Natalija Lapajne
Natalija Lapajne


Plečnik's Ljubljana


Developed by the Ministry of Culture, the Museum of Architecture and Design, and the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana (Plečnik House), the exhibition is designed to present the architect's work to foreign audience as part of activities during the Plečnik Year, and to support the nomination of his work for the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. 

In 2017 we are celebrating the Plečnik year to commemorate the 145th anniversary of the birth and the 60th anniversary of the death of the architect Jože Plečnik. But our recognition and valuation of his creations is not limited solely to a moment in time and space because his work touches the very universality and timelessness recognizable to all attentive observers. Characterized by the remains of the Roman period and particularly by Baroque style architecture, Ljubljana received its first modern urban design, a work of Plečnik's contemporary Maks Fabiani, after the earthquake in 1895. From being a sleepy provincial town it transformed into a modern Art-Noveau-style capital displaying new aesthetic ideals. It took Plečnik nearly three decades to put his vision of Ljubljana into reality. Faced with an already built up space, he redesigned and upgraded it, and between 1921 and 1957 he filled its city grid with a number of impressive buildings. 

The National and University Library, the Garden of All Saints – Žale, the St. Francis Church in Šiška, and the Ljubljanica bridges are some of his most important interventions with the city. The land axis leading from his house in Trnovo to the Congress Square and the Zvezda Park in the city center represents the city's cultural avenue. The water axis comprises the arrangement of the Ljubljanica basin, starting with the Trnovski pristan embankment, continuing with the Ljubljanica embankments in the city center, the Cobblers Bridge, the Triple Bridge and the main market, and ending in the sluice gates. With the reconstruction of the embankments and bridges, and with the placing of trees and other vegetation, which he regarded as an important architectural tool, Plečnik lent the city on the Ljubljanica a Mediterranean character. The third axis connected the Jakopič Promenade in the Tivoli Park and the Ljubljana castle on the Castle Hill. The Garden of All Saints, a part of today's Žale Cemetery, represents a special place, Plečnik's expression of extreme sensitivity and respect for the citizens of Ljubljana. He transformed the city to such an extent that today we see it as »Plečnik's Ljubljana«, a unique phenomenon of urban planning and a 20th century total work of art.

In parallel with the Slovenian capital, Plečnik was also active in Prague where his renovations of the Prague Castle, commissioned by the President Masaryk, and his design for the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord became a source of inspiration for many Czech architects. One or the other capital featured as the birthplace, the place for interaction, variation and realization of many of his ideas. To ensure international recognition of the architect's work, Slovenia and the Czech Republic have joined efforts in the project for inscribing his architecture on the UNESCO World Heritage List.    

Contrary to the trends in architecture at the beginning of the twentieth century, in particular the domineering modernist style, Plečnik developed his own unique architectural language. His unique approach to the re-interpretation of architectural heritage and extremely rich symbolism include the elements of timeless architecture. With this approach, he upgrades and reinterprets the space, while at the same modernizes it and looks for the new ways to utilize its traditional functions. His architecture offers universal solutions for big issues of different generations and thus remains always relevant.                   

First exhibition in the series was on display at COAM - Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid in Madrid, Spain from 7 March to 30 April.

Second in the series of exhibitions was exhibited at Ministry of Culture RS between 29 March and 29 April..
Exhibition Concept: Špela Spanžel MK, Matevž Čelik MAO, Blaž Peršin MGML
Exhibition Curators: Natalija Lapajne, MAO in Ana Porok, MGML
Text: Andrej Hrausky
Translated from Slovene (ENG): Darja Horvatič
Translated from Slovene (ES): Marjeta Drobnič
Copy Editing (ENG): Jeff Bickert
Copy Editing (ES): Matías Escalera Cordero
Design: Matej Koren studio
Photos: Damjan Prelovšek MGML, Matevž Paternoster MGML and Andrej Hrausky
Original material: MGML Documentation, Plečnik Collection
The project is supported by: Ministry of Culture


7 Mar-30 Apr
COAM - Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid
Madrid, Spain

29 March - 29 April
Ministry of Culture RS
Ljubljana, Slovenia

23 May-9 Jun 2017
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina

2-28 Sep 2017

Days of Ljubljana, Stara mestna hiša
Praga, Czeck Republic

18-20 Sep 2017
Cankarjev dom
Ljubljana, Slovenia

28 Sep-13 Oct 2017
Buriti palace
Brasilia, Brazil

1-18 Nov 2017
University of Brasília
Brasilia, Brazil

6-30 Nov 2017
Slowenische Literaturwoche auf der Buch Wien 2017, Hauptücherei am Gurtel
Wienna, Austria

9 Nov–1 Dec 2017
Polytechnic University of Valencia
Valencia, Spain

27 November
Mehringdamm 61, Berlin, Germany
Opening at 7.30 p.m.

01 548 42 74


Ministrstvo za kulturo RS