številka / volume 192
oktober / october 2012
letnik / anno XLII

pet let slovenske arhitekture Arhitektura=
five years of slovene architecture Architecture=
vsebina številke
table of contents
Miha Dešman Uvod
Introduction
Andrej Hrausky Arhitektura vendarle nastaja lokalno
Architecture is created locally
Arhitekture so
Architectures
Kristina Dešman Uvod k razstavi
Introduction to the exhibition
Prenova, dialog
Renovation, dialogue
Miha Kerin, Majda Kregar, Edo Ravnikar 01 _ Revitalizacija Ljubljanskega gradu
Revitalisation of Ljubljana Castle, Ljubljana, 1970—2012
Maruša Zorec, Martina Tepina 02 _ Trg in zunanji oltar na Brezjah
Brezje Open Altar, Brezje, 2006—08
Jurij Kobe, Marjan Zupanc 03 _ SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana - Razširitev in prenova
SNG Slovene National Opera and Ballet Theater Ljubljana - Extension and Renovation, Ljubljana, 1998—2011
Matjaž Bolčina, Teja Savelli, Ernest Milčinovič 04 _ Muzej slovenskih filmskih igralcev
Museum of Slovenian Film Actors, Divača, 2005—10
Jurij Kobe, Rok Žnidaršič 05 _ Lutkovno gledališče Maribor
Puppet Theatre Maribor, Maribor, 2005—10
Maruša Zorec, Maša Živec, Žiga Ravnikar 06 _ Muzej in glasbena šola v ormoški grajski pristavi
Museum and Music school in Grajska pristava Manor building, Ormož, 2009—11
Vas, regionalno
Village, the regional
Vanja Gregorc in Aleš Vrhovec, Katarina Pirkmajer Dešman in Miha Dešman 07 _ Center Ig - zdravstvena postaja z lekarno, knjižnica in lokali
Ig Centre - Medical Station with Pharmacy, Library and Shops, Ig, 2005—08
Rok Jereb, Blaž Budja 08 _ Športna dvorana Stopiče
Sports Hall Stopiče, Novo mesto, 2008—11
Uroš Lobnik, Andreja Podlipnik 09 _ Večnamenski objekt Rinka
Multipurpose Building Rinka, Solčava, 2011
bevk perović arhitekti, dekleva gregorič arhitekti, OFIS arhitekti, SADAR+VUGA 10 _ KSEVT - Kulturni center evropskih vesoljskih tehnologij
KSEVT - Cultural Center of European Space Technologies, Vitanje, 2009—12
Maruša Zorec, Uroš Rustja, Martina Tepina, Mitja Novak 11 _ Mladinski hotel Punkl
Youth hostel Punkl, Ravne na Koroškem, 2012
Vanja Gregorc, Aleš Vrhovec 12 _ Hiša Podkoren
House in Podkoren, Podkoren, 2007—10
Narava, racionalno
Nature, the rational
Matija Bevk, Vasa J. Perović, Ana Čeligoj 13 _ Hiša R / House R, Bohinj, 2003—08
Rok Oman, Špela Videčnik 14 _ Počitniška hiša v Stari Fužini / Alpine Hut in Stara Fužina, Bohinj 2007—09
Andrej Kemr, Igor Škulj 15 _ Vinska klet Zlati grič
Zlati Grič Winery, Škalce, 2006—09
Miha Kajzelj 16 _ Bivak pod Grintovcem
Bivouac under Grintovec, Grintovec, 2009—10
Janez Koželj, Tina Rupar-Kobe, Blaž Rupar 17 _ Hiša Čurile
House Čurile, Metlika, 2010—12
Mesto, urbano
City, the urban
Rok Bogataj, Miha Dešman, Eva Fišer Berlot, Vlatka Ljubanović, Katarina Pirkmajer Dešman 18 _ Univerzitetni rehabilitacijski inštitut RS – Soča
University Rehabilitation Institute RS – Soča, Ljubljana 2003—08
Andrej Kalamar 19 _ Upravni center Jesenice
Administrative Centre Jesenice, Jesenice, 2009—12
Lena Krušec, Tomaž Krušec, Vid Kurinčič 20 _ Biotehniška fakulteta
