Martin Benka Cultural Center


The Cultural Center – which measures 2,800 square meters – is composed of two different architectural typologies, old city plaza and new city site,which work on a symbiotic manner providing traditional and transformable space.

Five stories cultural center designed with the double skinned glass exterior curtain wall in the winter time works as transparent insulation. In the summer time is aimed to supply cooled air with a mechanical ventilation system


Conceptual Design and Resources:
Martin Benka (1888–1971) was a Slovak Modernist painter who laid the foundations for the Slovak movement in art and culture. He became the first Slovak painter to break the shackles of descriptiveness and go beyond the tradition of merely painting the visible reality. His inspiration by reality remained visible and it still determined the outer structure of his works, but Benka enriched his paintings with symbolic elements. He was an interesting “renaissance man” with universal artistic interests in visual arts, music and even literature (having written memoirs and travel sketches). He was a gifted man with many talents that he ambitiously cultivated throughout his lifetime.

In a unique style, Martin Benka has defined the typically Slovak – highlander – life, the Slovak mountainous landscape with round and waved hillsides, valleys, the craggy and steep mountains, with strips of ridges and fogs, populated with the lives of its inhabitants: raftsmen, lumberjacks, peasants and shepherds, diggers and hay-rakers, women and men both at work and resting, often bent under their knapsacks or leaning over a field cradle…

The hillside landscape by Martin Benka
The Conceptual Idea
He admired the intrinsically free and natural existence of the Slovak man living in harmony with nature and its laws. In his work, Benka sought for an idealised image of the Slovak mountainous land, together with the plebeian nature of its inhabitants. An image that should evoke feelings of stability, the timelessness of being, the cosmic unity of the human and the natural.
The Landscape of Mountains by Martin Benka
The Conceptual Idea
The Concept in Process
The Final Concept