Ljubljana Puppet Theatre
Thursday 09 Jun 2016


The lobby of the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre is a space in-between, a world between reality and imagination. Its rich visual design gradually blurs the lines between the two, inviting its young visitors to come in and let go.

This is a smaller architectural intervention with minimal financial means.

Besides the renovation of the entry, the client’s aim was to add function to the place conventionally dedicated to waiting and socialising by finding space for various activities of the Puppet Theatre (lobby, reading room, occasional exhibition place, space for puppet workshops, a place for children to come together and play).

In order to meet our client’s expectations and needs we decided to design and enrich the interior with light, both natural and artificial. The place should change its form and function according to the needs and content required at specific time. To achieve this we used various types of lighting and mobile panels. The latter divide the space as well as block light when necessary. 

The hall connecting the Small and the Big Stage used to be completely introverted. We changed this by letting in the light. This enabled communication between the outside and the inside by allowing the view to flow freely in both directions. A very low ceiling was completely redesigned into one body of light in order to prevent it from being further lowered. The subtle paintings on the ceiling invite the look upwards – to the sky, into the world full of the unexpected, and so the waiting becomes fun. The illustrations are the work of a young Slovenian illustrator Matija Meved.

The windows were turned into displays, showing art installations of Silvan Omerzu. Through them the Puppet Theatre communicates with the passing public. 

Different scenarios require elements which are most appropriate for the various activities in the space. The central area is the most impressive when we turn on the lights in the two rotating pendants, which have been especially designed to serve as the main visual elements of the renovation. The illustrations of animals and other figures on the pendants are the work of Slovenian author Zala Kalan. When the pendant lights rotate, the laser cut metal sheets on the outer rim of the pendants bring the figures to life, they move and meet each other around the space. This in turn triggers unexpected impulses in children, who chase the shadow figures around the space, they touch them … and the fun begins.