Interview: Aleš Vodopivec

architect Aleš Vodopivec
interviewed by Urša Komac, Matej Mljač


ORIS: Have you always known that you would become an architect? Did you ever consider other possibilities?


Vodopivec: I am not one of those who have known from childhood that they would become an architect. Quite the reverse. When it came to studying, I couldn’t make up my mind between mathematics, psychology, philosophy and architecture. It was not until later that I realised how architecture was in many ways a reflection of the first three – to a great extent it is rational like mathematics, yet like every other work of art, it is also autobiographical. Our conception of space is a personal experience – from birth onwards. It is as direct and spontaneous as our mother tongue. Much has been written in the last couple of years about the analogy between architecture and philosophy. Philosophy needs architecture as a metaphor of its thinking structure, and architecture needs philosophy to explain the essential. It was the latter aspect that led me for a couple of years to study philosophy alongside architecture. And I am all the more convinced that philosophy is the most important literature for architects.


In the beginning I feared that I was not born to be an architect, so I first enrolled in civil engineering. It was there that I came to realise that technique was something that didn’t interest me all that much. Having chosen architecture, I was fortunate enough to spend the greater part of my studies close to Professor Ravnikar. His personality and spiritual strength were crucial in defining my future path. And not only in architecture.