At the point when Oľga and Dušan Novota decided to set up their own business (NOVOTA), they already had a professional background covering a whole range of fine-art and craft interests. They had been participating in the renovation and restoration of parts of the historic architecture in the architecturally protected areas of Bratislava, and as talented graduates from the Secondary College of Applied Arts in Bratislava they had developed their own artworks. The time came, however, when they decided to make living from their creative ambitions and their craft, creative and technical skills by establishing a platform from which to work, i.e. by founding their own company. And, since November 1989, they have gradually been extending their activities into all areas connected with the reconstruction, renovation and final artistic treatment of the architectural environment.
The principal activity of the company, which over 20 years has been successfully establishing itself in monument restoration in both Slovakia and abroad, is work that requires not only spatial imagination, but also a sense of the form and structure of architectural styles and demands considerable technical and artistic expertise to implement. The company NOVOTA expresses its ambitions in its work with stone (architectural components as well as the separate reconstruction of statuary), with stucco (details of facades and interiors), it has created and installed stained glass windows, reconstructed and renovated wooden features (historic doors, windows, staircases and banisters), created ceramics (for interiors) and metal features (gates, doors, grilles and other architectural details).
With a strong sense for the stylistic character of original details and employing their own research findings, back at the outset they began monument renovation on the vicarage at St. Martin’s Church in Bratislava in 1988-1989, participated in the renovation of the Franciscan Church in Bratislava, reconstructed the oak doors at the Jesuit Church in Bratislava and helped renovate the interior of the Ursuline Church. These jobs represented the first significant independent steps of the company into the world of art and craft renovation, and in their wake followed numerous other contracts for NOVOTA and an expansion in its range of activities. In 1994 they restored the wooden and gilded panelling in the state rooms of the Presidential Palace, i.e. the historic interiors of the Grassalkovich Palace. A year later they were entrusted with reconstructing two Baroque gilded and glazed ceramic stoves, which still today attest to the uniquely responsible and creative approach of their creators Oľga and Dušan Novota. An example of a large and difficult work they created is the Mirror Lounge and Bar which was to be created from scratch in 2001 during the general construction of the Hotel Carlton in Bratislava. NOVOTA actually created here an independent architectural space with a total stylistic reconstruction of the walls and a typical Baroque Revival vaulted ceilingbased on historical documentation, but also a space with rich stucco ornamentation which had survived only in small fragments. Other showcase contracts of the company include the comprehensive renewal of the facade of Grossman House at No. 4 Šafárikovo námestí in Bratislava, where they applied authentic renovation to the stucco features and restored the original colour scheme of this Art Nouveau building. What is more, they did so throughout using high-quality materials to ensure long life.
Indeed, the respect for and historical knowledge about the essence of a monument is also evident in their other work. This is a result not just of personal interest and their own accumulated knowledge, but also important collaboration with a team of specialist colleagues engaged in art history, archival and historical research, civil engineering, architecture and restoration, as well as cooperation with the competent civil servants working in monument care. The company has also been developing its managerial and professional activities based upon comprehensive research into monument architecture. Through its activities, the company is nonetheless also fully aware of the labyrinthine difficulties and unexpected reversals in the restoration of architecture which has been exposed over the course of many years to the depredations of time, the elements and practical use.
Alongside traditional techniques, inline with global trends in monument renovation, the company also uses technical procedures and materials that have been specifically developed for monument care. These materials contribute to preserving the authentic physical essence of a monument, while also guaranteeing that renovation works enjoy a long life after completion and can cope with contemporary requirements. This current and long-term trend is reflected in the products of the company BAYOSAN (today in the products of BAUMIT). NOVOTA was the first company to use such products in Slovakia for the maintenance and restoration of monuments. Also significant in our work are products made by KEIM, which offer the highest quality when it comes to reconstructing stucco work and original colour schemes of facades. Back in the 1990s, the company was already organizing numerous theoretical seminars and presentations to promote new technical procedures and effective materials in the area of monument restoration.
Representatives of NOVOTA are ceaselessly active in the contemporary development of monument restoration processes, also through their participation in seminars abroad. Based on their thorough knowledge of historical forms, the facade of the architectural centrepiece on Kúpeľný ostrov in Piešťany, i.e. the hotel Thermia Palace, was restored in 2006, with great emphasis given over to structural nuances and unique features.