Biotechnical Faculty, Ljubljana, 2007—10
Matija Bevk, Vasa J. Perović, Uršula Oitzl, Ida Sedušak, Blaž Goričan 21 _ Hiša D
House D, Ljubljana, 2005—08
Rok Bogataj, Miha Dešman, Eva Fišer Berlot, Vlatka Ljubanović, Katarina Pirkmajer Dešman 22 _ Hiša Hospic
Hospic House, Ljubljana, 2005—08
Matija Bevk, Vasa J. Perović, Davorin Počivašek, Ida Sedušak 23 _ Stanovanjska soseska Sotočje
Housing Sotočje, Kranj, 2006—09
Jože Peterkoč 24 _ Hiše na Jurčkovi
Jurčkova Houses, Ljubljana, 2007—10
Aljoša Dekleva, Tina Gregorič, Martina Marčan, Daniel Schwartz, Tea Smrke 25 _ Stanovanjsko naselje Razgledi Perovo
Housing Razgledi Perovo, Kamnik, 2004—11
Javni prostor, infrastruktura
Public space, infrastructure
Sandra Banfi Škrbec, Miha Kajzelj, Iztok Kavčič, Iztok Lemajič 26 _ Sodniški stolp s krajinsko ureditvijo ciljne regatne arene in veslaškega parka v Zaki na Bledu
Referee tower, Bled Rowing and Regatta Centre and the finish area in Zaka, Bled, 2008—10
Aleš Žnidaršič, Katja Žlajpah, Primož Grabnar 27 _ Tribune ciljne veslaške arene v Veliki Zaki
Spectator Stand in the Finish Area in Velika Zaka, Bled, 2009—10
Rok Oman, Špela Videčnik Andrej Gregorič, Janez Martinčič, Magdalena Lacka, Katja Aljaž, Martina Lipicer 28 _ Poslovilna kapelica v Krašnji
Farewell Chapel Krašnja, Krašnja, 2005—09
Lena Krušec, Tomaž Krušec, Vid Kurinčič 29 _ Tržnica Celje
Marketplace Celje, Celje, 2006—10
Vesna Vozlič Košir, Matej Vozlič 30 _ Breg ob Ljubljanici
Ljubljanica River Banks – Breg, Ljubljana, 2007—09
Jurij Kobe, Samo Mlakar, Rok Žnidaršič, Tomaž Habič, Jakov Brdar 31 _ Mesarski most
Butcher’s Bridge, Ljubljana, 2008—10
Šport, spektakel
Sport, the spectacle
Mojca Gregorski, Ajda Vogelnik Saje 32 _ Športna dvorana Kidričevo
Sports Hall Kidričevo, Kidričevo, 2008—11
Enota 33 _ Športna dvorana Podčetrtek
Sports Hall Podčetrtek, Podčetrtek, 2007—10
Enota 34 _ Orhidelia
Orhidelia, Podčetrtek, 2007—09
SADAR+VUGA 35 _ Večnamenska športna dvorana Stožice
Multi-purpose Sports Hall Stožice, Ljubljana, 1997—2011
SADAR+VUGA 35 _ Nogometni stadion Stožice
Football Stadium Stožice, Ljubljana, 1997—2011
Tujina
Abroad
Aleš Prinčič 36 _ Vila Fabbro, Videm, Italij
Villa Fabbro, Udine, Italy, 2003—09
Matija Bevk, Vasa J. Perović, Davorin Počivašek, Ida Sedušak 37 _ Hiša TV, Zagreb, Hrvaška
House TV, Zagreb, Croatia, 2009—11
Peter Gabrijelčič, Viktor Markelj 38 _ Most preko Save v Beogradu, Beograd, Srbija
Bridge across Sava River, Belgrade, Serbia, 2004—11
Rok Oman, Špela Videčnik, Robert Janez, Katja Aljaž, Andrej Gregorič, Javier Carrera, Janez Martinčič 39 _ Študentska stanovanja, Pariz, Francija
Basket Apartments, Paris, France, 2008—12
Aljoša Dekleva, Tina Gregorič, Flavio Coddou, Lea Kovič 40 _ Hiša na klifu, Havaji, ZDA
Clifftop House on Maui, Hawaii, USA, 2008—12
Petra Čeferin, Matevž Čelik, Maja Ivanič, Mateja Medvedič, Matej Mljač, Luka Skansi, Ana Struna Bregar, Maja Vardjan, Aleš Vodopivec Eseji so
Essays
Jure Grohar Socialni, politični in ekološki vidik v sodobni slovenski arhitekturi
Social, Political and Ecological Aspects of Slovene Contemporary Architecture
uvodnik

