številka / volume 190-191
december / december 2011
letnik / anno XLI

rog et cetera
vsebina številke
table of contents
Miha Dešman Uvodnik: Rog et cetera
Editorial: Rog et cetera
Matjaž Uršič Družbeni aspekti prenove nekdanjih industrijskih območij – Tovarna Rog kot sredstvo urbane revitalizacije ali ekonomske regeneracije mesta?
Rog factory as a means of urban revitalisation or economic regeneration of the city?
Prof. Janez Koželj, Jerneja Batič in sodelavci CSU: Center sodobnih umetnosti – programska zasnova
Tatjana Adamič Konservatorska izhodišča za prenovo tovarne Rog v Ljubljani
Conservation guidelines for the renovation of the Rog factory in Ljubljana
Tatjana Adamič Kronologija pomembnih dogodkov v razvoju tovarne Rog v Ljubljani
Boris Bežan, Héctor Mendoza Ramírez Prostori dialoga: Prostorska in programska zveza
The Spaces of Dialogue: A Spatial and Programmatic Connection
Kristina Dešman Kompleksna zgodba neke industrije – ljubljanska Tobačna
A Complex Story of an Industrial Plot – Ljubljana Tobacco factory
Sonja Ifko Dediščina in revitalizacija opuščenih industrijskih območij
The heritage and revitalisati on of disused industrial areas
Sonja Ifko Litostrojsko mesto
Litostroj - towards an industrial town
Blaž Križnik Industrijska dediščina v Barceloni: Med izpraznjenimi spomeniki in vsakdanjim življenjem
Industrial heritage in Barcelona: between vacant monuments and everyday life
Piranski dnevi 2010
Jurij Kobe Reanimacija v arhitekturi – predavanje na Piranskih dnevih arhitekture, november 2010
Zgodovina
Reinhard Seiss Architektur der Erinnerung
Arhitektura spomina
Živa Deu O urbanizmu in arhitekturi v času socialisti čne družbene ureditve
Architecture and urban planing in socialist regime
John Peter / Izbral in prevedel Aleš Košar Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: Neumetelna beseda – pogovori, spisi, zapisi
Recenzija
Blaž Lenarčič Zdravko Mlinar: Življenjsko okolje v globalni informacijski dobi – prispevek k zbliževanju prostorske sociologije in arhitekture / urbanizma
In memoriam
Dušan Samec – arhitekt in oblikovalec (Lenart v Slovenskih Goricah, 30.11.1925 – Celje, 20.03.2010)
Peter Krečič V spomin arhitektu Marijanu Božiču (1926–2008)
uvodnik

I.

V začetku drugega desetletja tretjega tisočletja se Ljubljana ukvarja z izzivi, ki so jih nekatera druga mesta intenzivno razreševala že pred dvajset in več leti, namreč kako se profilirati v sodobnem času. Vprašanje, ki ostaja odprto je, ali ji bo uspelo po(o)stati v širšem prostoru zanimivo in v vseh ozirih napredno mesto po vzoru Dunaja, Barcelone, Helsinkov, Berlina, Koebenhavna, Vancouvra, pa tudi Bratislave, Prage, Zagreba in Gradca, ali bo izgubljala priključek k prvi ligi evropskih in svetovnih mest. Našteta in številna druga mesta so svoj "branding" zasnovala na prepoznavnih "Grand Projects", ki so povezani s kulturo, in se simbolno izražajo z ikonično arhitekturo. Grade se muzeji, galerije, kulturni centri, opere, pa javne ureditve, infrastrukturna vozlišča, ureja se javni promet … Na nekatere izmed teh tem smo v Ljubljani našli ustrezne odgovore, na druge (še) ne.

