Šmartinka is No Bilbao

architects Miloš Florijančič, Matej Blenkuš
project Residental and Office Building Šmartinka, Ljubljana, Slovenia
written by Marko Studen


Some time ago a friend of mine, an architect by profession, expressed her deep dismay concerning the building on [martinska Road built “for the market” with private capital. She lamented that “the thing was much too big and not right for the beautiful surroundings” and that “it was, when you screw up your eyes, totally out of keeping with the interesting agglomeration of roofs and the sweet peas in the lovely little gardens”. She concluded that “this country indeed doesn’t know what is and what isn’t allowed”. At the very least, her statements show the certain uneasiness that you feel near this structure. Her words can be understood as a desire for a return to the privileged position of the architect-demiurge who was also a politician. This architect enjoyed the position of a state official, and the state exercised its taste through him. Her grief is also for the times of the privileged profession of the architect who, until 1775, provided he was a master architect, was not allowed to pursue profit.