The proposal for new art gallery in Maribor is an attempt how to bringing art events back into the realm of the daily public interest.

The organizational 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 offers 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, characterized by delicate monumental buildings and introverted urban blocks on one side, and the newly developed peripheral urban tissue, characterized by massive, bulky public and housing buildings, the swimming pool Pristan and the faculties on the other. This is also the point where lent with picturesque walkways along the river ends, where cars and introverted programs start disconnecting the existing urban structure.

The new UGM building’s design balances these missed opportunities, spatially and temporally, creating an attractive location on the river bank with its moderate height and the active, programmed roof that creates an inviting gesture towards the medieval city and the market.

To bring art and the city closer together we are proposing a shift from the simple, undecorated, perfect environment with creating a blur between the inside of the gallery and the outside of the city.

The blur, an in-between condition between inside and outside, is mostly evident in the sectional organization of the building, where the outside is literally brought into the interior of the building, creating numerous opportunities for a different experience of the gallery space.
This spatial organization offers art curators a possibility to design the exhibitions in the inside and in the outside of the building at the same time.

The active roof makes the public building really public. Instead of creating a gallery space 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 roof meets the river bank of Drava River – there is an entrance point to all the programs of the new UGM Gallery: the gallery space, the library, the architectural center, 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. The art can be on display to the whole city, saying »here is art« and creating a connection between the gallery and the city in a blunt visual manner.

Art gallery + archive campus
City of Maribor
Maribor, Slovenia
Site area
3,500 m2

12.800 m2
Height 26.7 m


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