Ljubljana je v zadnjih letih usposobila urbani prostor ob Ljubljanici. Ta projekt je "naredil vidno" Plečnikovo in srednjeveško ter baročno Ljubljano in zbudil njen turistični potencial. Nadaljuje se začeto reševanje infrastrukturnih problemov (promet, parkiranje, ring, javni promet), a je v mestu ostalo še veliko odprtih in nerešenih problemov. Gre za polome ali neskončne kalvarije nekaterih velikih projektov, ki naj bi nastajali bodisi kot javni državni in mestni projekti (poglobitev železnice in železniška ter avtobusna postaja, novi NUK, prenova Gradu, umetniške akademije …), pa tudi za čudne poti, po katerih capljajo ali krevsajo nekateri drugi javno zasebni in zasebni (bazen Tivoli, Tobačna, Šumi, Kolizej, Plečnikov stadion, spet ljubljanska centralna postaja …). Nekateri, pogojno uspešni projekti pa niso prinesli pričakovanega "odprtja" slovenske zaplankanosti (Metelkova (formalni part), tudi prenove Opere in Moderne galerije), ali so ostali nedokončani (Grad, Topniška kasarna, Stadion Stožice, Cukrarna…). Tako je Rog morda za daljši čas edina in zadnja velika priložnost za preobrat v kulturi in praksi javnih kulturnih "Grand Projects".

Domet ikonične arhitekture v svetu se je izkazal kot omejen, v kolikor ni bilo mesto usposobljeno zanjo. Uspeha fenomena Bilbao se ne da ponavljati, kar so na lastni koži občutila mnoga mesta z dragimi Gehryji, Zahami ali Eisenmanni (2), ki so ostali spregledani in odvečni. Arhitektura, ki nastaja iz imperativa po opaznosti in medijskem odmevu, skuša za vsako ceno ustvariti prepoznavne znake. To sicer projektu daje neko moč, a hkrati povzroča tudi frustracije, strah in generira neke vrste karikaturo razlike – arhitekturo, ki je egoistična do te mere, da sama postane karikatura.

Potrebne so mnogo bolj celovite strategije, ki so sposobne celovito interpretirati mentalno podobo širšega in ožjega mestnega dela, kamor se umeščajo. V Ljubljani je poskus v tej smeri ideja Vizije 2025 (3), ki je postavila strategije in scenarije za prihodnost mesta. Gre za načrtovano celovito preobrazbo mesta s pomočjo arhitekturnih operacij. Kako nastaja mesto? Zanimivo je, da se mesta v svetu kljub trendom globalizacije razvijajo zelo različno. Različne skupnosti imajo različne psihološke strukture, ki se odražajo (tudi) v načinih življenja in v arhitekturi. V našem srednjeevropskem mentalnem okolju, ki je določeno s kafkovsko atmosfero zakompliciranosti in nespremenljivosti vsega in česarkoli, je zelo težko zbrati energijo za kakršenkoli pozitiven preboj. Pa je Ljubljana v zadnjem obdobju vendarle zmogla premakniti "stanje stvari" na področju urejanja mesta. Za ta proces bi uporabil primerjavo, ki jo Jacques Herzog in Pierre de Meuron v opisu prenove Tate galerije v Londonu imenujeta aikido strategija: "Gre za strategijo, v kateri izrabiš energijo nasprotnika za svoje lastne cilje. Namesto, da bi se boril z njo, vzameš vso energijo in jo izrabiš na nepričakovane in nove načine." (4) Nekateri elementi Vizij, med njimi tudi projekt prenove Roga, so našli tudi formalno potrditev v nedavno sprejetem mestnem načrtu.

Industrijska dediščina je po svoji heterotopični naravi – ponavadi gre za velika območja, stavbe z velikimi prostori in razponi, dobro dostopnost, strateško lokacijo itd., - zelo primerna za prenovo z javno kulturno vsebino. Seveda pa edinole vsebina lahko osmisli prenovo. To zlasti velja za Rog, ki ima izjemno možnost in dolžnost, da prenova upošteva socialno, programsko in človeško kontinuiteto sedanje spontane vsebine. Saj v Ljubljani živijo prostori žive kulture, kot so Metelkova mesto, Tovarna Rog, pa Kud in tako naprej. Še je upanje!