Naj razmislek o stanju in specifiki slovenske arhitekture začnem z znano anekdoto: Arhitekt večerja z zakoncema, ki mu nameravata naročiti prenovo in prizidek družinske hiše. Posluša njune potrebe in želje, njeno in njegovo različico tega, kar naročata. Ob koncu večerje jima da profesionalni nasvet: »Vidva ne potrebujeta načrta,« pravi, »vidva potrebujeta ločitev.«

V kakšni kondiciji je slovenska arhitektura? Ali je pred svatbo ali pred ločitvijo? Je v razcvetu ali pač potrebuje reanimacijo? Odgovor ni enostaven. Sodobna slovenska arhitektura je, gledano od zunaj, videti briljantno. Po mednarodnih objavah, razstavah, odstotku na prebivalca itd. je tako rekoč mednarodni fenomen. Hkrati pa ni brez težav. Navzven res dobro zgleda, navznoter pa je v vse slabšem stanju, kot bolnik s prikritimi simptomi. Kaj bi potrebovala slovenska arhitektura?

Da bi lahko vedeli, kaj potrebuje, moramo najprej ugotoviti, kaj slovenska arhitektura ima. In temu je namenjena naša razstava. Poskusili smo zajeti njen, recimo tako, široki topi vrh in analizirati njeno konceptualno podstat. Ugotovili smo, da gre za heterogeno strukturo, ki pa ima kljub temu neke zakonitosti, vodilne linije in usmeritve. V to odprto strukturo, ki smo jo skušali začrtati zelo povedno, z eseji povabljenih arhitekturnih teoretikov in kritikov, smo postavili izbrane primere sodobne slovenske arhitekture po kriteriju konceptualne inovativnosti in dovršenosti. Izbor smo vnaprej omejili na 40 projektov, zato je veliko tudi kakovostnih in pomembnih del ostalo zunaj.

Anekdota z začetka pisanja nam tudi hudomušno razkrije, kako se je delo arhitekta premaknilo stran od čiste arhitekture. Javna pristojnost arhitekta je v zatonu, ne rešuje več družbe in prostora, niti ne ustvarja kulture naroda.

Ideja modernizmov je bila, da arhitektura gradi novo družbo. Ideja danes je, da zagotovi dobiček za investitorje ali da pozicionira naročnike (in arhitekte same) v prestižni tekmi, od postavljanja pred sosedi do rivalstva med mesti. Smisel arhitekture je tako v znamčenju, brendingu, vse bolj postaja reklamna brošura. Včasih je njena realna funkcija, npr. da je kopališče, le obstranskega pomena, bistvena je podoba, ki privlači goste, ali celo ikoničnost, ki producira znamko, brand. Ta proces nekako suspendira etiko in promovira estetiko, predvsem pa vodi v babilonsko mešanje kriterijev, vrednot in pozicij, čemur smo priča povsod po svetu in seveda tudi doma. Konzervativni politik lahko naroči in sponzorira radikalno arhitekturo, npr. ikono tipa parametrične arhitekture kake Zahe Hadid. Spokorniški menihi lahko naročijo sliko Damienu Hirstu ali samostan minimalistu Johnu Pawsonu. Tajkun lahko najame mednarodnega zvezdnika, da bi v Ljubljani zgradil spektakularno stolpnico. Ta pluralizem ponovno odpira staro vprašanje: Ali je modernizem danes (spet) zaključen?

