ETB studio

The New Ugm art Gallery . Maribor


source: courstesy of ETB studio

The New Art Gallery will be Maribor’s place of expression for ideas, energies and creative resources. The building is placed at the extreme border of the old city, on the north side of the Drava river; it is a new regeneration core point of urban vitality both for the neighborhood and for the city itself. Better than a space for art, it is a space “for the citizen meeting art”. 
The location makes the building a powerful sign, an point of attraction for pedestrians and for the vitality of Maribor, a urban lighthouse that will overlap its skyline to old city: the two parts will establish a unique dialogue. 
The proposal arises from a sequence of public spaces in which art, relax and public life converge; a new cohabitation of functions where it is possible to live in a completely new atmosphere of the town, an experience in which the concept of public space breaks the typical concept of the square and allows a total permeability, especially in height between city and the new UGM.






















Thanks to the ground floor level, completely free, the visitor becomes protagonist of the intervention as soon as he touches the ground: thanks to the “fractal” treatment the ground, with tectonic movements that follow the existing topography, naturally supports the building; the underneath covered area, is perceived both as a filter of exposition spaces and as the natural entrance to the new UGM.
The strong presence of the Drava river, with its huge amount of water in movement suggested the genesis of the project, a “waterfall” sequence of volumes, open spaces and paths that completely cross the area of intervention, from the quay to the extreme upper level on the north side; the axis linking the two north-south site extremities rises from the waterfront. The generous space opens towards the river, becoming a platform for parties, concerts, exhibitions and artistic installations, or simply a big dock on which to rest in the chilly air, read a book or relax. Over this platform, slightly inclined towards south, rises the fluctuating mass of the gallery, a powerful system of warehouse exhibition spaces lifted from the ground to offer a completely new vista and point of view towards the river, this creates a public covered plaza “in the shadow of art” that the gallery offers to Maribor and that will become the setting for the urban life of the neighborhood.
The mechanisms of social aggregation and interchange created by the covered square, represent for us the necessary bases to the gallery project, the real “foundation” on which the building ideally lays.
The concept of the building is striking in its simplicity: an elemental system of exposition naves, similar to industrial or harbor systems, floats on the public space of the square. A soft but rigorous membrane that wraps the cores as the sail of a ship, protecting the “treasure-chests” exposition system; a compact and hard volume wrapped by an ethereal sheet that in certain moments reveals the internal life.
It is thus reinforced the contrast of the lifted system, characterized by an abstract element (abstract, but with familiar geometries) that doesn’t look heavy but looks volatile notwithstanding its strong volumetric mass. Its simplicity and modularity gives the exposition system a high degree of abstraction and silence, making the gallery an intense naval warehouse of the art, a fluvial arsenal where contemporary art is jealously preserved and revealed.
The harsh profile of the building looks for a dialogue at a distance with the profile of the city and its sloping roofs, reinterpreting in an abstract key tradition and translating it in rigorous geometric law; the building rises in this context as a piece of ice in its melting phase, generating two systems, one suspended towards south and one still anchored to the ground. These volumes are two shapes, different but strongly unitary, generated by the same mechanism of section. Their collocation allows the organization of two different open spaces, one towards the river and in continuity with the covered square, and one towards the north, linked to the city and its density, thus configurating itself as a small urban park, a tree-lined square connected to the Drava river.
The waterfront-square-covered square-urban park sequence is thus realized: as a backbone it structures the whole proposal and creates a system of movements and pedestrian fluxes that accelerate the re-appropriation of this area by the citizens.
In the new path to the waterfront the visitor will be attracted and guided by the lightness of the open space, by the warm character of the sloping platform that gently rises, towards one of the inclined stages up to the covered square. From this point the entrance will be accompanied by the ground movements up to the upper floor, immaterial, a complex of rigid containers that just for being suspended becomes almost imaginary, for its “ingravity” and immateriality (translucent wrapping). In this space the protagonist is the modern art, molding the space; there is liberty, unreality, implant rigorousness and transparencies that deny opacity. Inside the New Art Gallery the visitor will perceive the intensity of the artistic experience in one of its “compact treasure-chests” to then abandon him or herself to the wonderful airy characteristic of the service spaces, open towards the Drava and protected by a light sail, as that of a ship ready to take the sea.
The New Art Gallery will be a new iconic element for the city that will be able to integrate itself to the skyline thanks to a powerful and contemporary image. In its unique expressivity, all elements merge making this building the new urban site of reference for Maribor and the whole Slovenia.

NOMBRE DEL PROYECTO: PLAZA

TIPO DE PROYECTO: The New Ugm art Gallery. Maribor

PROMOTOR DEL CONCURSO: Municipality of Maribor Maribor, Slovenia

FECHA: March 2010

AUTORES: ETB
Alessandro Tessari
Matteo Bandiera

TEAM PROJECT:
Samuele Evolvi
Nicola di Pietro
Mauro Tonello
German de Pro Lozano



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