Architect: Bevk Perović arhitekti
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Project Team: Matija Bevk, Vasa J. Perović, Nika Prešeren, Robert Loher, Maja Valič
Project year: 2002 – 2004
Construction year: 2004 – 2006
Client: University of Ljubljana
Site Area: 5,000 sqm
Photographs: Miran Kambič
New building for the Faculty of Mathematics, built in the main University area in Ljubljana is not a building in a standard sense of the word. It is, in fact, an addition, a three story slab built on top of the existing two story building, containing completely different programme.
The new building literally grows out of the old structure, but despite its dominant role it allows the old structure its independence and dignity.
Being an edifice without the ‘ground floor’, the new building tries to develop the idea of public spaces of the school as series of transparent ‘rooms’, carved out of the building mass, hovering above the city. From anonymous entrance marked by the lowered ‘curtain’ of printed glass, the illuminated staircase leads to the second floor, which becomes the new ‘ground floor’ of the building. It contains lecture halls and two large communal areas of the school. All other programmes of the school follow on higher floors, culminating in two small urban gardens on the top floor of the building.
A formally and structurally simple architecture is precisely formulated, whether one looks at the programmatic organization or at tactile treatment of surfaces. Elegant glass skin, screen printed with different densities of the same pattern, speaks about the programmatic structure hiding behind. Three levels of print transparency correspond to three three different programmes – from very dense print for computer rooms to very diffuse print for standard classrooms.
Random repetitive prints appear as if they are forming an independent, almost plastic overall surface of the edifice. The building is at the same time stereo metric and monodimensional, a parallelepiped and a skin, a firm monolith and a dynamic structure.
Only the public and communal spaces of the school have transparent, floor-size glass panels without prints, thus establishing a delicate conversation of the interior with the city beyond.
The relation with the adjacent building, the faculty of Physics is established through an open ‘field’, containing parking and public square.