On Saturday, November 25, the jubilee 40th international architectural conference Piran Days of Architecture will take place in the Portorož Auditorium under the honorary patronage of Anna Ramos, director of the Foundation Mies van der Rohe. Except in 2020 due to the covid pandemic, it has traditionally been held at the end of November since 1983 and is the architectural event with the longest tradition in the world. It was created at the initiative of Slovene architects and art historians at the exhibition of the architectural office Kras, organized by the Coastal Galleries of Piran. Since 1989, the international Piranesi Award has been added to the program of the PDA symposium. Piranesi rewards the architectural realizations of Central Europe. More about the PDA conference and the Piranesi award can be found at www.pida.si/about-pda-and-piranesi-award.

This year's title/theme of the PDA conference is CONTEXT. CONCEPT. CONSENSUS.. 9 architects from different continents will be lecturing, including Wang Shu, Pritzker laureate in 2012, who lectured at PDA for the first time in 2009. DESSA Gallery, which since 2015 has been the main organizer and holder of the Piran Days of Architecture and the Piranesi award, additionally marked the high jubilee with a short 11-minute film and printed anthology, both entitled 40 years of Piran Days of Architecture, which will be premiered on the day of the jubilee conference. In collaboration with the academic painter Ksenija Baraga, a gift was created – a scarf designed by the visual artist Ivan Ilić.

The conference will conclude with the 34th ceremony of the Piranesi 2023 international architectural award, two Piranesi honorary mentions and one Piranesi student honorary mention. The projects that compete for prizes and awards are nominated by national and student selectors, and are chosen by an international jury consisting of annual PDA lecturers. The celebratory atmosphere of the award ceremony will be enhanced with a performance by the outstanding Slovenian violinist Rok Zaletel Černoš.

The Piran days of architecture are accompanied by a rich program. The day before the conference, on Friday, November 24, in the Palace Hotel, where the first Piran Days of Architects symposium took place in 1983, a celebratory academy with invited guests will be held in honor of the high jubilee, at which emeritus honorary members of the PDA will receive honorary diplomas: www.pida.si/board-of-honor.

The traditional exhibition for the 2023 Piranesi Award will be on display at the Monfort exhibition hall from 25 November to 30 December 2023. As an accompanying exhibition of the PDA conference, the exhibition PDA 40: Open Archives will be on view in the Herman Pečarič Gallery until January 20, 2024.

As part of the PDA, the accompanying program Piran Days in Piran, intended for residents and visitors of Piran and the Coast, will also traditionally take place: on Thursday, November 23, at 6 p.m., the Center of Slovenian Architecture is organizing a traditional children's workshop, City in Context, at the Piran City Library. At 7 p.m., the Abakkum institute in the bell tower next to the church of Sv. Jurij/St George guides you through the exhibition The Beauty of Stone Poetry, Istria.

More about the PDA program can be found at www.pida.si/program-pda.



The title of this year's Piran Days of Architecture (PDA) sums up the content of all the get-togethers so far. The three topics are closely intertwined. Is a concept something independent or superordinate, is consensus a part of a concept or of context? In what way does the context influence the development of a concept and its comprehensiveness? Does working towards a consensus bear on how convincing it is? Is the quest for a consensus a part of the concept or a part of the context, and is its point of origin the method or, rather, the scale?

Even though it's difficult to define everything that it encompasses, everything that it includes, and what it's determined by, context is what our attitudes are the most developed towards, being that it represents the inevitable premise which influences the development and power of a concept to the greatest extent. It is only explained and evaluated by way of the concept.

Where or with whom we are we to seek the consensus? Alongside the investors, users, and decision makers, does one also consider the various publics, the professional community, politics, or the critics? Is the quest for consensus a way to include group knowledge and experience in the development of the concept? Is a general consensus prerequisite for the ethical basis of the concept - deriving as it does from the context - to be validated?

Concept is an abstract, intellectual structure of a project substantiated both in its relation to the context and the consensus. The proof of concept is the comprehensive instituting of several concepts: placing, landscaping, tectonics, functioning, supply systems, interior design, lighting, transformation, and decomposition. Each of these holds a part of the comprehensive answer to the context, which occasionally sublimates into the artistic experience of a form of perfect union and harmony.

The recognition of context, the integration of a context into a concept, and the verification of the concept by means of seeking consensus are, in fact, generally acknowledged working procedures which, while widely employed, are mastered in various degrees of impeccable comprehensiveness. Any such achievement is rare, and furthermore reserved for a select few; its extent ultimately transpires within the context of the future and the consensus of the past. This is why returning to these eternal topics is each and every time salient, vital, and significant.

Janez Koželj

ENG translation: Sašo Podobnik


8 lectures by architects

  • Sonja Ana Hoyer • Slovenia
  • Aitor Fuentes • ARQUITECTURA-G • Spain
  • Tom Lechner • LP architektur • Austria
  • Janez Koželj • Slovenia
  • Pedro Domingos • pedro domingos arquitectos • Portugal
  • Iva Letilović, Igor Pedišić • Hrvaška
  • Níall McLaughlin • Níall McLaughlin architects • United Kingdom
  • Wang Shu, Lu Wenyu • Amateur Architecture Studio • China

1 lecture by young architect

  • Lenart Piano • Slovenia

1 film + 1 printed anthology

  • 40 let Piranskih dnevov arhitekture / 40 years of Piran Days of Architecture

Opening of 2023 Piranesi exhibition

  • Monfort exhibition hall, 25. 11. 2023, 8 pm

Accompanying events Piran Days in Piran

  • Monfort exhibition hall: Exhibition 2023 Piranesi Award
  • Herman Pečarič Gallery: PDA 40: Open Archives
  • Piran City Library: children's workshop City in context
  • Bell tower next to the church of St. Jurija: guided tour exhibition The Beauty of Stone Poetry, Istria

See www.pida.si/program-pda.

You are cordially invited to the jubilee 40th Piran Days of Architecture. More information, registration and photos are available at www.pida.si.

PDA Organizing Committee