11th June, Monday, 12 p.m., Balassi Institute

Modern Architecture in Slovenia and Hungary – Lecture by dr. András Borsos and prof. Miloš Florijančič


In the spring, at the Big Architecture Festival in Ljubljana, Miloš Florijančič, professor at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Ljubljana met dr. András Borsos, Secretary of the Hungarian Federation of Architects. During the meeting, the idea of organizing a joint event emerged, where the projects of young Slovenian and Hungarian architects would be presented to the audience. The words were followed by actions, so anyone who will be at noon, 11th of June at the Balassi Institute, will learn all about the latest Slovenian and Hungarian trends in modern architecture. Prior to the discussion, to inspire the audience, the two architects will present fresh projects created in cooperation with young architects. Project descriptions can be found below.


FRAMEWORK OF NEW STORIES – approaches to renovating a villa on Tomšičeva 12 in Ljubljana


The Villa on Tomšičeva 12 is located in the cultural city centre of Ljubljana – right beside the Opera, the National and Modern Gallery and the National Museum. The garden of the villa faces the Cankar street, the most important city promenade, which extended into Čopova street on one side and Jakopič's promenade on the other, connecting the city with the Tivoli city park. Since 1957 it gives home to the Association of Slovenian Writers, the Society of Slovene Translators; and the Slovenian PEN Center joined later. Since 1967 the Club of Cultural Workers is located on the 1st floor, known as well as the Pen Klub Restaurant. The function of the villa is suitable for the surrounding environment. In order to revive the villa in its finest, and to attract a wide circle of domestic and foreign visitors, it should keep pace with modern times.


The exact data about its construction and its first inhabitants are not known. The part of the town – the strict city centre, - where the villa is located, was quite stylistic until the third quarter of the 19th century. At the end of the 19th century, on the basis of the draft regulation plan of 1876, it was regulated and rebuilt by the Kranj building company. Thanks to its rich, airy, avenue-inspired street space and quality architecture, the city quarter was considered one of the most distinguished areas in the city. On the building land a rectangular street network was built by the earlier mentioned society with tenant dwellings, including two self-contained single-family houses. Identical houses, located in the middle of a spacious garden, were the so-called Piccoli's villa (it stood in the place of today's extension to the Opera) and the villa on Tomšičeva 12. As stated, the data on the first tenants is unknown, so the villa on Tomšičeva is also often named as Villa Ebenspanger, owned by merchant Oskar Ebenspanger, who gave the villa a refurbishment in 1932.


During the Second World War, in 1943, the villa was occupied by Germans and the military doctors of the SS settled in the premises. After the liberalization the return of the descendant of the Ebenspanger family, the villa was not nationalized, but leased to the government of the Republic of Slovenia. This was the place where Prime Minister Boris Kidrič resided, followed by Cultural Minister Boris Ziherl, and since 1957 its premises have been used by the Slovenian Writers' Association. With this content, an important public space and a club of cultural, political and economic elites were formed in the villa.


Today, it's difficult to talk about the villa on Tomšičeva 12 as about a »venue of turbulent cultural events«. The ravages of time didn't spare it and in addition, the needs of today's society are different from those that shaped the spaces of the villa. There is a need for a thorough reflection on how to preserve and emphasize the present quality of the past, and at the same time make it possible for the object and cultural content of the society to come to life in a more accessible way and in the spirit of today.


A group of students of the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana, the winter semester of the academic year 2017-2018, under the supervision of prof. Miloš Florijančič, Mina Hiršman and Katja Aljaž, prepared 5 projects which represent a study of various approaches to the renovation of the Villa and Garden on Tomšičeva 12. The projects were presented in February at the exhibition and lecture within the Days of Open Doors of the  Association of Slovenian Writers.


Assistant Mina Hiršman m.i.a




Every year since 2008 the Association of Hungarian Architects organises a travelling exhibition under the title »Single-family Houses of the Visegrad Group« that represents a strong Central European professional cooperation. 2017 was already the 10th of such occasions. The aim of this project is to show the best examples of single-family houses, and to compare this kind of building among V4 countries, having a lot of similarities and comparable differences in culture and built environment in the region. Through the cooperation of the Association of Hungarian Architects (MÉSZ), the Association of Polish Architects (SARP), the Association of Slovakian Architects (SAS) Faculty of Architecture CTU in Prague and the Architectural Faculty of the Technical University in Prague, the Architectural Institution of the Technical University in Košice, The Institute of Architecture at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest (MOME) the exhibition offers an insight into the current intellectual and physical condition of the architecture of single-family houses in the region. The associations of architects of the countries involved organize an exhibition displaying the best competitive designs. The Hungarian ones, including the House of the Year awarded family house, were selected by a curatorium. The members of the curatorium are architects: Krizsán András DLA president, Nagy Csaba member of the Board of Association of Hungarian Architects and Nagy Iván. The venues of the travelling exhibition were Kraków, Prague, Košice, Bratislava, and Budapest. This compilation does not only possess a cross-border outlook, but will also boost partnerships as we hope. The curator of the program is András Borsos. 

Website: http://v4.meszorg.hu