A Single House for Three Architects

architects Vasa J. Perović, Matija Bevk, Tadej Glažar
project Prule Apartment Building, Ljubljana, Slovenia
written by Luka Skansi


As soon as we leave the inner city centre of Ljubljana, walking south along the Ljubljanica River, we instantly notice a change in the urban landscape. From the dense urban structure of medieval Ljubljana, with scarcer vegetation and more active life, literally a few meters after Zois’ road – perpendicular to the river – and the former main road in the direction of Zagreb, we move on to a peaceful and partly magical green urban environment. The suburban neighbourhood of the moderately bourgeois Ljubljana, better known as Prule, is located less than one kilometre away from the Triple Bridge and the Central Market, that is, the city’s symbolic and functional centre of gravity. Its visual character was formed by Jože Plečnik, the great father of Slovenian modern architectural culture, who in the 1930s, with a single gesture in the landscape, as it often happens with farsighted projects – and Plečnik was the author of quite a lot of those in Ljubljana – shaped the bank of the river: its cross section is a slightly terraced slope for leisurely walks, for avenues of weeping willows, but also to accompany the peaceful flow of the Ljubljanica River before its entrance to the centre. The section of the river defines the character of the whole neighbourhood, and reflects the way in which the community uses this part of the city: while in the city centre life happens rather frenetically, away from the river, the rhythm here is more peaceful and in direct contact with it. In a town of poor and meagre light such as Ljubljana, this simple and at the same time magnificent open space near the river has created the premises for a different, greener, brighter, and still sufficiently urban environment close to the city centre.