Vprašanje, ki ostaja za prihodnost, pa je seveda, kako preseči nevarnost, da bi Rog postal vsebinsko nepomemben, bodisi elitni bodisi marginalni umetniški center, v katerem bo par priviligirancev dobro živelo od državnih in mestnih subvencij ter sponzorjev. Taka usoda je doletela že premnoge podobne iniciative. Ne moremo pa tudi mimo odgovornosti politike, ki mora zagotoviti najvišje standarde pri odločitvah, ki lahko vplivajo na projekt. Cilji so večplastni, od socialnih, preko razvojnih, do arhitekturnih. Tekmovanje mest je le eden, niti ne najpomembnejši vzgib. Pomembna je vaja v kulturi javnega naročanja. V tem pimeru sem optimist, saj je projekt dobro voden, in tudi na arhitekturnem natečaju je bil izbran dober projekt. (5)

Prenova mora celovito udejaniti socialno vlogo, povezano s kreativnostjo. Če poenostavim, mora izraziti socialno utopijo s kanoni arhitekturne kompozicije. Seveda to ni enostavno, saj v sodobnem svetu vlada splošna kriza socialne kohabitacije, ko drug za drugim razpadajo tradicionalni modeli družbene organizacije. Prav zato ima projekt Rog pomembno razvojno socialno vlogo. Zajema potencial dejavnosti, kjer je veliko kreativnih ljudi, ki pa nimajo okolja, v katerem bi realizirali svoje zamisli. Projekt za Rog je tudi zato eden ključnih projektov za Ljubljano kot sodobno in v vseh ozirih odgovorno mesto, ki je tudi ambiciozna prestolnica mlade države in tudi odločilen pri sodbi, ki jo bodo prihodnje generacije namenjale urbanistično arhitekturnim dosežkom našega časa.

II.

Če pogledamo na načrt ali letalski posnetek Ljubljane, vidimo reko Ljubljanico, ki se uvije okoli grajskega hriba, vidimo Rožnik s Tivolijem in vmes simetralo, ki teče od juga proti severu, iz Barja proti Alpam. Ljubljanica s svojimi nabrežji ima v mestu najmočnejšo specifično urbano identiteto. Razmejuje desni breg s srednjeveškimi trgi in krono Gradu, ki je pravzaprav otok med okljukom Ljubljanice in bližnjico Gruberjevega prekopa, ter levi breg, ki se nadaljuje v sodobno mesto z mrežo karejev, naprej pa v krakasto mesto ob vpadnicah. Razločimo kompaktne geometrijske oblike, ki gradijo središče in druge, bolj amorfne oblike, ki so značilne za periferijo. Med tema dvema območjema najdemo prehodne cone, ki so bodisi zgoščene heterotopije (6) kasarn ali zgodnje industrializacije, pa železniške infrastrukture, ki s svojo fluidnostjo in velikostjo predstavljajo izjemno oster kontrast kristaliničnim oblikam mestnega središča. Kompaktna struktura središča se zdi nedotakljiva in nespremenljiva, tako da je ne smatramo kot poligon za ustvarjalne ideje, pač pa kot fiksirani prostor, ki ga le od časa do časa popravljamo in obnavljamo, podobno kot skrbimo za zobe.

Vzdolž bregov je nastala urbana promenada, ob katero se je zgostilo urbano življenje mesta. Zaenkat ima Ljubljanica urbano vlogo le v delu, ki pripada ti. centralnem mestu (staro mestno jedro), ko pa preide v ti. razpršeno mesto (predmestja), pa reka izgubi kakršnokoli vlogo, ostane prisotna zgolj kot ovira, ki zahteva drage premostitve, prostori ob reki pa so bili zgodovinsko namenjeni heterotopičnim programom, tovarnam, bolnici, klavnici itd.

Če bi skladatelj kot Smetana z Vltavo, s programsko glasbo opisoval tok Ljubljanice, bi po "beneški" sekvenci mostov v centru in baroku stolnice zaigrali toni modernosti, kozmopolitizma industrijskega časa, pa hkrati klasicizma, ki je značilen za ljubljansko arhitekturo prve polovice dvajsetega stoletja. Stavba tovarne Rog igra v telesu reke in mesta svojo posebno vlogo. Rdeča hiša in Rog sta pravzaprav par, dve medalji iste ideje o možnosti idealnega "nadaljevanja" gradnje mesta brez protislovij, zasnovanega na humanističnih idealih. Hkrati pa so disonančni toni zazidave ob Trubarjevi in pa, nasproti, ob Ambroževem trgu. Malo nizvodna Cukrarna je relikt iz devetnajstega stoletja, bolj brutalen in manj eleganten. Z mostom postaja trajektorija dinamičnega časa. Preko "simfonije" reke, ki z Plečnikovo zapornico doseže svoj dramatični vrhunec, se zapodi "kakofonija" prometa.

