Restored and new structures in the Kulturpark: Foxtrot, Charlie and Bravo in the background Alfa

Ján Krcho, 2013

From Military Bakery to Kulturpark: The Problematics of the Regeneration of the Former Military Warehouse Complex in Košice

South of the historic medieval core of Košice, only a few hundred meters from its edge, along ulica Rastislavova across from the Slovak Television complex that also once belonged to the same military installation, there stood a complex of military warehouses, long, empty and hidden behind a brick wall. Its massive cubic volumes created a strangely disturbing impression, hard to understand even after we discovered similar worlds in the architecture of Aldo Rossi, the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico or the poetry of Erik Groch. On a map dating from around 1885, the site of the military bakery is still indicated as only empty fields outside the city. The complex of the military bakery, and later the military rations storehouse, was built at a single stroke. Its construction and even design were the work of the “Royal and Imperial Military Engineering Command in Košice” (K. und K. Genie-Direction In Kaschau), with the support and supervision of the city authorities. Buildings and wall arose together in short order, from the issuing of the construction permit on 29 April 1893 to the final inspection of the entire complex on 13 October 1895. In 1914, the enclosure of the complex was altered from plans by the only currently identified architect involved, the locally born Gyula Wirth. Dating from the time of construction is a list of blueprints of prepared documentation: Situations plan (situation) 1 stück Hauptgebäude (main building) 7 stück Pumpenhaus (pumping station) 1 stück Bäckereigebäude (bakeries) 7 stück Mehldepot (flour storehouse) 3 stück Haferdepot (oats storehouse) 6 stück Magazingebäude (warehouses) 9 stück The contemporary story of the barracks, though, began in 2005, when the city received the area of the “Kulturpark” from the Defence Ministry, transferred free of charge as unnecessary state property. Part of the land, containing the original main building and the site of the never-built oats storehouse, was acquired by a private investor, and one building remained in the ownership of the Slovak Customs Service. In 2007, work began on preparing the project for Košice’s role as a European Capital of Culture, in which from the very beginning the revitalisation of the former “Cpt. Jaroš Barracks” was the main investment project. As is now genera knowledge, the city received the title of European City of Culture 2013 as of 8 September 2008. In parallel with the process of project preparation, as early as the summer of 2008 the City of Košice requested the Regional Heritage Office of Košice for the preparation of recommendations for declaring four of the buildings in the barracks as national cultural landmarks….

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