Ljubljana related

17 Mar 2019, 12:32 PM

Slovenia is a chocolate box of green, stunning landscapes, but I have a greater fondness for city than country, and a love of cool, clean lines as much anything organic. Thus this week your attention is drawn to the work of Igor Andjelić, of Ljubljana’s Gallery Minimal. A striking figure who takes striking photos, he’s been part of the city’s art scene for decades – including as part of IRWIN and NSK, as well designing, among other spaces, ŠKUC and Klub K4 – and has works in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA).

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While Andjelić shows at various galleries, the best place to keep up with his work with minimal effort is Facebook, where you’ll find nice surprises, in black and white, on a regular basis.

15 Mar 2019, 13:01 PM

You can spend years without going into a gallery or concert hall, but everyone has an intimate connection with the arts of architecture and fashion, and downtown Ljubljana is great place to observe these two expressions of creativity combined with design and engineering. While I’ve been struggling to keep up with the city’s stylish inhabitants, my guide to its built environment for the last few years has been a small, easy to carry book called Let’s See the City! Ljubljana: Architectural walks and tours, by the architects Špela Kuhar and Robert Potokar (2012, Piranesi Foundation) At a cost of just €18, it’s well worth a place on your shelf or in your bag if you live in the city, or are planning an extended trip and would like to learn more.

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The book is laid out chronologically and as a series of six themed walks and five tours. It uses hundreds of photographs, maps, illustrations and plans to show the buildings, as well as the interiors of many places that are difficult to enter, thus putting the city in the palm of your hands. An attractive and well-designed book, it’s as easy to navigate as Ljubljana itself.

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Plečnik is the big name when it comes to the city’s architects, but the book shows how there’s much more than his contributions to admire, leading you through the medieval Old Town and Secessionist/Art Nouveau quarters like Miklošičeva, with their colourful and decorative structures, on to post-WW2 Ljubljana and up to today, with the historical development of the city clearly laid out in ways that bring the streets to life. What’s more, unlike Vienna, London, Paris and so on the various buildings and views are relatively close to each other, and nearly all could be seen – from the outside, at least – in a leisurely walk over the course of day, with plenty of café or bar breaks to read up on and enjoy your surroundings.

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Take the time to do so and you’ll learn more about the buildings that give Ljubljana much of its character, and of where, for example, the medieval ends and the Baroque begins, how Mayor Hribar compares to Mayor Janković in terms of putting their mark on the city, and what the rivals and students of Plečnik got up to (and if you don’t know Ravnikar, you should, with a key example of his work shown here).

In short, this book contains a wealth of knowledge that’s sure to enrich your time spent in Ljubljana, and is one of the volumes in my apartment that I return to the most, and with most pleasure. You can find it in various bookstores, or order it direct from the authors here, while all our stories about architecture in Slovenia can be found here.

Related: 25 Things to Know about Ljubljana & What's on in Ljubljana this Week

05 Jan 2019, 10:06 AM

STA, 4 January 2019 - Joc Pečečnik, the driving force behind the project to revamp a rundown Ljubljana sports stadium designed by Slovenia's best known architect Jože Plečnik, has not given up on the project just yet. After withdrawing a request for an environmental consent, he has filed for an integral construction permit, which is to speed up the project.

Although opponents of the project declared it dead and buried yesterday when it transpired that the investor, Pečečnik's Bežigrad Sports Park (BŠP), had withdrawn the request for the environmental consent, it seems that Pečečnik has only taken a new path to implement his plan.

Rather than pushing for the environmental consent as a precondition for a building permit, he has decided to request the integral construction permit under new legislation.

The Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning confirmed for the STA that the BŠP had filed the request on 20 December in line with the amended construction legislation that stepped into force last year.

The procedure for integral construction permit combines the procedures of the environmental impact assessment and the issuing of the construction permit. The new legislation gives the ministry full power to decide on projects, completely leaving out the Environment Agency.

The procedure must also not take more than five months, not counting the period of public debate.

Neither Pečečnik nor the Slovenian Olympic Committee, which is involved in the project along with the Ljubljana municipality, would comment on the issue today.

The news first broke as the civil initiative that has been campaigning for the preservation of Plečnik's stadium in its original form announced on Thursday that the investor had withdrawn its request for the environmental consent, a precondition for a building permit.

The initiative welcomed the decision, labelling the move a sign that the project is now dead and buried.

