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Pebble Atrium

Renovation of an exterior school atrium at Poljane Grammar School

Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2015

Exterior school atrium intended for resting, reading, interacting and organization of various school events.

The existing exterior atrium of Poljane Grammar School located in the city center of Ljubljana, Slovenia, registered as a building of cultural heritage, used to be an asphalt surface, serving as a connecting plane between the school building and the adjacent gym. Here bigger school events are held whilst on a regular school day it serves as a place for gathering, socializing and learning.

The new atrium is designed as a polycentric pattern of irregular rounded triangles where 'positive' and 'negative space' is formed. 'Positive' - white space, in a form of soft triangular shapes – 'pebbles', offers various sitting typologies: bench, stage, platform, hill or hollow whilst 'negative' – black space, connects the triangular elements into one urban landscape.


With proposed polycentric pattern, we were able to comply with the project brief, that required a meter distance from the facade, various program islands for interacting, shading canopies and no determined orientation. The graphically present urban topography becomes the new, fifth facade of the building, seen from all the inner school windows, whilst remaining deeply hidden within the strict and thick architecture of the 19th century school typology. 

A range of undemanding plants was chosen for a rather shady and limited growing conditions. We chose deciduous species that change throughout the year and introduce life, dynamic and diversity (early leafing, flowering during the school year, autumn colors) to the school premises.

In 2019 the atrium with its pebble-shaped forms inspired a new project - the design of the school's new front square, that created a new emphasis in the urban system of public spaces and markets of Ljubljana city. 

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Project date: 2015
Completion date: 2017

Area: 602 m2

Type: public/exterior school atrium, square

Client: Poljane Grammar School

Project team: Jure Hrovat, Ana Kosi, Ana Kreč, Ognen Arsov, Žiga Rošer, Nejc Florjanc

Photographer: Matevž Paternoster


1st prize at the 7th International Biennial of Young Architects "Leonardo 2017" in Minsk

Special award for a series of interventions within existing educational buildings at ARHIED 2018

Related articles or mentions:

RTV Kultura

Piranesi Magazine


HIŠE Magazine

HAUSBAU Magazine

Arhitext Magazine_East Centric Triennale 2019


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