Kot pokažeta tudi naša razstava in katalog, bi aktualno slovensko arhitekturo, ki se odlikuje s konceptualno inovativnostjo in dovršenostjo, lahko razdelili na dve osnovni liniji.

Najprej so tisti, ki izhajajo iz kontinuitete slovenske arhitekture. Lahko bi jih opisali s formulo: misli globalno, deluj lokalno. To je formula poznega modernizma in na neki način tudi neomodernizma, ki jo opredeljujejo zgodovinski pojmi, kot so organski modernizem, strukturalizem, brutalizem, novi formalizem, ekspresionizem, high tech, minimalizem pa Framptonov kritični regionalizem, po drugi strani tudi aktualne teoretske tendence z imeni transmodernizem (1), metamodernizem (2) itd. Seveda je danes vsa arhitektura posodobljena skozi digitalne metode in internet, tako da je radikalno sodobna (z vsemi svetovnimi dogajanji je seznanjena in se primerja v realnem času), hkrati pa raziskuje in nadaljuje lastne korenine.

Drugo smer bi opisali s formulo: misli globalno, deluj globalno. Njeni protagonisti so kot svoj prostor privzeli globalni svet in so neposredno vpeti vanj, brez sidra v domači kontinuiteti, ker jo razumejo zgolj kot oviro in ne kot humus. Odvrgli so jo kot odvečno kramo ob selitvi in to dejanje jim omogoča določeno lahkost.

Pri prvem sklopu gre za navezave na linije, ki izhajajo iz Plečnikove in Ravnikarjeve arhitekturne šole ter segajo tudi dlje v slovensko in svetovno arhitekturno zgodovino. Reflektirana naslomba na linije upošteva arhitekturne koncepte kot ustvarjalne impulze in jih uporablja na nov, sodoben način. To velja za naslon na Plečnika, Ravnikarja in sploh na vse svetovne inovativne arhitekte. Prof. Moravansky (3) izpostavi navezavo na Semperja, ki razlaga razvoj in konceptualizacijo arhitekture skozi pletenje.

Drugi sklop, ki paradoksalno uporablja enake koncepte, pa izrašča iz globalne scene, ki bi jo lahko poimenovali splošni arhitekturni trendsetting. Najbolje ga ponazarjajo izrazi brend, ikona, lahka arhitektura, lahki urbanizem. Teoretik je najprej Koolhaas (4), sledijo številni drugi.

Koolhaas omenja lahek, lite urbanizem in lahko, lite arhitekturo. Gre za to, da arhitektura deluje na način, da odvzema težo hišam, mestom, strukturam, vesolju, pomenu in sama sebi. Načrtovanje arhitekture je tako pripoved odvzemanja teže, kjer arhitekt oblikuje lahek prostor, v katerem se običajni pomeni suspendirajo. Tako arhitektura gradi vmesni prostor suspenza, v katerem se iz položaja elite kreira drugačen pogled na svet zunaj njega. Taka arhitektura je nujno ikonična, nujno elitistična, nujno umetniška, saj je v svojem bistvu reprezentativna. V tem se navezuje na zgodovino reprezentančne arhitekture in je na ta način blizu postmodernizmu, ki je to zgodovino hotel nadaljevati tam, kjer jo je modernizem prekinil. Seveda te usmeritve niso čiste, med seboj se prepletajo, tudi v delih istih arhitektov, in vse uporabljajo vsaj na videz iste koncepte.