III.

Projekt v procesu ustvarjanja pogojev za novo rabo stare strukture, poleg stališča ohranjanja industrijske dediščine temelji na urbani prenovi območja, na trajnostnih vidikih in na kreativni arhitekturni prenovi. Seveda je prenova vedno zahtevna naloga, tako investicijsko kot v določanju prave mere posegov. Uvajanje novih vsebin v obstoječo stavbo je lahko dražje kot novogradnja. Nastopijo statični in drugi tehnični problemi, soočiti se je treba s predpisi za varstvo pred požarom, energetsko učinkovitost, dostopnost za invalide in podobno. Odstraniti je potrebno vse toksične materiale. Po drugi strani pa so kvalitete obstoječega nenadomestljive. S kakovostnim posegom v obstoječe je mogoče doseči atmosfero, kakršna v novogradnji nikoli ne nastane. Delno je to moč pripisati temu, da so prostori veliki, kakršnih si danes v dobi zategovanja pasu ne bi mogli privoščiti, še pomembnejša pa je arhitekturna napetost, ki izhaja iz dialoga staro – novo.

Vrednost Roga je v Hennebiquevem konstrukcijskem sistemu – ki zastopa radikalno tehnološko modernizacijo – in klasični fasadi, ki jo prekriva. Uvaja jo vila – Casa piccola, ki pojasnjuje paternalistično mentaliteto naročnika, očeta delavcem, ki deli z njimi čas, in tudi prostor, torej živi v neki harmonični skupnosti. To pa je utopični model, kot ga zagovarja npr. Ebenezer Howard. (7) Henebiqueva konstrukcija simbolno zastopa Opus cementicum, kot ga pozna zgodovina arhitekture od Starega Rima. V primeru Roga gre za moderno, okvirno konstrukcijo, ki pa je po artikulaciji in poimenovanju še nekako zavezana klasičnim stebrnim redom – steber, arhitrav, plinta. Zastopa prehodnost in dialektiko med klasičnim jezikom arhitekture in modernizmom – funkcionalizmom. To je tema, ob kateri se Plečnik srečuje s Perretom. Prvič, ko pri cerkvi sv. Duha na Dunaju uporabi semperjanski Materialwechsel v betonu s klasično tektonsko skladnjo, še zlasti v kripti, ki je eden od arhitekturnih vrhuncev začetka prejšnjega stoletja. In drugič, leta pozneje, ko kot svetovalec pri oblikovanju fasade Roga potrdi možnost klasične izraznosti za sodobno konstrukcijo, material in vsebino.

Rog naj bi za Ljubljano postal to, kar je Tate Modern za London. Ta ideja je logična in pravilna, saj ima stavba Roga podoben pomen v ljubljanskem rečnem skylineu. S tem se možnosti primerjave ne izčrpajo. Obe stavbi sta po svoji zasnovi dvoumni. Pri obeh gre za čudno kombinacijo palače in tovarne. Dvoumnost je prisotna tudi v odnosu med konstrukcijo in obleko. Je pa še globlja, v odnosu med temeljem – ki je star, klasičen – in nadstavbo – ki je montažna, moderna. To je marksovska struktura družbe (baza in nadstavba), in bi verjetno spodbudila in navdušila Žižka. Arhitekti prenove so to dvojnost podvojili z paralelno lamelo, ki kot infrastrukturna proteza odpre prostore, da bi lahko zaživeli čisti in celi. Vzpostavi se voyeurska povezava med ljudmi na zastekljenih hodnikih in med tistimi na trgu. Ta dvojna vizualna povezanost bo dala stavbi in trgu novo, živo in filmsko fasado, ki se bo neprestano spreminjala. Na ta način postane materialna struktura stavbe hkrati njena socialna struktura.

