Maribor Art Gallery

Type: Museum
Status: Competition
Area: 15 000 m²
Year: 2010
Location: Maribor, Slovenia
Team: Andrė Baldišiūtė, Ignas Uogintas, Dalia Zakaitė, Džiugas Karalius, Sabina Grincevičiūtė, Milda Grabauskaitė

A contemporary gallery that becomes the living room for an entire city – such is the concept behind Maribor’s new art gallery proposal.
A rectangular volume is sliced and offset, resulting in a monumental form that creates a clear cultural identity in Maribor, visible from the river and the hills surrounding the city. The building’s parts reflect their functions – the larger raised volume contains the exhibition spaces, while the lower, smaller volume facilitates other functions, including an architecture centre and educational spaces. The spaces above and below these volumes become distinct public places in the city. The main entrance space below the elevated exhibition areas blurs the distinction between interior and exterior and acts as the city’s living room. This is an open, multifunctional and universal space that invites people into the gallery from the riverside and reveals all of the inner functions of the gallery. As well as being the main circulation space in the building, the living room also contains an auditorium, library and shop. A second social space is formed above the smaller volume of the gallery. This is an empty multifunctional roof terrace designed for various gallery events – concerts, film screenings, performances, lectures and other cultural events.
The building forms a monument that marks the boundary of Maribor’s new town as the Judgment Tower marks the boundary of the Old Town. Together they form a gate that connects the city to the river, while maintaining a clear barrier between the old and new parts of the city.
The design proposed a gallery that is a modern and inviting cultural centre, an accelerator of the urban pulse, a trigger for urban regeneration in the south-western part of the city and a model case of sustainable architectural design.