Omenjeno pletenje je ena od najizrazitejših konceptualnih lastnosti sodobne slovenske arhitekture, ne glede na smer in generacijo. Vzorčenje in/ali teksturiranje je v duhu ali z odkritim sklicevanjem na Plečnika in Semperja nastopilo svojo pot večkrat, seveda bolj ali manj izrazito in domišljeno. Ne mislim le na Ravnikarja in njegovo šolo, spomnimo se na Ambientov poslovni objekt Bežigrajski dvor v Ljubljani, ki se igra s teksturami stekla in kamna. Ta pristop se kasneje še ponavlja in precizira. Pri Fakulteti za matematiko biroja Bevk Perović je namesto kamna na steklu kar potisk. Drugi semperjanski material je beton, ki nastopi svojo pot kot ornamentiran material pri poslovni stavbi Linde ateljeja Vozlič, uporablja se ga tudi v brušeni izvedbi, npr. pri hiši D biroja Bevk Perović. Les, železo (korten) in opeka so prav tako našli, kot vidimo tudi pri našem izboru, v delih Maruše Zorec in drugih, svoj teksturni izraz; predvsem veliko je fasadnih vzorčenj. Arhitekti oblačimo hiše s piksli pri fasadnih oblogah in strehah, z aluminijastimi, lesenimi ali vlaknocementnimi paneli, perforiranimi ali kako drugače teksturiranimi, da bi dosegli želene učinke.

Slovenska arhitektura je obsedena s formo in z detajlom, medtem ko ambient in eksperiment, vsaj pri večini, ostajata v okviru običajnega. Isto velja za prostor: njegovi potenciali so precej manj izkoriščani, kot so potenciali površine in forme. Tako da je, kar se tiče konceptualne kvalitete, slovenska arhitektura dobra, a precej enosmerna.

Po letu 2000 smo tudi v Sloveniji postopoma dobili arhitekturne zvezdnike. Najprej so ta status dosegli Sadar Vuga arhitekti, sledili so jim Ofis, Bevk Perović arhitekti, Enota in še nekateri drugi. Novost je, da so ti arhitekti zvezde tudi in predvsem zunaj krogov lastnega poklica. Že prej smo imeli vodilne arhitekte, ki so pobirali zmage na natečajih in strokovne nagrade. Razlika je v javni popularnosti, v tem, da splošna javnost in preko nje investitorji sprejmejo status arhitekturnih zvezd v okviru pop estrade. V tem primeru seveda cena projekta in celo kakovost nista nujno bistvena argumenta odločanja za naročilo, pač pa prav status zvezde in prestiža, ki iz tega izhaja. Lahko si privoščim Sadar Vugo, čeprav bosta tako projekt kot izvedba dražja kot običajno. S tem bom izkazal svojo razgledanost, dobil bom nekaj ekskluzivnega in širše pomembnega, razmišlja prosvetljen investitor (ali vsaj je razmišljal do izbruha krize).

V Sloveniji se arhitektura, vsaj tista kvalitetna, diferencira v arhitekturo dveh hitrosti:
Prva še vedno je vsaj v delu državno podprta, z zakonodajo in s strokovno prakso natečajev, strokovnega fair playa, demokratičnih načinov izbora arhitektov itd. Tak strokovno pošten način omogoča vzpostavljanje novih generacij, da mladi dobivajo priložnost, znova in znova, za zagon samostojne kariere. To je zelo pomembno za kulturo arhitekture in eden od razlogov, zakaj se pri nas poraja veliko dobrih arhitektov. V Sloveniji obstaja razvita zunajinstitucionalna arhitekturna kultura, ki jo generiramo arhitekti v veliki meri sami. Zato izhajajo revije in monografije, prirejajo se razstave, organizirajo simpoziji, borimo se za ohranitev kakovostnih arhitektur iz polpretekle dobe …
Druga hitrost pa je realnost trga, developerjev in krize. Trg arhitekturnih storitev je v zadnjih treh letih skoraj odmrl. Vsaj tisti njegov del, ki je zaživel v desetletju 1998−2008, ko je bila slovenska arhitektura v razcvetu. Generacije mladih (in ne tako mladih) arhitektov so danes nekako zamrznjene na različnih stopnjah svojih karier.

Vendar naš namen tu ni, da bi se ukvarjali s krizo, z vzroki zanjo, niti s težavnim položajem in negotovo prihodnostjo slovenskih arhitektov. Vsekakor pa je potreben rdeči karton ali pa kar ločitev v primerih, ko arhitektura presega okvir lastne etike in sodeluje v kanibalski igri, ki je Slovenijo iz statusa uspešne mlade države potisnila na rep tranzicijskih držav. Po prisilni ločitvi od državnih jasli in etični ločitvi od sodelovanja pri ropanju družbe bo potrebno najti nove načine delovanja.

