Interview: Vojteh Ravnikar

architect Vojteh Ravnikar
interviewed by Tomaž Brate, Tadej Glažar, Branko Silađin, Andrija Rusan, Ante Nikša Bilić


ORIS: We are in the last year of the tumultuous 20th century. The architecture of the 20th century best illustrates how tumultuous it is. What is the significance of Slovenian 20th century architecture? Who are its main protagonists? What is its relation to general trends in contemporary architecture?


Ravnikar: Slovenian architecture is condensed, both in respect to time and space, and everything vital has happened in the past 100 years. The Baroque masters are important to Slovenia, but very little in comparison to what was going on in Europe at the time. However, if we want to discuss the greater influence of Slovenia upon Middle European culture, or its participation in the same, then we have to begin with Plečnik and with Fabiani as two pillars on which everything else that has occurred in Slovenian architecture rests. If we go further, then there is also Edvard Ravnikar.


Plečnik was a true great architect, a true great creator. What does that mean? The value of a work of art does not lie in the fact that it belongs to a set movement, for instance, to Classicism or some other, but quite the opposite. It has value because it is always current. Plečnik is like that. I live in his city, in Ljubljana, and it is fascinating that you can pass by his building ten years and then suddenly discover something you had never noticed. What makes a man great is that you can always and constantly learn something from him, that it goes beyond time.