baltic sea art park, parnü





collaborators: BAT ARQUITECTOS

Situación  Ljubljana / Emonska and Zoisova streets

Contracting authority Republic of Slovenia / Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology

Surface   23.236m²

Investment assessment 33.315.000€

Competition date  march 2012




The site object of intervention is located in the southern part of Ljubljana city center.

They are numerous the urban references surrounding the location: the historic weft of the city, the river with its bridges dominated by the castle hill, the views of the Alps, and closest various university faculties, the Križanke monastery, and the NUK I designed by Plecnik.

The site also contains archeological remains of unquestionable value, which have been preserved since times of the colony Iulia Emona until nowadays.


In a site with such as urban and architectural qualities, under a regime of special protection, the approach to the implementation of a pioneering technology center leads us to think acting with rotundity to get the enhancement of the historic remains and achieve a clear image in the information era.






OVERLAP  >URBAN OVERLAP: Over the centuries the city grows not only in extension but also layer on layer. The NUK II emphasizes the successive architectural stratifications, stratum overlaid from the Roman era to the present day.

.   >OVERLAP OF KNOWLEDGE: The physical identification of the abstract reality of knowledge is the set of files and books that summarize centuries of intellectual development. The NUK II states the obvious of that superimposed order of tower of files in use.

.   >STRUCTURAL OVERLAP: The Roman ruins of Emona have direct influence on the spatial layout of the library. Not only being released, but also as promoting the structural motif of the building that is ordered from the superposition of five crosses which replicate the cardus-decumanus intersection. These five crosses turn on one over the other and allow the rotation of the surrounding space and the equitable sharing of the loads on the site. The central gravitational center is maintained as well as the symmetry of structural loads.


.   >LANGUAGE OVERLAP: Clear image of the proposed interventions that allows an immediate reading of the overlying strata. It is employed a resounding language that clarifies the figure-ground reading. A language of contrast in the presence of archaeological heritage.



CENTRIFUGAL FORCE >The entire program is supported by a centrifugal force that emanates from the container of books and guarded study materials. The container is the referent, the structural axis of the building, and it revolves around the work-study/library program.

.   >The dynamic force that turns the library rooms and work spaces joined with the container crosses, answers the call from nearby urban referents that unfold in all directions: Križanke monastery, university college, NUK I, the river, the historic city, the castle hill, the views of the Alps ...

The spaces around the container are opened to the daylight perimeter, permeable to views. The area of the reading rooms grows towards the façade.



SINGULAR IMAGE >CONTEMPORARY: Projection of a singular image for a technological building, both in physical proximity and in the abstraction of the global information network.

.   >DIGITAL LIBRARY: Because the building is constructed by and for the transfer of knowledge in the technological 'on-line' processes, the project provides a clear image in its integration into geographic information systems, one of the existing entrance doors for users on the World Wide Web. The target is granting a special value to the image of the seat in the World Wide Web. The latter one, as important as the physical approach from Zoisova or Emonska streets.


FLEXIBILITY  >In the era of universal access to information the most important thing is to ensure the vitality of the contents. And from architecture it has to do with flexibility. Not an ambiguous flexibility but capable to provide adaptation to future changes. Compartmentalized, with qualified spaces. And without interference.

The problem with flexibility is the risk of everything becoming neutral and uninteresting. In terms of flexibility there are two parts, one permanent part which has to do with the circulations and the structural organization and a second one extremely flexible, adaptable. The series of spaces that conform the spiral house the transitory program.


SAFETY  >A compartmentalized organization with appropriate relationships  facilitates the disposal of protected sectors.






The challenge is designing a permeable building, where the continuous public street goes into the building itself.


The building has three distinct elements: the inhabited Roman remains, the central building that gravitates into rotary motion over the ruins and two end buildings that replicate existing volumes, merge with the existing blocks and mark the limits of the library.

These two end buildings complete the alignments on Slovenska and Rimska streets and serve to articulate the main building with the urban context. They sit on the floor and serve as additional access to the archaeological stratum.

The main building goes over the archaeological stratum. It rises to open the sight of the presence of the Emona remains.


Urbanization is completed without barriers from the surrounding streets up through the center building and folding over external alignments to reach the heights of the NUK II hall.

These folds reveal Roman ruins and allow natural lighting and ventilation of the inferior stratum. The folds generate sunny hospitality areas surrounded by trees and visual domain towards the urban surrounding.


The vacuum inside the block guarantees the connection of the diagonal pedestrian transit and offers an atmosphere of calm and tranquility with its landscaping which complements the existing trees.

The entrance hall, the cross shaped atrium floating over the cardus-decumanus, is the space of transit and meeting point in a strategic site of the city. The transition between the old (even modern) Ljubljana and the contemporary identity.



While the building resulting from the overlapping results in a star shaped element where there is no set forward or back, in the relation of physical approach it is emphasized the corner of Zoisova-Emonska.

A set of folded sheets that arise over the impluvium of the 17th insula, opens the reading hall towards the avenue in its diagonal orientation. This set of plans, up and down, indicates the access to the public forum of the NUK II. It also gives protection from direct basking to the upper reading rooms with south orientation, providing a regulation of natural lighting.




The main entrances are projected onto Emonska and Zoisova. Using ramps and fixed and mechanical stairs the accesses go directly into the main hall and the reading hall.

Complementary accesses are also planned from the block central garden.


The driveway from Emonska serves the open plan that houses the parking lot and connects to the core of the work area.





The entrance hall reproduces the cardus-decumanus that lies below. It is the first contact of the city and the library, and from the standpoint of the circulation, is understood as a semi-open space midway between the urbanized and built.


On the floor of archeological remains there are located uses that are extensions of the activity of the entrance hall, uses of public access or with a clear public task and even alternative schedule from the areas of work and study, such as the NUK Club, the multipurpose hall, the exhibition hall...


The upper floors reproduce the same pattern: the crosses container (storage of books, desks info, restricted areas), the library rooms in the surrounding space, and the end buildings for staff work areas.






CONTAINER: Replicas of the cardus-decumanus overlaying in rotary motion. With a vertical core communication from the outer delivery parking lot that connects all floors. Each cross-container floor is easily compartmentalized in sectors, resulting in the safety of custody of the stored material.


LIBRARY: As of the many entrances in the lower levels, two vertical public cores and strategically placed escalators lead the public to the different areas of the library. On each floor the circulation is annular around the cross container. The rooms unfold open in front.


WORKING AREAS: The complementary areas of work are distributed in the end building of Zoisova.