Family architects


photos: Family . mb

The central typology of the historic city of Maribor
is the courtyard block, an inward facing plan that
encloses a privately shared garden at its center.
This introverted organization protects its contents
and establishes a solid and impervious facade,
disconnecting the inner world from the street outside
- a classic fortress model for a city built as a military

Family’s proposal for the new Maribor Art Gallery
- situated just outside the historic walls at the
intersection of the new and old cities - inverts this
protective model in order to engage the surrounding
city and environment. The undulating profile
of the museum creates courtyards, plazas and
playgrounds between the building and the city while
simultaneously directing activities and views in and
out of the site.

The program of the UGM is split into two primary
categories: Exhibition and Production. The inclusion
of public productive programs such as the Creative
Industry Center, Children’s House of Experiments,
Museum Library and Architectural Center allow the
new UGM to perform as more than a typical museum.
The ability to make material, both physical and
academic, that will directly influence the curation
and display of art within the new UGM creates an
unprecedented environment for contemporary art and
The Exhibition and Production programs of the
new UGM share nearly equal billing and size and
can be organized on two floors discrete across
the site. By placing the Productive programs at
street level and the Exhibition above, the UGM can
actively contribute to the city with its multitude of
public resources without sacrificing the stringent
performative requirements of the Exhibition spaces.
Sloping the UGM along the natural grade of the site
accommodates the full range of differently scaled
programs, from the cafe and the lecture hall below to
the photo and sculptural galleries above.

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