Architecture as Urban Ferment

architect Edvard Ravnikar
project Hotel Creina, Kranj, Slovenia
written by Friedrich Achleitner


Atmosphere without false borrowing


Function and situation, landscape and urban space have determined the physiognomy of this hotel in Kranj. In a good building these elements can be felt strongly. They create the atmosphere and the uniqueness of the place. 


How many towns can boast a continuous urban tradition from the time of Camillo Sitte’s teachings? Ljubljana has such a tradition, one that is more than a series of impressive names. These names include the creator of “art urbanism”, Max Fabiani, Jožef Plečnik and Edvard Ravnikar. While Sitte and Fabiani are more responsible for the urban development planning of Ljubljana, Plečnik was the one to literally stamp a visual identity on the town. This was not only achieved through his buildings; it was, much more, the result of the major, and countless minor, interventions into constitutive urban elements such as the squares, parks, thoroughfares and river banks (bridges, bank constructions, stairs, communal facilities, etc.). The stroller in Ljubljana is consciously confronted with a phenomenon known in the more recent architectural jargon as ambience or environment (to name but two), which overlap in meaning and, basically, indicate an extension of the notion of what architecture is.