Eden je mednarodno uveljavljanje. Incestualnost porok v premajhnem okolju, ki je navadno prvi od možnih očitkov za slovensko arhitekturno sceno, so nove generacije in dobri arhitekti začutili in jo presegajo. To odpiranje je, poleg kontinuitete, druga pomembna linija sodobne slovenske arhitekture. Na razstavi jo zastopa pet v tujini realiziranih objektov, upam pa, da jih bo ob naslednji priložnosti vsaj dvakrat toliko.

Debata iz 80-ih in 90-ih, ko je šlo za postmoderno in reakcije nanjo, je danes vse bolj v ozadju. Nova paradigma, ki izhaja iz zavesti o krizi in ki vse bolj očitno prinaša nov generacijski prelom, je prevzela zeitgeist novega pragmatizma, ko je oblika potisnjena v ozadje in prihajajo v ospredje druge lastnosti in vrednote arhitekture. Namesto formalnih raziskav postajajo pomembnejše druge teme: socialni eksperimenti, participacija, arhitektura kot neavtorsko, kolektivno in interdisciplinarno delo itn. Vse skupaj pa povezuje beg od estetike. Mladi arhitekti hočejo vzpostaviti razliko. Tako je tudi prav, vsaka nova generacija mora izvesti in zdržati ločitev od predhodnih, če hoče zgraditi svoje lastno jedro in identiteto.

Na svidenje na naslednji razstavi!

Miha Dešman

Opombe

  1. Wikipedia: Transmodernism
  2. Wikipedia: Metamodernism
  3. Akos Moravansky, Arhiteksture – Vzorčnost Plečnikove arhitekture/Architextures – Patterdness in Plečnik's architecture, ab 175/176, 2007
  4. Rem Koolhaas, Bruce Mau, S,M,L,XL, Monacelli Press, 1995

editorial

Let me begin the reflection on the state and specificity of Slovene architecture with the familiar anecdote where an architect is having dinner with a married couple who intend to commission a renovation and extension of the family home by him. He listens to their requirements and wishes, her and his version of what they're commissioning. When the dinner is over, he offers his professional advice. "You don't need a plan," he says, "you need a divorce."

What shape is Slovene architecture finding itself in? Is it looking at a wedding or a divorce? Is it in bloom or in need of resuscitation? The answer is not a simple one. On the outside, Slovene architecture looks brilliant - according to international publications, exhibitions, percentages per capita etc., it's an international phenomenon. Yet at the same time, it's not without its problems. It does look good on the outside, but inside, everything is in a worse condition, like a patient with hidden symptoms. What would Slovene architecture need?

To be able to know what it needs, we first need to establish what Slovene architecture has. And this is the purpose of our exhibition. We tried to encompass its, let's put it this way, broad blunt tip and analyse its conceptual underpinnings. We discovered that it is a heterogeneous structure, yet still one with certain laws, leading branches, and leanings. Into this open structure - which we tried to outline by means of essays written by invited architectural theoreticians and critics - we placed selected examples of contemporary Slovene architecture based on the criterion of how conceptually innovative and accomplished they are. The selection was limited to forty works in advance, which resulted in many quality and significant works being excluded from the selection.

Another thing the above anecdote humorously shows is how the level of architects' work has moved away from pure architecture. The public competence of the architect is in decline, they are no longer the saviour of the society and the space, nor do they develop the nation's culture anymore. The idea of modernisms was that architecture is building a new society. The idea today is that it ensures profit for the investors or to position the clients (and the architects themselves) in the race for prestige, from bragging to the neighbours to competitions among cities. The meaning of architecture is therefore branding, it's becoming increasingly like a promotional brochure. Sometimes, its real function, e.g. a swimming facility, is only of marginal concern, what truly matters is the image which attracts visitors, or even iconicity which produces the brand. In a way, this process suspends the ethic and promotes the aesthetic, and above all leads to a Babylon of muddled criteria, values, and positions, something which we are witnessing all over the world, also in our neck of the woods. A right-wing politician can commission and sponsor radical architecture, e.g. an icon in the vein of parametric architecture by, say, Zaha Hadid. A penitent order can commission a painting by Damien Hirst or a monastery by minimalist John Pawson. A shady plutocrat can commission an international superstar to build a spectacular high-rise in Ljubljana. This pluralism reopens the old question: "Has modernism today (again) run its course?"