Še enkrat, kako nastaja mesto? Arhitektura kristalizira nekaj, kar je že vedno bilo tam. Kot narava. V naravi procesi med atomi vplivajo na obliko rastline. Ali gore. Kristali v granitni strukturi kamna so drugačni kot v apnenčasti, in posledično je gora iz apnenca drugačne oblike, barve itd. od granitne. Gre za povezavo med vidnim in nevidnim. Nevidna struktura mineralov je osnova za podobo krajine. Podobno je z mesti. Skrite trajektorije tokov, silnic, zgodovine, kulture, lahko postanejo podlaga za jasne ideje kreativne povezave starega in novega, preteklosti in prihodnosti. Svet je fraktalna, povezana struktura v času. Projekt za novi Rog ima v sebi ta kristalizacijski potencial. Navsezadnje je bolj zanimivo, iznajti nekaj novega, kot zgolj braniti staro. Arhitektura bo postala del mesta in se v času spreminjala. Naloga arhitekta je, da iz množice podatkov in idej splete arhitekturo kot pripoved. Peter Zumthor je ta program opisal kot »Weiterstricken«, kot vpletanje, namesto da se nove dele zgradbe postavi kot kontrast, kar je običajna strategija, ki jo zastopajo konservatorji. Uporabljene so niti stare tkanine in mednje vtkano novo. Detajl stika med starim in novim postane šiv, ki je tudi ključ za razumevanje celote.

Miha Dešman

Opombe

  1. Tematski blok v tej številki revije ab je pravzaprav sinteza razmišljanj oz. case study o pojektu Rog, ki ga vodi mestna občina, skupaj z evropskim projektom second chance, sprašuje pa se tudi o tem, kaj se danes dogaja v tovarni. V začetku leta 2011 je bila v galeriji Kresija v organizaciji DAL okrogla miza o Rogu, ki je prinesla nekatere ugotovitve, ki so bile podlaga tudi za to številko. Na tem mestu ne bom ponavljal vseh aktivnosti, ki so se in se še vodijo v zvezi s projektom. Nekatere opisujejo članki v tej številki, druge so dostopne na spletnih straneh; Tovarna Rog, Second Chance, Mestna občina Ljubljana in drugih.
  2. Frank Gehry in Peter Eisenmann sta ameriška, Zaha Hadid pa britanska zvezdniška arhitektka.
  3. Vizija Ljubljane 2025: http://www.ljubljana.si/si/ljubljana/vizija-ljubljane/
  4. Jackie Craven, Designing the Tate Modern, v: http://architecture.about.com/od/museum1/ss/TateModern_3.htm
  5. Studio MX-SI5 s sedežem Barceloni, glej tekst v tej številki: Boris Bežan, Héctor Mendoza Ramírez, Prostori dialoga: Prostorska in programska zveza, str. 24
  6. Michel Foucault kombinira Batailleov pojem heterogenosti z marksističnim pojmom utopije in predlaga koncept heterotopije. Kakšna je razlika med utopijo in heterotopijo? Utopija je še neuresničeni ideal; kot takšna, pripada prihodnosti. Heterotopija je prisotna v stvarnosti, in to kot 'žep' ali 'anomalija' v dominantnem redu.
  7. Prominentni britanski urbanist, znan po publikaciji Garden Cities of To-morrow (Vrtna mesta prihodnosti), 1898, ki predvideva utopična mesta, v katerih bodo ljudje živeli v harmoniji med seboj in z naravo.

editorial

I.

At the beginning of the 2nd decade of the 3rd millennium, Ljubljana is finding answers to challenges that various other cities were actively responding to twenty and more years ago, namely how to profile itself in the modern times. One question not yet answered is whether it will become - or should that be "remain"? - a city which is interesting in the broader context and progressive in every respect, such as Vienna, Barcelona, Helsinki, Berlin, Copenhagen, Vancouver, as well as Bratislava, Prague, Zagreb and Graz, or will it find itself falling behind the top tier of European and world cities. The cities above and many others founded their brand on distinctive "Grand Projects", which have a connection with culture and find their symbolic expression in iconic architecture. Museums are being built, and galleries, cultural centres, operas, public space layouts, infrastructural nodes, public transport is being sorted out, etc. In Ljubljana, some of these topics were suitably addressed, while some remain to be.

