Modern people today want to live and stay healthy. How can Metropolis meet this requirement?
Juraj: Healthy living brings to mind a healthier lifestyle. People who live in the city centre don’t drive long distances between work and home. They don’t spend hours stuck in traffic jams; walking saves them time and keeps them healthy. The downtown environment itself inspires a healthy lifestyle. There are excellent amenities, and everything is close by. Downtown residents walk not just to work, but also for shopping, schools, and sports. From Metropolis, they can reach everything they need for their lives within a 5-minute walk. It’s not just the building that’s important, but also what’s around it.
Sebastien: A prerequisite for healthy living is having enough sunlight in the home. It has a positive influence on our biorhythm, psyche, and mood. For this reason, in Metropolis we opted for large windows stretching all the way down to the ground. They ensure sufficient exposure to sunlight, promoting productivity and increasing the feeling of vitality. Equally important is air quality, which significantly affects our health. Metropolis provides a solution also in this regard; a modern air recuperation system is installed in the new apartments, continuously supplying fresh air to the interiors.
The way the living space is designed is also important for health and physical well-being. How did you design the layout in Metropolis?
Sebastien: Our main focus was to achieve the most efficient use of the entire floor space of the apartments. Regular room floor plans with ample storage space create room for creativity. They are easy to furnish and adapted to the needs of modern people. The layouts are designed to allow families to spend time together, while at the same time everyone can find a quiet place for themselves. The apartments will have heating and cooling built into the ceiling, so there are no radiators, and there is more space for furniture or decorations.
Juraj: The modern technology in Metropolis will support residents’ overall health. Smart controls allow you to set the ideal temperature for each room individually, which has a positive effect on thermal comfort. This minimises the risk of overheating or excessive humidity in apartments and prevents the formation of micro-mould. All these factors also have a positive effect on the quality of sleep, as it is better to sleep in an apartment that maintains an optimal temperature and has fresh air flowing through it. Quality sleep is key to a healthy lifestyle.
Sebastien: I agree that the environment we live in has a major impact on the quality of our sleep. This time spent at home, especially the time during sleep, is important for the body’s recovery and regeneration. Sleep determines how we feel and function the next day. In our project, we make sure that the interior environment of the apartments is clean, well ventilated and maintained at an optimal temperature. As Juraj mentioned, each apartment is equipped with an individually controlled recuperation unit that takes care of air exchange throughout the apartment. It is not necessary to open the windows in order to the room. The recuperation also filters the air so that only clean air flows in, free of allergens and harmful substances. For Metropolis we have chosen WOLF premium heat recuperation, the selected F7 filters trap allergens such as pollen, dust, particles of fumes, as well as bacteria and viruses. They are characterized by high efficiency and represent a higher quality of filters than that required by the standard.
We decided on this type because we want to create the best apartments on sale in Bratislava. They guarantee their owners a healthy living environment where they can truly relax and regenerate after a busy day.
Nighttime quiet is also essential for a good night’s sleep. But achieving this in a city centre can be difficult. How did you sort this out?
Juraj: For Metropolis we selected the highest quality windows from the renowned German brand Wicona, which have triple glazing and high-quality three-chamber frames, so they have excellent insulation properties, providing high acoustic and thermal comfort. They protect the apartment both from street noise and wind, which is also an important factor in this zone, especially in apartments on higher floors. In addition, we installed exterior shading in all apartments. This will help lessen the effects of sunlight and keep apartments a few degrees cooler in summer.
Sebastien: Thanks to external blinds, we will keep the heat out. The project is located in a modern emerging centre, and the blinds will also serve as a reliable protection against possible noise.
Juraj: Another healthy feature of the Metropolis project is that it’s a new building with new, modern wiring. I think that anyone who has ever lived in an old apartment building with outdated technical, technological and hygiene conditions will appreciate the upgrade to the healthy and modern housing with a high hygiene standard found in Metropolis. A modern technologically equipped new building with plenty of daylight is the healthiest form of living. Among the other buildings in the downtown, Metropolis appears to be the project that best meets these criteria.
In one of your interviews you mentioned the ventilated facade. It has several features that also create a healthy indoor environment in the building.
Juraj: The suspended ventilated facade ensures a pleasant climate and indoor air all year round. It is able to ensure optimal stability of the humidity of the constructions and interiors. When a building has a ventilated envelope, there are no primary heat gains on the internal structures, which means that the building does not overheat too much on the south and west sides. The suspended facade made of alucobond also provides excellent acoustic insulation. Together with high-quality windows, it provides perfect protection against street noise.
The Metropolis project includes a landscaped semi-private park with greenery and play elements for kids. How are you going to realise this?
Juraj: We would like the garden to give the impression of a kind of expansion of the apartment itself. So that when buying it, people perceive that they are acquiring ownership of a city apartment with access to a garden. We are aiming for the park to have an interesting “landscape design”, where the garden will function as a hidden green oasis. In London or Paris, these semi-private courtyards can be found next to residential buildings, hidden behind the building facades. They are a most desirable amenity in the centre. We plan to create something similar at Metropolis; a nice intimate green corner that will motivate people to spend time outdoors. Such places promote the mental health of residents. A small piece of nature that separates them from busy city life.