As shown by our exhibition and catalogue, present-day Slovene architecture, which is distinguished by conceptual innovativeness and accomplishment, could be divided into two branches. The first is those who descend from the continuity of Slovene architecture. They can be described with the formula think globally, act locally. This is the formula of late modernism and in a way also of neomodernism, a formula defined by historical concepts such as organic modernism, structuralism, brutalism, new formalism, expressionism, high-tech, minimalism, as well as Frampton's critical regionalism, and on the other hand also by current theoretical tendencies termed as transmodernism (1), metamodernism (2), etc. Naturally, all architecture of today is updated by means of digital methods and the Internet and is therefore at the same time radically contemporary (it is informed and compares itself with all global developments in real time) yet also exploring its roots and maintaining its legacy. The other branch is described by the formula think globally, act globally. Its protagonists have adopted the global world as their space, they are directly embedded into it without being anchored in the domestic continuity, considering it only as an obstacle and not as foundation. They had tossed it away like worthless junk during a house move, and this act endows them a with certain liteness.

The first group references the branches deriving from Plečnik and Ravnikar's schools of architecture and reaching even further into Slovene and global architectural history. A reflected adherence to these branches treats architectural concepts as creative impulses and uses them in a new, contemporary manner. This is true of adherence to Plečnik, Ravnikar, and indeed all the world's innovative architects. Prof. Moravansky (3) points out the association with Semper, who explains the development and conceptualisation of architecture as "knitting-on". The second group, which, paradoxically, uses the same concepts, stems out of the global scene, which could be characterised as general architectural trend-setting. It's best represented by terms brand, icon, lite architecture, and lite urban design. Its original theoretician is Koolhaas (4), followed by scores of others.

Koolhaas mentions lite urban design and architecture. The idea is that architecture works by taking away the weight from houses, cities, structures, the outer space, the meaning, and itself. Designing architecture becomes a narrative of weight reduction where the architect designs a lite space in which regular meanings are suspended. In this way, architecture constructs an intermediary space of suspense in which a different outlook of the world outside is created from a position of the elite. Such architecture is necessarily iconic, necessarily elitist, necessarily "artistic" since it is fundamentally representative. In this regard, it references the history of stately architecture and thus approaches postmodernism, which intended to resume this history right where modernism interrupted it. These approaches are naturally not "pure", they intertwine with each other, even in works by the same architects, and they all use seemingly identical concepts.

The aforementioned knitting-on is one of the most distinctive "conceptual" properties of contemporary Slovene architecture, regardless of the disposition or generation. Patterning and texturing has either in spirit or by explicit referencing of Plečnik and Semper branched out several times, in more and less distinctive and accomplished incarnations. I'm not only referring to Ravnikar and his school - let's cast our minds to office building Bežigrajski dvor in Ljubljana by Ambient, which plays with the textures of glass and stone. This approach later repeats and becomes more precise. With the Faculty of mathematics by bureau Bevk Perović, stone gives way to screen printing on glass. Another "Semperian" material is concrete, which debuts as ornamented material in the office building Linde by atelier Vozlič; it is also used in its polished variant, as with House D by bureau Bevk Perović. Wood, iron (Corten steel), and brick have also found their textual expression, as evidenced also by our selection, in works by Maruša Zorec and others; facade patternings are particularly prominent. What we as architects do is dress houses up, with pixels in facade claddings and roofs, with aluminium, wood, or fibre cement panels, perforated or textured in some other way, to obtain the desired effects.

