina green, monument protection, Stein 2 living quarter, Bratislava, Slovakia

Reconstruction of the cupola roof

In the mid 1950s, the Spilka cupola, with its point that reaches up to a height of 36,43 metres, became the landmark of the Blumentál district. Between 1872 and the closure of the brewery in 2007, the site comprised several housing blocks and various functional buildings to store and process yeast. But after some time, most of them noticeably decayed. Only the Spilka was placed under monument protection. All of the other buildings gave way to the multifunctional living and office quarter Stein 2. The reconstruction of the cupola began in 2017, right after the first detailed evaluations with the removal of its outer copper shell. Despite the aggressive environmental conditions, the reinforced concrete shell surprisingly did not lose any of its static properties. After removing biological contaminants such as mosses, lichens and bird droppings, the renovation of the surface began.

administrative building, Spilka Offices, cupola's reconstruction plan, PREFA, Global System, art of engineering, Gabriel Boros, Norbert Štefan

A new-old appearance

Finally, it must be mentioned that the entire realisation was carried out in a historically accurate manner and in the pulse of time from a technical standpoint. This is aptly symbolised by an architectural trick envisaged by Bouda Masár – an inverted glass pyramid was installed through a construction opening in the cupola’s vertex. Ivan Masár tells us that “with the help of a mirror placed inside it, the sunlight is reflected into the inside of the cupola during the day. And at night, the interior lighting is reflected into the sky of Bratislava and the revitalised, former Stein area based on the historical model.”

protestant church, Milan Michal Harminc, copper roof, administrative building, Spilka Offices, Prefalz, P.10 patina green, Bouda Masár, skyline, Bratislava, Slovakia

Spilka building - details



Building, location:

Spilka building, Bratislava




Bouda Masár


Maja Klampiarstvo




P.10 patina green

Further information

  • Text & Interviews: Marlon T. L. Fink
  • Photography: Martin Croce, Gabriel Boros, Peter Bouda & Ivan Masár, Stefan Cipar & Martin Matula
  • Rendering: Peter Bouda & Ivan Masár
  • Archival Images: KPU Bratislava (Denkmalschutzbehörde)