Sebastien: Downtowns, as we know them in metropolises, always have a quiet park with plenty of shrubbery, where you can hide and sit in the shade of the greenery. For people living in cities, this is a luxury. Our park will be partially open to the public, but we would like it to be primarily used by people living in Metropolis.
A question for you, Sebastien; how do you view Juraj’s ideas from the position of a developer? Does the architect have a free hand?
Sebastien: I like to agree with Juraj. I like to support his innovative ideas because they make sense to me. He always comes up with a good idea. He is a well-travelled man, a discerning architect who perceives trends. And you can see it in his work. We have been working together for a long time and have several successful projects under our belt. I myself have experienced the very same hidden gem of a garden in Paris which Juraj mentioned. He has the gift of being able to materialise in his designs so many things from city life.
Juraj: Thank you. I would add that Sebastien and I have a similar view. There is harmony between us, and that is positive for the project.
Metropolis is the only downtown project to offer green terraces. What benefits do they bring to residents?
Juraj: Thanks to the terrace, residents will be in close connection with the city. The view of the vibrant city from the terrace will give them an even greater visual experience. Fantastic vistas of the city can be enjoyed thanks to the floor-to-ceiling French windows. They give you the feeling of being in the centre of the action and at the same time in the safety of your own home. Metropolis is the only project in the downtown to have this type of window on all sides. As an architect, I love it when we implement French windows in apartments. They visually enlarge the interior, add lightness, and influence the overall design of the apartment. In this space, the visual and living comfort is higher than in a space where there is just an ordinary rectangular window in the wall.
French windows are also considered a better choice than all-glass walls because they are more energy efficient. They have multi-layered glass and insulating frames that minimize heat loss. And that leads to energy savings and lower heating costs in winter. From the outside, they will be covered with external blinds that control the penetration of sunlight and minimize overheating of the interior in the hot summer months, so there is no need for extreme cooling. The larger the glass surface on the facades, the more energy is needed to cool the interior.
What else should architects and developers who want to bring new healthy housing to cities focus on?
Sebastien: They should also take care in choosing quality furnishing elements. For example, in Metropolis we will use high quality natural wood floors made of real wood, without unnecessary chemicals and synthetic materials. People will be able to go barefoot at home; most of us like that. Children also like to play on the floor.
A great advantage is the real Porotherm bricks made of natural material – the brick partitions have a better accumulation capacity than plasterboard. Brick is a traditional healthy material that accumulates heat. Temperature fluctuations of constructions containing brick are slower. In-ceiling heating will provide healthy, radiant heat. It is certainly better quality and healthier than heat from radiators. It is more natural for the human organism.
In the project, how are you reckoning with the growing demands for electromobility?
Juraj: Our project promotes green electromobility and provides a favourable environment for EV owners. It is trendy and nowadays commonplace in new buildings. There will be sockets for electric car chargers in the underground garage. I would also like to mention other pleasant and modern services in Metropolis, such as delivery boxes or receptions with a camera system and security service. The function of a reception in residences appealed to me in America. When I lived in a high-rise building there, and rode the elevator down from the 23rd floor, the receptionist remembered me and spoke to me. You get that feeling of home, of being taken care of. It’s a completely different style of living.
Sebastien: Delivery boxes are a huge advantage. The courier will open your mailbox and can leave your parcel, shopping, or food in it. This feature saves time and stress, you don’t have to rush out of work to meet the courier. Delivery boxes provide secure storage for parcels and packages. Residents do not have to worry about theft or damage to parcels as they are stored in a locked and secure area with a code.
Sebastien: When you buy an apartment in Metropolis, you are actually buying a new lifestyle. With it, you get the best, most technological, most luxurious, most economical, smartest housing in Europe. We go to exhibitions in Europe, and we see that new projects in the world’s capitals are no better than Metropolis. Nowhere in the western world is there more luxury built than here in Bratislava. It is world-class living of the highest standard. In Munich, you’ll find ceiling heating in the most luxurious projects, and there are really only a few of them. In Bratislava and Prague, the preferred housing standard is much higher than anywhere else in the world.
The shell construction of Metropolis should be completed this summer. How are you progressing and how’s it going with apartment sales?
Sebastien: Construction continues to proceed on schedule, and we are planning for occupation approval in the second quarter of next year. The shell is currently nearing completion and both towers of the building have reached their final height. Already today we can see that the monogram M visibly completes the Bratislava skyline.
As far as apartment sales are concerned, premium large apartments with terraces are particularly sought after. However, currently during the month of June, we are also continuing to sign contracts for standard 3-room + kitchen corner and 1-room + kitchen corner apartments, which only Metropolis as in this locality. Clients have told us that they are buying larger units mainly for their own housing. For smaller units, their intention is more about protecting their money, preferring to invest in property rather than putting their money in the bank. We support their decision because we know they are investing in a quality project that gives them some certainty that it will maintain its quality and value over the long term.