Competition entry proposes radical new art gallery in Maribor, Slovenia
Elastik's proposal for a new Art Gallery in Maribor is an attempt to bring art events back into the realm of the daily public interest. The organisational principle dwells on an active roof that provides not only a consolidation of the big urban potential of the site, but also a radical break with the tradition of a white-box gallery container. It intends to offer an active dialogue between the inside and outside, between the art and the city.
The new UGM gallery is located on the border between Maribor's medieval city centre, characterised by delicate monumental buildings and introverted urban blocks on one side, and the newly developed bulky public and housing buildings, the swimming pool Pristan and the faculties on the other.
An active roof will attempt to make the public building very public indeed. Instead of creating a gallery as an exclusive space only for ‘art lovers’, the roof is shared between all users: inhabitants, visitors, curators and artists. It creates an urban link between the city and the river, the housing and the market. Where the roof meets the banks of Drava River there is an entrance point to all the programs of the new UGM Gallery: the gallery space, the library, the architectural centre, the cafeteria and the restaurant.
The roof is permeable, perforated with programmatic pockets. These are programmatic compartments that bring the inside gallery programs to the outside. There, art can be on display to the whole city, creating a connection between the gallery and the city in a deliberately blunt visual manner. From the inside of the gallery space, the compartments are atriums, terraces or outside exhibition spaces. They allow views from the gallery to the city but also numerous opportunities to the curators to display artistic work.