Actuality of the Tradition

architect Edvard Ravnikar
project The Town Hall, Kranj, Slovenia
written by  Aleš Vodopivec


The building of the Town Hall in Kranj, designed by architect Edvard Ravnikar and built between 1958 and 1960, is undoubtedly the most important architectural work of Slovenian modernism. In the 1960s the building was dubbed “the most revolutionary achievement of the 1950s and at the same time the quality peak of its time”. But it is not a typical modernistic work, an autonomous building in space. This is architecture with a recognizable environmental identity. Ravnikar’s architecture is special for its very independent and specific synthesis of modern and classical, revolutionary and traditional, universal and local. In this synthesis or meeting of modernistic principles with archaic, ancient role models and with the regional construction tradition, Ravnikar looked for the basis of architecture recognizable in the local and cultural sense.