art gallery in maribor

EPK Drava 2012 competition for the New UGM Art Gallery in Maribor, Slovenia
honourable mention
Marcin Jojko, Bartek Nawrocki, Tomasz Berezowski, Grzegorz Ostrowski, (renderings)


Maribor as The European Capital of Culture in 2012 needs a new, unique gallery of art, which has a chance to become a new recognizable point on the city’s plan. The proposed New Gallery (UGM) is our answer for the main motto of future capital of culture ”Pure Energy” and a manifest of a new approach to building’s design according to its ecological aesthetic, energetic efficiency and sustainability. The location in the heart of Maribor creates a unusual opportunity to communicate with the surrounding old city, mountain landscape and society, and in the same time allows to become a starting point for upgrading the local context. Our building is a landmark – a building that speaks to the public and speaks to picturesque landscape of Maribor. Therefore the project promotes public relations and public life as an integrated part of the building. New UGM is an open democratic platform in the centre of new capital of culture where artists, citizens and tourists can meet. It is the living hub of cultural interaction, creativity and intellectual reflection and at the same time the sustainable and resources efficient building.


Direct position of The New UGM on the planning Pristan – Lent Promenade as well as a key concept for the developing a green area to the north of the gallery have the great influence on building’s layout. The public forum with its open space and transitivity on the ground floor level is designed to provide with a visual and pedestrian connection between the planning promenade and the new park. The aim of our ground arrangement design is to spread the activity of the UGM into the new public spaces along the river as well as towards the proposed greenery.


The forum of the UGM is a widely open public lobby with cafés, restaurant, art shops etc. with direct connection to library, children’s museum and lecture rooms. It is also starting point for exhibition routes that follows the visitors to upper levels.

program passive and contextual building programbased layers organisation

The concept is to compress the program inside a compact form in order to achieve the best energetic parameters of a volume. Inclined surfaces of roof/walls allow to design The New UGM with the high efficient façade/volume ratio. The building is a mix of concentrated program and open social spaces covered by energetic skin. The program is distributed in functionbased layers – a stacking of “invironments” thus the gallery becomes a flexible network that promotes openness and dialogue between visitors and artist.


The façade of a new UGM is designed as a answer for bio-climatic building principles. The exhibition spaces as well as the other units make use of upper, filtered daylight which protects artworks from direct sunlight and a whole building against the overheating, too. The combination of artificial and natural light creates the best conditions for exhibition and work. The use of wood on building’s external skin – the natural, durable, and one of the most ecological material (regarding also its entire life cycle) provides a great opportunity to create a strong an recognizable image of The New Gallery in Maribor.




The structure mainly consists of three parts: a cores, long-spanning slabs and a load bearing façade. Two compact cores works as vertical load bearing elements as well as stabilising the entire building in terms of wind pressure. They consist of passengers and delivery elevators, staircases and technical shafts. A load bearing façade carries long span deck elements giving maximum flexibility to the layout of functions and program.


The proposal offers a responsible multilayer sustainability approach. A compact form of The New Art Gallery in Maribor has an important influence on building’s energy balance. Due to a pitched – roof – shaped volume the total area of the external building’s skin has been diminished as well as potential surface of energy exchange, which have the important impact of future construction and operating costs.


domestic water solar heating photovoltaic solar power

The high open space in heart of the building plays an important role in connecting the programbased levels and public spaces, but first of all it has a significant influence on natural ventilation system. Ventilating building’s volume (without exhibition levels) should be used especially during the night, taking advantage of a fresh cool air from above the river. The active cooling/heating surfaces of slabs assisted by actual sources (funcoils) creates a sustainable and energy efficient system dedicated to The New Art Gallery in Maribor.


river water cooling (summer) river water heating (winter)


hybrid ventilation active slab cooling/heating
and daylighting