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Roška Art District

Open Anonymous Urban planing Competition for the construction of a new Academy of Fine Arts and Design - ALUO, a new student

residence - ŠDL and a new Secondary School of Design and Photography - SŠOF with sport facilities, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2020

The basic characteristic of the open space between historic and newly proposed buildings is tamed nature. Once invasive, alien, undesirable, in the area of the new art district becomes a symbol of openness, coexistence and experiment.

The location in question is a historical and programmatically diverse green area – one of the rare, still untapped development potentials at the transition from the Ljubljana city centre to the suburbs. The area is limited by Roška cesta in the North and Poljanska in the West. Here the location borders on the existing historic buildings of the old Roška barracks and the Secondary School of Economics building. On the eastern side, there are multi-apartment blocks positioned in a fan-shaped building pattern. On the southern side, there is an untamed Stupi embankment. Views of the green slope of Golovec hill open across the Gruber canal.

The competition solution pursues a strategy of sustainable renovation that builds on the importance of preservation, respect, and implementation of the built and natural heritage elements. The strategy of the so-called ‘heritage urbanism’ dictates diverse contextual responses that respect the existing geometric and historical footprint, integrating the newly built tissue into a comprehensively designed educational creative area near the city centre of Ljubljana – the new ‘art district’.

The design proposal for the new art district considers the revival and strengthening of the existing heritage structures in the spatial, urban and landscape context and offers a model for their integration into contemporary life. Heritage is not treated as a solitary structure but as an integral part of the immediate and wider surroundings.


The project focuses on two historical urban elements – the former barracks of King Peter, known as the Roška barracks with all its associated former building locations and existing tree-lined avenues. The barracks design already at that time formed a partially open building perimeter that we are once again highlighting with our urban design. The internal squares of the perimeter buildings enable a rich spatial experience for the users, whilst significantly highlighting and creating various spatial sequences for the most important building in the area – the Academy of Fine Arts.


Individual landscape ambiences and their building blocks are recognized as high-quality and worthy of preservation. The basic characteristic of the new markets emerging between the new buildings are individual building blocks from existing landscape ambiences. The basic characteristic of the open space is tamed nature, once invasive, alien, undesirable, and in the area of the new art district a symbol of openness, coexistence, and experiment.


Motor traffic is regulated in a garage, which can be carried out as a single, larger project or as a set of individual smaller garages with a single common entrance. Most of the public space within the art district is intended for pedestrians.

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Project date: 2020

Site area: 43.139 m2

Building area: 11.521 m2

Total floor area: 32.005 m2

Type: educational/leisure/public

Client: MIZŠ, Slovene Ministry of Education, Science and Sport 

Authors: SVET VMES, Ltd.: Jure Hrovat, MArch; assist. Ana Kreč, MArch and students: Monika Kobal, Neža Brankovič, Marko Kavčič in collaboration with ARCO, Ltd.: assist. prof. mag. Polona Filipič, MArch (BIA), assist. Sinan Mihelčič, MArch and student: Mitja Kuret; Landscape architecture: Kolektiv Tektonika, Ltd.: assist. prof. Darja Matjašec udika; assist. Nejc Florjanc, udika; Katja Mali, udika; Pia Kante, udika with student: Filipa Valenčič

Award: Increased 3rd prize 

Related articles and mentions:

ZAPS - Jury report

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