According to the initiative, the investor too must have realised that the project was unacceptable because it would have caused environmental damage as well as destroy Plečnik's heritage. Pečečnik, the main investor, was unavailable for comment today.

But the head of the Olympic Committee, Bogdan Gabrovec, told the newspaper Delo last December that the renovation of the Plečnik stadium was a priority for him.

"It's a disgrace for all, for cultural heritage, the state and the city. The ten-year agony over construction plans, which are now in line with all environmental standards, has become harmful. This story must be solved one way or another in this term," he said in an interview.

If the project fell through, the Olympic Committee would lose some EUR 2.5m, which would plunge it into the red and that would be a big obstacle when applying to calls for applications, he said.

Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković told the press today he was convinced that Pečečnik was sticking with the project and that the civil initiative opposing the project had jumped to conclusions yesterday.

04 Jan 2019, 13:56 PM

STA, 3 January 2019 - A project to revamp a rundown sports stadium in Ljubljana (Centralni stadion Bežigrad) that was designed by Slovenia's best known architect Jože Plečnik appears to be dead after the investor pulled out following more than a decade of tug-of-war with the opponents of the project.

The Bežigrad Sports Park (BŠP) company, the special purpose vehicle established by one of the wealthiest Slovenians, Joc Pečečnik, in cooperation with the Ljubljana city authorities and the Slovenian Olympic Committee, has withdrawn its request for the environmental consent for the renovation, the Environment Agency has confirmed for the STA.

According to the Environment Agency, the investor requested to be removed from procedure on 21 December. The procedure was stopped on 28 December giving all the parties 15 days to appeal the decision, the agency added.

The news first broke as the civil initiative that has been campaigning for the preservation of Plečnik's stadium in its original form announced on Thursday that the investor had withdrawn its request for the environmental consent, a precondition for a building permit.

The initiative welcomed the decision, labelling the move a sign that the project is now dead and buried.

According to the initiative, the investor too must have realised that the project was unacceptable because it would have caused environmental damage as well as destroy Plečnik's heritage. Pečečnik, the main investor, was unavailable for comment today.

The group hopes this will pave the way for a new solution that would restore the stadium to its original form, so it could be used for recreational sports and various events.

The stadium in the Ljubljana Bežigrad borough was designed by Jože Plečnik (1872-1957) in 1923. Built in several phases, its covered landmark VIP box was not added until 1935.

It was closed down for renovation in 2008, about the same time when the Stožice sports complex, also featuring a new stadium, was built on the outskirts of Ljubljana.

The investors had to fight off opposition from the get go, with the latest blow coming in late 2017, when the Environment Ministry again retracted the environmental consent, previously granted by the Environment Agency, upon an appeal by the civil initiative.

15 Oct 2018, 19:16 PM

STA, 15 October 2018 - A Slovenian architect who moved to Argentina in 1924 has left an important mark on the city that currently hosts the Summer Youth Olympic Games. Viktor Sulčič is one of the designers of the La Bombonera football stadium in Buenos Aires and he also came up with the nickname for the home of the popular Boca Juniors club. 

05 Oct 2018, 08:37 AM

Ljubljana is known for many things, but the focus of this post is part of its Art Nouveau / Secessionist architecture. The most famous examples of which, or at least the most photographed, are to be found on Miklošičeva ulica, including the Emporium building on the edge of Prešeren Square, Grand Union Hotel, and the red building opposite, known as Vurnik House or the Cooperative Business Bank building. 

21 Sep 2018, 10:30 AM

Slovenia is famed for its natural beauty, but the built environment also has much to enjoy. This week’s photo is Lace Apartments, a complex in Nova Gorica that was designed by Ofis Architects, and more specifically the team of Rok Oman, Špela Videčnik, Nejc Batistic, Martina Lipicer, Andrej Gregoric, and Katja Aljaz. 

01 Sep 2018, 15:44 PM

New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is currently staging a major show on Yugoslav architecture, (Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980), but those interested in monumental works of brutalism don’t need to cross the Atlantic to look at photographs and models, as they can explore the real thing in the heart of Ljubljana.

23 Aug 2018, 20:19 PM

The K67 is a classic of Slovene design from post-war Yugoslavia, one that stands beside other objects such as the Rex folding chair by Niko Kralj (1953), Marko Turk’s MD9 microphone (1963), and the Iskra ETA 80 telephone by Davorin Savnik (1978). 

06 Jul 2018, 14:48 PM

A (perhaps) surprisingly enjoyable tour. 

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