Hotel Kyjev

During our visit to Bratislava for the opening of Modernice! the obvious place to stay was Hotel Kyjev: an all Travertine palace from the communist era. In Bratislava numerous buildings from this era are clad in this majestic natural stone. An early example is the splendid Hotel Devin. It is interesting that the most luxurious and sensuous material that we can imagine in Slovakia often is associated with oppression and shortage.

Since the natural stone is so abundant we informed weather it would actually be affordable, we were eager to deploy the material in our own projects. But it turned out the local quarry is now closed: there is no more blissful rock left…

The hotel was designed by Ivan Matusik and built between 1963 and 1973. The complex is composed out of an immense horizontal base containing lobby, banquet halls and shops and a vertical counter point, a suspended 15 story slab with the hotel rooms. A triangular department store sits next to it. The entire complex covered in natural stone. With many original details still intact. The transition from horizontal to vertical slab is very sexy: it is rounded with subtle fillet.

The lobby is a spacey room with a sensational concave baseboard: the Travertine floor turns into Travertine wall: Travertine limbo.

The Kyjev is a mathematical miracle: like in many hotels, the 13th is missing. I stayed at the top floor, the 15th but the tower slab actually counts 15 layers. There has to be a secret extra floor…

There are plans for replacing the powerful ensemble with new commercial urban substance. The dilemma of our profession is that hardly any new building would be able to match the qualities of the existing Kyjev. Thank God for the crisis: it will slow down the destructive developments. And hopefully will buy the Kyjev some time for ‘revaluation’.

Kyjev Hotel




piece de resistance


The Luna Night Club in the basement

Door to secret floor?

2 Responses to “Hotel Kyjev”

  1. illah Says:

    super, but it leaves me curious about the inside of the rooms, why are there no photo’s of that?

    • nlarchitects Says:

      Illah, the inside of the rooms is interesting too. Quite spacious. They feature a slightly raised small plateau over the full depth of the room and a specially designed club chair. Maybe book a room to check it out… I can recommend the top floor suites… There are no desks in the rooms to work on, only low tables. Except for on the 15th: here the extended windowsill that can serve as a table…
      You once mentioned that there is a folkloric room too. I’m curious about that one.

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