During the late 2016 and subsequently in the early 2017, together with my friends we had an opportunity to admire and photograph amazing industrial spaces inside abandoned multi-storey printing house Svornosť (Unity) in Bratislava. It was shortly before the start of retrofit works that would convert the former industrial space into a loft-like apartment building. Svornosť was designed and built in early 1950's, and printing production has been active till the end of the 20th century. When we first entered the building and observed all these rusty and yellowing relics of the past, we felt like if we were traveling back in time to our teenage years.

 

 

Each floor of the building was different, each had a different atmosphere, a different story to tell; posters of the early 1990's hockey stars and hookers from adult magazines were spread across the perimeter walls of production areas, coupled with remains of large and untouched, yet already weathered, paper rolls. We've found few piles of dusted unsold books that were hidden in dark confined spaces, and in some places, these large industrial windows were still covered with long and dusty curtains suggesting theatrical atmosphere.

 

 

The absence of light in the basement areas of the building, presence of long narrow corridors leading to large spaces with high and low ceilings, and a large pool of water on the floor, separating what could have been the main goal of our discovery mission, an abandoned civil protection bunker, have reinforced labyrinth-like atmosphere, like the Labyrinth of Knossos from the Greek myth of Minotaur, or perhaps the Zone from Tarkovsky's Stalker,... or was it just in our dreams? Maybe yes, but we've promised to ourselves that we would return back and do something creative, and that's what we did.

 

Written and photographed by Pavel Hache, 2018. Special thanks to Robo from Lofty Kominárska for his absolute support for this initiative, to Jane for bringing us with her, and to Milan for mastering the lights and leading us out, eventually.