Slovak Radio Building: The Inverted Pyramid

Jan 11, 2020 0 comments

Some call it ugly. Others defend it for its architectural features. Whichever faction you side with, you can’t deny that it is an exceptional building.

The Slovak Radio Building, standing in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, was constructed in the shape of an inverted pyramid. It stands 80 meters tall, if you measure it to the tip of the antenna on its roof. Since 1983, the year the building was completed, it has housed the headquarters of Slovakia’s national public-service radio, Slovenský rozhlas, or Slovak Radio.

Slovak Radio Building

Image credit: Lubos Houska/

The Slovak Radio Building was designed by Štefan Svetko, Štefan Ďurkovič and Barnabáš Kissling. Construction began in 1967, and took 16 years to complete. The building includes spacious interior rooms, a large concert hall with over five hundred seats and a well-equipped recording studio. It is also home to one of the largest organs in Central Europe with 6,300 pipes.

The radio building was part of larger planning concept consisting of a series of large public structures in a greenbelt along a planned circular boulevard. The concept was never realized and only a few fragments, including the Slovak Radio building, were built.

Slovak Radio Building

Image credit: Fred Romero/Flickr

The inverted pyramid shape is rare in architecture, but not unique. Other examples of buildings of this shape includes:

The Tempe Municipal Building in Tempe, Arizona. It was designed by architects Michael Goodwin and Kemper Goodwin, and built during 1969-1971.

Tempe Municipal Building

Image credit: Daderot/Wikimedia Commons

The Geisel Library building of the University of California, San Diego, designed by William L. Pereira & Associates, completed in 1970.

Image credit: O Palsson/Flickr

Image credit: Roger Smith/Flickr

The St. Petersburg Pier, in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States. Constructed in 1973, it featured a five-story inverted pyramid-shaped building, designed by St. Petersburg architect William B. Harvard, Sr.

St. Petersburg Pier

Image credit: Matthew Paulson/Flickr

State Government Offices in Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

State Government Offices in Geelong

Image credit: Rob Deutscher/Flickr

The Hong Kong Coliseum, also known as Hung Hom Coliseum, a multi-purpose indoor arena, in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Coliseum

Image credit: ThamKC /

The Ministry of Interior, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Ministry of Interior, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Image credit: Jon Rawlinson/Flickr

The Pyramid On Central, Phoenix.

Pyramid On Central, Phoenix

Image credit: Erica Chang/Wikimedia Commons

The Museum of Hanoi, Vietnam.

Museum of Hanoi, Vietnam

Image credit: TuananhVu /

China Pavilion at Expo 2010. After the Expo it was reopened as the China Art Museum.

China Pavilion at Expo 2010

Image credit: Will Hastings/Flickr

Tokyo Big Sight a convention and exhibition center in Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo Big Sight

Image credit: Domenico Vescio/Flickr

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