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Mechanical Engineering & Faculty of Pharmacy

Phase I - Open Anonymous Urban planing Competition for the University of Ljubljana's Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

and Faculty of Pharmacy new educational buildings, Ljubljana, 2020

Alternative location for the two new, University of Ljubljana, faculty buildings.

Ljubljana's strategic spatial plan states that the green wedges - Rožnik, Golovec, Barje, Litostroj and Bežigrad - are the basic building blocks of the green system and the bearers of many ecological, social and aesthetic functions in the city. Despite the declarative recognition of their importance buildings keep on growing there. The intended competition area is located directly at the exit of the Trail of Remembrance and Comradeship from the built-up tissue. Large buildings of the new faculties would be very close to the Trail and the sense of entrance to the western part of the Trail would be significantly impaired. Hence construction on the planned location represents an unjustified urbanization expansion. In any case, given the intrinsic potential represented by areas not yet developed within the BF campus, we believe that construction in a sensitive area close to the Trail is not justified. Therefore, we propose an alternative.


In the immediate vicinity of the prescribed competition area there is land currently used as BF agricultural testing fields. The proposed solution is to connect the two parts of the campus by relocating the testing fields, which also means more opportunities in terms of accessibility. The logic behind the layout of the building volumes is inherent in the design of the eastern and newer western portions of the campus, which envisage a linear addition of buildings along the so-called "knowledge street".

The proposed volumes of new facilities at an alternative location represent the physical and functional connection of the two parts of the campus. By rotating and splitting the maximum volumes, we obtain a seam design that connects the green landscape on both sides of the site and pulls it into the intermediate space of the buildings. The four volumes form five ambiances, two sloping southern plazas that serve as secondary entrances to the new college, and three northern plazas that provide the facility with main entrances and service entrances from the north.

The garage underneath both buildings is designed to allow entrance and exit to both sides of the campus. The campus is largely free of dormant traffic. The pedestrian connections are structured on three levels, as links between buildings, as a learning path along Glinščica and as transversal connections in the east - west and north - south directions. 

The faculties have separate main entrances on the north side of the building through a pedestal with a walkway. The pedestal is also the main connecting element on the ground floor. From the south side, the pedestal angles to allow direct access to the first-floor secondary entrances. At the symbolic level two volumes of one faculty represent a split hard shell, rough on the outside and opened by the warm materials of wooden blinds in a double glass ventilated facade on the inside. The interior facade provides views into the interstitial space and back into the collaborative rooms of the faculty and highlights the collaboration and integration of different professions for maximum synergistic effect.

The individual lamella is longitudinally divided by belts: into laboratories on the exterior facade and intermediate services and teaching and work areas on the interior facade. Furthermore, longitudinal bands are transversely divided into areas intended for administration and staff toward the end of the facility and for students at the core of the college building. The intersection of the two systems creates spaces of collaboration and socializing on the crossroads of the two systems. These spaces play an increasingly important role in modern institutions, as they have been proven to encourage collaboration and further creative thinking in search of new ideas. Most of the formal defined spaces have been transformed into open-type offices with separate offices for department heads, etc. The same goes for teaching rooms where more weight is given to informal group work spaces.

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Project date: 2020

Site area: 42.558 m2

Building area: 21.109 m2

Total floor area: 73.536 m2

Type: educational

Client: University of Ljubljana

Authors: Jure Hrovat, MArch; Ana Kreč, MArch (SVET VMES, Ltd.), prof. Gerard Reinmuth, FRAIA; Christoffer Breitenbauch, MArch; (TERROIR Pty Ltd.); Landscape architecture: Darja Matjašec, udika (TEKTONIKA, Ltd.)

Collaborators: Sebastjan Oblak, Marko Kavčič, Nika Marn, Jakub Chojna

Award: Honorable mention

"for a high-quality intellectual provocation that deliberately deviates from the formal requirements of the design assignment and chooses a new location for the new campus, thus violating the terms of the competition."

Related articles:

ZAPS - Jury report

Katalog VIZIJE SO 15: Univerza in mesto, Arhitektura in prostor Univerze v Ljubljani

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