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Science Center and museum.

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Date: Oct 2018 - Jan 20219

Typology: Culture, Landscape

Size: 8.160 sqm

Status: International Competition

Client: Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Education.


Rejecting the notion of museum architecture as a neutral fund for exhibitions, the building itself is designed to be a teaching tool.

This new center creates a different identity for the functional urban environment of Tmovo, where the volumetric mass of the building floats on a new urban fabric. Breaking the solid stone geometry of this green blanket that floats on the new urban context have 3 volumes, which give scale to the building and endow it with character.

Rejecting the notion of museum architecture as a neutral fund for exhibitions, the building itself is designed to be a teaching tool to demonstrate scientific principles. As an institutional aspect to improve public understanding of natural systems, address and exemplify environmental responsibility. Several strategies are being used to inspire learning and understanding, including the revelation of building structure and mechanical systems, technologies for energy saving and water reuse, and the integration of Slovenia's native ecologies in landscaping.

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Exterior view

The vast and at the same time sinuous wavy structure, consists of a roof that are adapted in its thickness due to its load-bearing structure. This structure is based on two structural walls, plus the façade, which connect a wide range of functions that are divided into three interiors bands. The first band, which has the best views, is dedicated to all that functional program that supports the building such as the entrance hall, cafeteria and restaurant, vertical and horizonatal communications, toilets, store and the main and general access to the public and visitors. On the opposite side is the access to professionals and workers, placing the most technical and functional program such as the facilities, the administration, the meeting rooms ... Between the two sections of the program is the exhibition band. On the ground floor a large diaphanous space will be created connecting the laboratories and the Fab Lab and on this large space there will be 3 "deformed boxes”, which are arranged as if they were floating above the exhibition space and which have a direct formal repercussion with the large garden roof and the formal structure of the building. These boxes, which undergo a twist in their height, lodge in their interior all that program destined to the exhibition as the planetarium, the gallery .... Two of these boxes are connected to each other by their interior to create richer spaces with double height, which are illuminated through large skylights, as if they were other boxes inside.

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Exterior view

The formalism in the building is nothing more than simple geometric transformations that take place according to the location of the program, the orientation of the same in its interior and sunlight, the views towards the city and its main mountain ranges and the connectivity between the city and the building. Likewise the resulting morphology in the plant is based on the mere parallel alignment on three of its sides, while the other opposite side creates a curve similar to the one of the plot limitation, against subtracted with a counter curve to be able to eliminate the point of inflection that is created in the plot. Once this volume has been obtained, through an extrusion of the geometry in plan, several morphological operations are available to shape the large roof of the building and provide it with a sinuous topography. Volumetric subtraction operations are carried out, the first of which is to superficially restrict the built surface on the ground floor and increase the vegetation surface of the roof, creating a sectional flare. The other two subtractions are based on creating a glass crack to separate the purely professional and administrative program from the exhibition, while the other subtraction serves to frame the main entrance as a marquee and provide the restaurant and cafeteria with its own identity, that next to the curvature of the building, a viewpoint is created that covers the city from the Tivoli Park to the Grajski Gric


Materially, the project is conceived mainly by three materials that are based on its structure and use. The first material is the one that covers the entire façade, for this a white ecological wood is used. Wood is one of the most important natural resources of the area and therefore we want to promote this resource. This material is ideal for the climate of the city and gives the building an elegant appearance, while reinforcing its geometry. It should be noted that this geometry is marked by holes that open in the form of horizonatal tears that accompany the generating lines of the facades. The second material is copper, which is coated "chests" both inside and outside to create a spatial continuity between interior and exterior. Copper acquires two textures on the skin that covers the elements, one satin and the other does not, which create a pattern that replicates the plant of the intersected chests. Copper has been chosen because it gives that reddish aspect that predominates in all the roofs of the city and at the same time, give it a contrast with the material of light wood. This contrast, that is pursued in the project, both internally and externally, makes the building framed and predominates over the city. It should be noted that these "chests" are each beveled in different directions to emphasize the predominance of gable roofs that have most of the buildings that have the roofs of this color. The third material is a material that is used inside and that has no impact on the outside, which is reinforced concrete, formwork on wooden slats. This concrete is used in the supporting walls of the project, which will act as structural elements to support the roof of the building. These two walls that divide us into three strips the project is plank with tablets of wood to give that unfinished aspect of the building and give that replica of the outer walls covered with slats of white wood.

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Interior view from lobby

Interior view from exhibition room

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Interior view from atrium

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