An Architectural Experiment in a Transitional Environment

architects Andreja Kus, Nande Korpnik, Matjaž Gril
project The Triglav Insurance Building, Trbovlje, Slovenia
written by Marjan Zupanc


Zasavje  is an area of exaggeration, particularly with respect to the verticals. Its “red districts”  have seen as much architecture underground as on the ground.  The overall poor impression is improved by the tallest construction in Slovenia, an imposing smokestack of reinforced concrete.


During the socialist crisis, this region was the origin of what Ljubljana later took over as new Slovene culture and new aesthetic criteria. Laibach  and IRWIN  were the leaders of the cultural movement of the 80s and 90s called Neue Slowenische Kunst.  Artists did away with the typical Slovene servility to the West and with the ideology of the times. According to the art critic Brejac, they efficiently deconstructed the subject of Slovene modern lyricism in the second half of the eighties. They ironised it and exposed it as obsolete artistic patriotism. The “red district”, as a caricature of socialism, was the best means to do this.


The urban space and mentality were the origin and the irritation that started the criticism of the socialist system among the artists.