In the recent years, Ljubljana has revived the urban space along the river Ljubljanica in view of its purpose. The project "unveiled" Plečnik's, as well as mediaeval and Baroque Ljubljana and spurred its tourism potential. The work begun on infrastructural problems (traffic, parking, the ring road, public transport) continues, but there are still many pending and unsolved problems in the city. Among them are failures or endless agonies of various major projects, which are meant to be undergoing development either as public, state-funded projects, or the city's own (the digging in of the railway track with the train and bus station in tow, the new national library, the renovation of the Castle, the art academies), as well as the long and winding roads that certain other private and public projects drag or stumble along (Tivoli swimming pool, Tobačna factory, Šumi, Kolizej, Plečnik's stadium, the central station again, etc.). On the other hand, some projects that may be regarded as successes at least to a certain degree have failed to do away with the Slovene parochialism like they were expected to (the formal part of Metelkova, also the renovation of the opera house and the Museum of Modern Art), or have remained unfinished (the Castle, the artillery barracks on Dunajska road, Stožice stadium, Cukrarna, etc.). Rog may thus well be the only and last great chance in the foreseeable future for a turnaround in the culture and the practice of public cultural "Grand Projects".

The reach of iconic architecture worldwide has proven to be limited unless the city was made ready for it. The phenomenon of Bilbao is a success very difficult to replicate - a painful realisation for numerous cities with expensive Gehrys, Zahas, or Eisenmanns (2), which have remained largely ignored and redundant. Architecture produced on the imperatives of being noticed and garnering media attention tries to create distinctive signs at all cost. This does endow a project with a certain power, but at the same time also causes frustrations, fear, and generates a sort of caricature of difference: architecture which is egotistical to the point that it itself becomes a caricature. What is required are much more comprehensive strategies that are able to holistically interpret the mental image both of the specific part of the city they are placed in and its broader surroundings. One attempt in this direction for Ljubljana is the idea of Visions 2025 (3), which set up strategies and scenarios for the future of the city. This is a deliberate, full-scale metamorphosis of the city aided by architectural operations.

How does a city come to be? It's interesting that despite globalising trends, cities around the world evolve in very different ways. Different communities have different psychological structures which are reflected (also) in their respective ways of living and in their architecture. In our Central-European mental environment determined by a Kafkaesque atmosphere of complicatedness and permanence of everything and anything, it is very difficult to gather up energy for any sort of positive breakthrough. Yet Ljubljana was able to push the "state of the affairs" forward in the area of regulation of the city. For this process, I'd like to use the comparison which Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, describing the renovation of the Tate Gallery in London, call the aikido strategy: "This is a [...] strategy where you use your enemy's energy for your own purposes. Instead of fighting it, you take all the energy and shape it in unexpected and new ways." (4) Certain elements of Visions, among them the project of the renovation of Rog, have found formal confirmation in the recently legislated municipal planning act.

Due to its heterotopic nature - they usually occupy large areas, feature buildings with large spaces and spans, good accessibility, strategic locations, etc. - industrial heritage is very suitable for renovation with public cultural content. Naturally, it's only the content that can make the renovation meaningful. This is particularly true of Rog, where there is a unique chance and duty for the renovation to take into account the social, programmatic and human continuity of the current spontaneous content. After all, Ljubljana is home to spaces of living culture such as Metelkova mesto, Tovarna Rog, KUD France Prešeren, and more. There is still hope!

The question left for the future is how to overcome the danger of Rog losing its significance of content by becoming either an elitist or a marginal art centre with a handful of privileged beneficiaries comfortably living off state and city subsidies and sponsorships. Such fate has befallen all too many similar initiatives. Attention also needs to be directed at the responsibility of the policymakers to ensure the highest standards for decisions that may influence the project. The goals are multi-layered, from social and developmental to architectural. The competition of cities is only one motive, and not even the most important one. What is important is the exercise in the culture of public tenders. In this particular case, I'm optimistic as the project is managed well and a good project was chosen in the competition (5).

The renovation has to holistically realise the social role in connection with creativity. Simply put, it has to express social utopia with the various canons of architectural composition. This is by no means simple as in today's world, there is a general crisis of social cohabitation where traditional models of social organisation are falling apart one after another. This is the very reason why project Rog has an important developmental social role. It encapsulates the potential activities involving a lot of creative people who don't have an environment where they could realise their ideas. This is another reason why project Rog is one of the crucial projects for Ljubljana as a contemporary city with an all-round sense of responsibility, but which is at the same time an ambitious capital of a young state. It's also why the project is decisive for the judgement which the future generations will pass on the urbanistic and architectural achievements of our time.

