Renovation of the Modern Gallery

architects Matija Bevk, Vasa Perović
interviewed by Anja Planišček, Rok Žnidaršič


Interviewed in Ljubljana 10th April 2010


ORIS: How should a cultural monument, or a building that is protected as monument be defined – what are the elements of representation that define it before and after renovation? What degree of radical interventions can this monument bear and still retain the relevant, the reason why it was protected?


Perović: The subject of the profession of the protection of the architectural heritage is to determine which building has become a monument and what the reasons for its protection are. The protection depends on professional standards which are, again, in constant need of developing and updating. It would be interesting to pose your question also to people concerned with the heritage. Their answer would probably be different from that of an architect.


I think that a cultural monument can remain preserved if we succeed in recognizing its qualities and, primarily, if we also manage to guaranteeits programmatic activity and actuality. Frequently, it is more important what kind of programme will be placed between old walls than their preservation, no matter how radical the renovation is going to be. I will try to illustrate this using a concrete example, Križanke,   one of the most beautiful spaces in Ljubljana today. Due to changes in the programme in the time of construction, this was one of the most radical renovations. The Office for the Protection of Ancient Monuments  would probably protect Križanke  to the utmost   at the present time. Plečnik, with his extremely radical intervention in both formative as well as programmatic sense, realized a new quality.