National Gallery Extension
Sadar Vuga Arhitekti
The completely glazed extension comes across like a see-through interface between park and city.
The project called for an interstitial link between the old section and the new wing, a shelter that would unify the two sections and provide a protective covering for the Robba Fountain, that was relocated from its location in front of the Town Hall. The space, the plan and the building footprint was already specified.
The very important Baroque fountain, designed by Francesco Robba representing the three rivers that meet in Ljubljana, was deteriorating and its relocation was seen as a way to prevent further degradation. A replica was produced and placed in its original location.
The dual site and the dual location of the fountain inspired us to create an entirely different experience from that of its other location. Here, it ceases to be an urban element and is transformed into a museum exhibit. In an enclosed space water sounds different, light is different, the interior atmosphere can be controlled. We wanted to create a dynamic experience and embedded this idea into the design of the building's structure. The structure, inspired by Issey Miyake's "folded tubes," is configured in parallel ribs that form an almost accordion-like series of frames that connects both buildings and also acts as a vehicle for providing ever-changing views from both outside-in and inside-out./Sadar Vuga
For the interstitial link the architects wanted the experience to feel completely different from the enclosed condition of the existing museum wings. As visitors move from one building to the other, they can pause, breathe, look out and experience a set of changing perspectives of the city, people inside and outside the building and the fountain. The completely glazed extension affords a monumental entrance to the museum.
The extension, which has three different levels - an entry with a bookstore, reception and coat check, a mezzanine for receptions, and a gallery, is more than a simple mediating place, it is a type of urban livingroom, used for various public events relating to the city and city life.
This design objective has introduced dynamism into the otherwise static and extremely well defined institution of the National Gallery. It is very lively and very urban, a place where people can enjoy themselves in a very transparent space, their activities reverberating into the park that borders one side and the city on the other. All these different events and people make this cinematic structure an urban stage set.
The cinematic structure emphasizes effects of ambiguity, provoking a constantly changing experience of the central addition. Inside the building, the cinematic structure provides a kaleidoscopic image of the interior, virtually without defined edge conditions, in a continuous interaction with the gallery employees, visitors and Flâneurs.
Facts about National Gallery Extension
Total floor area:
1.650 square meters
ELEA, Atelier One, London
Elea, Atelier One
Lenassi (mechanical), Eldata (electrical)
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia
Last updated: December 19, 2013
North Adams, Massachusetts, USA
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Seattle, Washington, USA