II.

Looking at a plan or an aerial shot of Ljubljana, there is the river Ljubljanica wrapped around the castle hill, there is the hill Rožnik with Tivoli park and in between, there is an axis of symmetry running from the south towards the north, from the Barje moors towards the Alps. The Ljubljanica and its banks feature as the city's strongest specific urban identity. It acts as a divide between the right bank with the mediaeval squares and the Castle crown, which is in fact an island between Ljubljanica's meander and the shortcut that is the Gruberjev Canal, and the left bank that continues into the contemporary city with a network of block units, radiating further outwards along the arterial roads. There are recognisable compact geometrical shapes that form the centre and other, more amorphous shapes characteristic of the periphery. Between these two areas, transitional zones are found figuring either as condensed heterotopias (6) of barracks or early industrial development, or of railway infrastructure, whose fluidity and size represent and an exceptionally sharp contrast to the crystalline shapes of the city centre. The compact structure of the centre seems untouchable and immutable and is consequently not considered as a proving ground for creative ideas but rather a fixed space which is only occasionally repaired and renovated, similarly to how one goes about one's dental care.

Along the banks, an urban promenade has emerged with the urban life of the city having condensed around it. At present, the Ljubljanica has an urban role only in the segment that belongs to the so-called central city (old city core); after the transition into the dispersed town (the suburbs), the river loses any such role, its presence remaining only as an obstacle expensive to overcome. Historically the spaces along the river were intended for heterotopian programmes, factories, a hospital, a slaughterhouse etc.

If a composer, like Smetana with Vltava, wrote a piece of programme music to describe the course of the Ljubljanica, the "Venetian" sequence of the bridges in the centre and the Baroque of the cathedral would be followed by tones of Modernity reflecting the cosmopolitanism of the industrial period, combined with classicism, which is characteristic of the architecture of Ljubljana in the 1st half of the 20th century. The Rog factory building plays its own special role in the body of the river and the city. Rdeča hiša ("Red House") and Rog in fact form a pair, two facets of the same idea about the possibility for city-building to "carry on" in an ideal way, without contradictions, based on humanist ideals. At the same time, there are dissonant tones of development along Trubarjeva Road and opposite, by Ambrožev Square. A bit further downstream, there is Cukrarna, a relict from the 19th century, more brutal and less elegant. With the bridge, it becomes the trajectory of dynamic times. Sweeping over the symphony of the river, which reaches its dramatic peak with Plečnik's gate, there is a gush of cacophony created by the traffic.

III.

Beside the position of industry heritage preservation, a project in the process of enabling the conditions for new use of an old structure is based on the urban renewal of the area, on sustainable aspects, and on creative architectural renovation. Needless to say, renovation is always a demanding task, both in terms of investment as in finding the right degree of intervention. Introducing new content into an existing building can cost more money than new construction: there are problems of statics and other technological issues to be dealt with, one faces fire-safety regulations, energy efficiency, disabled access, etc. All toxic materials need to be removed. On the other hand, the qualities of the existing are irreplaceable. With a well-considered intervention into the existing, one can achieve an atmosphere that never emerges from a new building. This may be partially due to the fact that the spaces are large, something unaffordable in these times of austerity, yet it is the architectural tension deriving from the dialogue between the old and the new that is even more important.

The value of Rog lies in the Hennebique system of construction - one representing radical technological modernisation - and the classical facade that covers it. It's introduced by a villa, Casa piccola, which elucidates on the paternalist mindset of the investor wanting to be the father to the workers, sharing with them his time as well as his space, and therefore living in a sort of community characterised by harmony. This is an utopian model as argued for e.g. by Ebenezer Howard (7). The Hennebique system symbolically represents the Opus caementicum, known in the history of architecture from the times of Ancient Rome. In the case of Rog, this is a modern, framed construction, but whose articulation and naming is still in a sense tied to the classical order, i.e. the column, the architrave, and the plinth. It represents the possibility of transition and the dialectics between the classical language of architecture and modernism-functionalism. This is the topic where Plečnik meets Perret. For the first time, this occurs when he uses the Semperian Materialwechsel in concrete with a classical tectonic syntax for his Church of the Holy Spirit in Vienna, particularly in the crypt, which is one of the architectural peaks of the beginning of the previous century. And for the second time, years later when he, acting as a consultant in the design of Rog's facade, confirms the possibility of classical expression for contemporary construction, material, and content.

