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The works of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana – Human Centred Urban Design

The works of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana – Human Centred Urban Design

The work Jože Plečnik carried in Ljubljana between World War I and World War II present an example of a human centred urban design that successively changed the identity of the city following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when it changed from a provincial city into the symbolic capital of the people of Slovenia. The architect Jože Plečnik contributed to this transformation with his personal, profoundly human vision for the city, based on an architectural dialogue with the older city while serving the needs of emerging modern 20th century society. The property consists of a series of public spaces (squares, parks, streets, promenades, bridges) and public institutions (national library, churches, markets, funerary complex) that were sensitively integrated into the pre-existing urban, natural and cultural context and contributed to the city’s new identity. This highly contextual and human-scale urbanistic approach, as well as Plečnik’s distinctive architectural idiom, stand apart from the other predominant modernist principles of his time. It is an exceptional case of creating public spaces, buildings and green areas according to the vision of a single architect within a limited time, the limited space of an existing city, and with relatively limited resources.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Les œuvres de Jože Plečnik à Ljubljana – une conception urbaine centrée sur l’humain

Les œuvres de Jože Plečnik, réalisées à Ljubljana entre la Première et la Seconde Guerre mondiale, témoignent d’une conception urbaine centrée sur l’humain ayant successivement modifié l’identité de la ville préexistante à la suite de l’effondrement de l’Empire austro-hongrois, quand Ljubljana est passée du statut de ville provinciale à celui de capitale nationale symbolique pour le peuple slovène. L’architecte Jože Plečnik a contribué à cette transformation par sa vision personnelle et profondément humaine de la ville, basée sur un dialogue architectural avec la ville plus ancienne tout en répondant aux besoins de la société moderne émergente du XXe siècle. Ce bien est composé d’une série d’espaces publics (places, parcs, rues, promenades, ponts) et d’institutions publiques (bibliothèque nationale, églises, marchés, ensemble funéraire) qui furent subtilement intégrés dans le contexte urbain, naturel et culturel préexistant, et ont contribué à la nouvelle identité de la ville. Cette approche urbanistique à échelle humaine et fortement liée au contexte ainsi que le langage architectural particulier de Plečnik sont considérés comme se distinguant d’autres principes modernistes prépondérants de son époque. Il s’agit d’un exemple exceptionnel de création d’espaces publics, d’édifices et d’espaces verts selon la vision d’un seul architecte, dans le cadre temporel et spatial limité d’une ville existante et avec des ressources limitées.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

أعمال جوزيه بليشنك في مدينة ليوبليانا – تصميم حضري محوره الإنسان

تُقدّم أعمال جوزيه بليتشنيك التي تبلورت في ليوبليانا بين الحربَين العالميّتَين الأولى والثانية مثالاً على التصميم الحضري المتمحور حول الإنسان، والذي ساهم تدريجيّاً في تغيير هويّة المدينة في أعقاب حلّ الإمبراطورية النمساوية المجرية، عندما تحوّلت من كونها مدينة إقليميّة إلى العاصمة الرمزيّة لشعب سلوفينيا. وساهم المهندس المعماري جوزيه بليتشنيك في هذا التحوّل برؤياه الإنسانية العميقة للمدينة، وذلك استناداً إلى حوار معماري بين المدينة الأم، والسعي إلى تلبية احتياجات المجتمع في القرن العشرين. ويتألف الموقع من سلسلة من الأماكن العامة (الساحات، الحدائق، الشوارع، المنتزهات، الجسور) والمؤسسات العامة (المكتبة الوطنية، الكنائس، الأسواق، المجمع الجنائزي) التي دُمجت بعناية تامة في السياق الحضري والطبيعي والثقافي، وساهمت في صقل هوية المدينة الجديدة. ومن هنا، يجسّد الموقع حالة استثنائية لإنشاء المساحات العامة والمباني والمساحات الخضراء وفقاً لرؤية مهندس معماري واحد ضمن إطار زمان ومكاني محدود للمدينة، فضلاً عن المساحة المحدودة لمدينة قائمة بالفعل، وبموارد محدودة نوعاً ما.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