Slovene architecture is obsessed by form and detail while ambient and experiment, at least for the most part, remain within the realm of the ordinary. The same is true of space, its potentials are realised to a considerably lower degree than the potentials of surface and form. Therefore, as far as conceptual quality is concerned, Slovene architecture is good, but quite unidirectional.

After the year 2000, Slovenia has gradually got its share of architectural celebrities. The first to achieve this status it were Sadar Vuga arhitekti followed by Ofis, Bevk Perović arhitekti, Enota, and a few others. Unlike previously, these architects are celebrities also and indeed particularly outside the realms of their profession. We have had leading architects before who were collecting first prizes at competitions and garnering peer awards. The difference is in public popularity, in the acceptance of the status of architectural celebrities within the world of pop stardom by the general public and subsequently by investors. In such cases, the cost of the project and even its quality are not necessarily crucial arguments when deciding on a commission - what is crucial is precisely the celebrity status and the prestige that comes with it. I can afford a Sadar-Vuga, despite the fact that both the project and the realisation will be more expensive than usual. My choice will convey my cosmopolitanism, I will receive something exclusive and of wider importance - such is the thought process of the enlightened investor (or at least was their thought process until the outbreak of the crisis).

In Slovenia, architecture, at least the quality kind, is diversified into "architecture of two speeds": at least in part, it is still supported by the state, with legislation and professional practice of competition, professional fair play, democratic ways of choosing architects etc. Such professional fairness allows new generations to become established and new architects to be given opportunities, time and time again, to start independent careers. This is very important for the culture of architecture and one of the reasons why so many good architects emerge in our territory. In Slovenia, there is a developed extra-institutional architectural culture, which is for the most part generated by us architects ourselves. This is why there are magazines and monographs being published, exhibitions held, symposia organised, we are fighting for the preservation of quality architectures from recent time periods etc. The other "speed" is the reality of the market, developers, and crisis. The market for architectural service has nearly atrophied in the last three years. At least the part which came to life between 1998 and 2008, when Slovene architecture was in full bloom. Generations of young (and not so young) architects are somehow frozen in various stages of their careers.

Our intention is not to discuss the crisis, what caused it, or the difficult position and uncertain future of Slovene architects. However, the situation definitely calls for a "red card" or even a divorce in the cases where architecture finds itself beyond the boundaries of its own ethics and takes part in a game of cannibalism which has seen Slovenia's status as a young prosperous country plunge among the worst performers of the post-communist transition states. After an involuntary divorce from favouritism in public procurement and an ethical divorce from plundering of the society, new ways of operation will have to be found.

One such way is international affirmation. The incestuous nature of marriages in an environment too small for its own good - which is one of the possible criticisms of the Slovene architectural scene - has been sensed by the new generations and good architects and is being overcome. Beside continuity, this opening up is the second significant branch of contemporary Slovene architecture. In the exhibition, it is represented by five projects realised abroad, and I hope that at the next opportunity, there will be at least twice as many.

The debate from the 1980s and 90s on the postmodern and the reactions to it is today increasingly giving way to the new paradigm, which stems from the awareness of the crisis and which is increasingly seen to be introducing a new break with the previous generations into the architectural scene. It has adopted the zeitgeist of the new pragmatism where the form is pushed into the background while other properties and values of the architecture are in turn moving to the forefront. Instead of formal research, there are new topics rising in importance, such as social experiments, participation, architecture as a work devoid of authorship, collective and interdisciplinary, etc. Finally, the thing that binds all of these together is flight from aesthetics. The young architects want to "establish the difference". This is only as it should be, each new generation has to experience and endure the "divorce" from the previous ones if it wants to forge its own core and identity.

See you at the next exhibition!

Miha Dešman

Footnotes

  1. Wikipedia: Transmodernism
  2. Wikipedia: Metamodernism
  3. Akos Moravansky, Arhiteksture – Vzorčnost Plečnikove arhitekture/Architextures – Patterdness in Plečnik's architecture, ab 175/176, 2007
  4. Rem Koolhaas, Bruce Mau, S,M,L,XL, Monacelli Press, 1995