Rog is supposed to become to Ljubljana what the Tate Modern is to London. This idea is logical and correct since the Rog building has a similar significance in Ljubljana's river skyline. There are other possible comparisons. Both buildings are ambiguous in their design being strange combinations of a palace and a factory. The ambiguity also marks the relationship between the construction and the cladding. But it goes deeper, into the relationship between the base - which is old and classical - and the superstructure, which is prefabricated and Modern. This is the Marxist structure of the society (base and superstructure), and would likely stimulate and excite someone like Slavoj Žižek. The architects of the renovation doubled up this duality with a parallel unit, which, as an infrastructural prothesis, opens the spaces in order for them to spring to life clean and whole. A voyeuristic connection between the people in the glass-encased corridors and those on the square is established. This double visual connectedness will give the building and the square a new, living, and cinematic facade that will be constantly changing. In this way, the material structure of the building at the same time becomes its social structure.

Once again, how does a city come to be? Architecture crystallises something that has always been there. Like nature. In nature, the processes between the atoms influence the shape of the plant. Or a mountain. The crystals in the granite structure of the stone are different than that of limestone, and consequently, a limestone mountain is a different shape, colour, etc. than a granite one. This involves the connection between the visible and the invisible. The invisible structure of the minerals is the basis for the look of the landscape. This is not too different from a city. The hidden trajectories of currents, forces, history, culture, may become the basis for clear ideas, creative connections of old and new, of the past and the future. The world is a fractal, connected structure in time. The project for the new Rog contains this crystallising potential. After all, it's more exciting to invent something new than just defend the old. Architecture will become a part of the city and change in time. The task of the architect is to weave the architecture as a narrative from the multitude of data and ideas. Peter Zumthor described this programme as "Weiterstricken", weaving in, instead of placing the new parts of the building so as to form a contrast, which is the usual strategy of conservationists. Threads from the old fabric are used and the new is woven in between them. The detail of the contact between the old and the new becomes a seam, which is also the key to the understanding of the whole.

Miha Dešman

Footnotes

  1. The thematic section in this issue of ab magazine is actually a synthesis of reflections - a case study - about project Rog led by Municipality of Ljubljana, together with the European Second Chance programme, but it also asks questions about what is happening in the factory today. In early 2011, gallery Kresija hosted a roundtable about Rog organised by Ljubljana Architectural Association (DAL), which led to certain findings that also served as the basis for this issue. This is not the place to enumerate all the activities which accompany the project or have done so in the past; some of them are featured in the articles, others are accessible on the following websites: Tovarna Rog, Second Chance, Municipality of Ljubljana, etc.
  2. Frank Gehry in Peter Eisenmann are American, and Zaha Hadid a British star architect.
  3. Vizija Ljubljane 2025 ("Vision of Ljubljana 2025"): http://www.ljubljana.si/si/ljubljana/vizija-ljubljane/
  4. Jackie Craven, Designing the Tate Modern, in: http://architecture.about.com/od/museum1/ss/TateModern_3.htm
  5. Studio MX-SI5 with headquarters in Barcelona, see text in this issue: Boris Bežan, Héctor Mendoza Ramírez, "The Spaces of Dialogue: A Spatial and Programmatic Connection", p. 24
  6. Michel Foucault combines Bataille's notion of heterogeneity with the Marxist notion of utopia and suggests the concept of heterotopia. What is the difference between utopia and heterotopia? Utopia is an ideal not yet realised; as such, it belongs to the future. Heterotopia is present in the reality, as a "pocket", an anomaly within the dominant order.
  7. Prominent British urban designer, renowned for his book Garden Cities of To-morrow, 1898, which envisages utopian cities where people will live in harmony among themselves and with nature.