Skip to main content
New European Bauhaus
News article8 April 2021

The adaptation of a former factory

We are interested in exploring how we can breathe new life into old buildings.


Can we give new life to old buildings?

This is the example of the adaptation of the former factory Mlynica, shortlisted for the EU Mies Award (GutGut, ISE s.r.o.).

The adapted building combines living & working with the ambition of creating a unique community on a vast brownfield site in Bratislava.

Since 1960s, porous prefabricated concrete blocks, slabs & panels were produced there until 1992.

The architectural design builds on the structural logic of the original building. The reinforced concrete frame filled with porous concrete masonry façade is retained & a new programme is inserted into the existing container. The façade is opened up purposefully in places where it aligns with the new layout without compromising the existing structures' load-bearing capacity. The new openings have a free & readable composition as opposed to the original rational mesh of window openings typical of an industrial building.

The design builds on the contrast between old and new, highlighting the quality of the original building. Eliminating unnecessary layers, emphasizes the structural logic of the building and thus maximises the potential for its new use.

The reconstruction transforms the former industrial complex used for purely technical production into a modern mixed-use building for cultural events, business presentation, administration & in a smaller part open plan living. A thermal insulation layer was added & the envelope was finished with plaster. Original industrial steel windows were replaced with new aluminium windows with a light profile. New horizontal constructions were used according to the original structure's possibilities & mainly consisted of reinforced concrete slabs or steel frames with ceramic units. Vertical partitions are composed of timber-framed walls with glass or plywood panels, Profilit glass or solid brick walls. Original surfaces were cleaned, repaired but left unpolished. Electrical wiring, plumbing, heating, and ventilation are all revealed & form a visible "vascular system" of the building.

Let us know how you think we can make our communities & the places where we live more beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive.

Go to Co-design in our main menu and share it!

?  NE & NW facades of The Mill / © J. Skokan M. Tůma


Publication date
8 April 2021