type: culture

location: Maribor, Slovenia

date: 2010

status: competition

client: Municipality of Maribor, Association of Architects of Maribor

area: 15,180 sq.m.

credits: Vlado Valkof, Rumen Yotov

This is an entry in international competition for 17,800 m2 new building of the Maribor Art Gallery in Maribor, Slovenia. The complex and heterogeneous program includes galleries for permanent collection of modern and contemporary visual art and periodical exhibitions (5,200m2), children’s center (750 m2), design center (450 m2), live-work creative center (1700 m2), lecture room, library, catering (700 m2), offices, depository, and underground parking garage.

In addition to animate forms we manipulate movement in order to induce the production of new urban life.

Because of the substantial 6m slope of the site, the access to the building is designed from two different levels. Our study of pedestrian traffic density led to a main entrance from Drava River embankment and pier. At the same level ±0 is also the connection to existing parking garage under the Market. The other pedestrian entrance is from the existing street level +4m. The two cross intersected access paths merge into one multistory concourse plaza. It serves also as distributing hub, outdoor lobby, service center, and check point.

The urban scheme of the Museum building is inspired by the typical Maribor city block of perimeter buildings surrounding enclosed plaza/courtyard. Gradual spaces of covered plaza/lapidarium and open outdoor plaza connect the different parts of the building and are partially open towards the embankment and the pier. One wing contains the “sky” program with the primary function of periodical and permanent exhibition galleries and the other wing – the “earth” program with supporting and secondary functions of children’s center, design center, library, etc. Each one of the wings has its own vertical circulation core. The one of exhibition galleries and management offices is enclosed and with controlled access. The other one has a set of escalators and is open from the plaza to all other functions. Two story plaza with open vertical core concept allows lecture room, catering, children’s center/ playground, library, design center, and creative center to operate independently after museum hours and to serve not only the Museum visitors but also an outside crowd. At the entry wedge of the plaza there is a removable screen or stage for outdoor performances at summertime.

In the Program there is a clause of preserving the existing east-west street which divides the site in two. Our proposed building bridges over and tunnel under the existing street and physically connects the two parts of the site.

Three dimensional loop interconnects periodical exhibitions galleries which have different illumination, heights, and proportions, suitable for variety of exhibitions and artists/curators requirements.