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Academy of Arts and Design reconstruction and extension

Open, anonymous, architectural competition

Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2016

Triptych - a set of three associated artistic works intended to be appreciated together.

New Academy of Arts and Design building in Ljubljana is designed as a “TRIPTYCH” – a compact composition of three simple building volumes, namely the existing, reconstructed academy building with administration offices (historical and heavy), new boxy volume with student ateliers and views of the centrally positioned inner atrium (generic and light) and new, specifically designed pedestal with horizontal and vertical exhibition spaces, lecture halls, workshops, and service areas (unique and heavy) that create a dynamic whole and the new image of ALUO.

While the new building hosts the student ateliers and stands in the background, the front pedestal comes forward to exterior line of the plot, where it is shaped into a comfortable staircase and vertical tower that marks the edge of the plot and provokes the pedestrians and random passers-by to stop and explore.


“ALUO TRIPTYCH” exploits the maximum urbanization of the plot while leaving a lot of undefined, open space that can be used, changed or appropriated by students or staffers, organizing various events and exhibitions. If not in use for a longer time, it can be simply rented out. Along the Erjavceva Street, it will be possible to observe the activities within the underground and tower exhibition gallery through the spread brick facade and wide glass openings. The tower will host large scale art installations that will attract passers-by to visit art exhibitions in the underground gallery and inner atrium.


Wide staircase, ascending toward the existing, historical building, will allow a smooth transition to the public plaza, where numerous large scale sculptures and urban furniture will be placed. Here, it will be possible to drink a cup of coffee in the academy’s cafeteria or read a book in the reading room and inner atrium.

The space of the atrium is like a “carte blanche” – empty space, surrounded with a concrete grid, housing art studios for sculpture, painting, industrial design and restoration. Here you will be able to observe students and their mentors at work, meet other people, interact, build a large-scale sculptures or installations, learn from others, etc.


The new building of ALUO is structurally designed as a modular, concrete prefabricated structure, where columns are placed every 5 m within the exterior perimeter. The advantage of such modular system is that it leaves the inner space of the art ateliers empty, without any obstacles or support structure. Prefabricated, hollow 10 m long concrete slabs allow quick, low cost construction process, which can in the upcoming years if need arises, adapt to various spatial changes.


The two main fire escape stairs, located diagonally in opposite corners of the building, allow separation of levels for different tenants with separate entrances. There is a possibility to vertically connect the ground, 1st and 2nd floor level, creating double and triple height spaces, by removing the prefabricated slabs. Therefore, this light, generic, perimeter block design with the inner atrium allows for many spatial alterations in the future. It can become a shopping mall, a cultural center, a school or an office building. Even the tower, which seems to be the least flexible, can be transformed into smaller offices, studios or spaces for artists in residence by adding slabs, fixed vertical core and windows on each level.



Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Project date: 2016
Site Area: 3500 m2

Building Area: 2524 m2

Total floor Area: 9717 m2

Type: educational, public

Client: University of Ljubljana, Academy of Arts and Design


Authors: SVET VMES, d.o.o.: Jure Hrovat, mia; Ana Kosi, udia; Ana Kreč, mia; students: Lovrenc Kolenc, Klemen Šenk in collaboration with Denis Rovan, mia (Navor, d.o.o.)

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