卢布尔雅那的约热·普列赤涅克作品——以人为本的城市设计

建筑师约热·普列赤涅克于两次世界大战之间在卢布尔雅那创作的作品展示了一种以人为本的城市设计。在奥匈帝国解体之后,卢布尔雅那从一个省级城市变为斯洛文尼亚人民的具有象征意义的首都,这些设计在这一进程中改变了原有的城市身份。普列赤涅克以个人化的、极具人文精神的城市愿景服务于城市的转变,而其愿景的基础,是在满足20世纪新兴现代社会需求的同时与老城展开建筑对话。该遗产地由一系列公共空间(广场、公园、街道、长廊、桥梁)和公共机构(国家图书馆、教堂、市场、葬礼设施)组成,它们细腻地融入原有的城市、自然和文化环境,并参与塑造新的城市身份。这种高度情景化和人性化的城市规划方法,以及普列赤涅克独特的建筑语言,迥异于同时代的其它主流现代主义原则。该遗产地是一个在有限时间和现有城市的有限空间之内,利用相对有限资源,按照单一建筑师的愿景创造公共空间、建筑和绿地的特例。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Работы Йоже Плечника в Любляне - городской дизайн, ориентированный на человека

Работы Йоже Плечника, выполненные в Любляне в период между Первой и Второй мировыми войнами, представляют собой пример городского дизайна, ориентированного на человека, который последовательно изменил облик города после распада Австро-Венгерской империи, когда Любляна превратилась из провинциального города в символическую столицу народа Словении. Архитектор Йоже Плечник внес вклад в эти преобразования посредством своего личного, глубоко человечного видения города, основанного на архитектурном диалоге со старым городом и в то же время отвечающего потребностям формирующегося современного общества ХХ века. Объект состоит из ряда общественных пространств (площади, парки, улицы, набережные, мосты) и общественных учреждений (национальная библиотека, церкви, рынки, погребальный комплекс), которые были аккуратно интегрированы в уже существующий городской, природный и культурный контекст и внесли вклад в новую самобытность города. Этот в высшей степени контекстуальный и общечеловеческий урбанистический подход, а также отличительный архитектурный стиль Плечника отличаются от других преобладающих модернистских принципов своего времени. Это исключительный случай создания общественных пространств, зданий и зеленых зон в соответствии с видением одного архитектора в условиях ограниченных временных рамок, ограниченного пространства существующего города и относительно ограниченных ресурсов.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Obras de Jože Plečnik en Liubliana – una concepción urbana centrada en lo humano

La obra que Jože Plečnik llevó a cabo en Liubliana entre la Primera y la Segunda Guerra Mundial presenta un ejemplo de diseño urbano centrado en el ser humano que cambió sucesivamente la identidad de la ciudad tras la disolución del Imperio Austrohúngaro, cuando pasó de ser una ciudad provincial a la capital simbólica del pueblo de Eslovenia. El arquitecto Jože Plečnik contribuyó a esta transformación con su visión personal y profundamente humana de la ciudad, basada en un diálogo arquitectónico con la ciudad antigua que al tiempo servía a las necesidades de la emergente sociedad moderna del siglo XX. El sitio incluye una serie de espacios públicos (plazas, parques, calles, paseos, puentes) e instituciones públicas (biblioteca nacional, iglesias, mercados, complejo funerario) que se integraron con sensibilidad en el contexto urbano, natural y cultural preexistente y contribuyeron a la nueva identidad de la ciudad. Este enfoque urbanístico altamente contextual y a escala humana, así como el lenguaje arquitectónico distintivo de Plečnik, se distinguen de los demás principios modernistas predominantes en su época. Se trata de un caso excepcional de creación de espacios públicos, edificios y zonas verdes según la visión de un solo arquitecto en un tiempo y espacio limitados de una ciudad existente y con recursos relativamente limitados.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

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View of the Three Bridges © Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The urban design for Ljubljana was conceived by Architect Jože Plečnik (1872–1957) in the period between the two World Wars. Following World War I and the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a desire to create independent nation states triggered various State and town building projects in Central and South-Eastern Europe. In the changed social contexts, the urban planners and architects introduced new urbanistic and architectural approaches under the influence of the Modernist movement. The transformation of Ljubljana from a peripheral town of the former Empire into a national capital emerged during the introduction of these modernist guidelines, although from entirely different architectural starting points.

The urban design of “Plečnik’s Ljubljana” is based on an architectural dialogue between his interventions and the existing older city. Based on the man-made cityscape and its natural features, two urban axes were conceived: the land axis and the water axis. These two axes are connected by transversal axes, which help to form the urbanistic network of the city. The land axis – the Green Promenade starts at the Trnovo Bridge and runs through the Square of the French Revolution, along Vegova Street with the National and University Library, and ends at the Congress Square with Zvezda Park. Running parallel is the water axis – the Promenade along the Embankments and Bridges of the Ljubljanica River – which extends from the Trnovo district to the Sluice Gate. The historical city centre is connected with vital points in both the rural and urban suburbs, and with the broader spatial network of Ljubljana: the Church of St. Michael, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Plečnik’s Žale – Garden of All Saints.

The city centre was interpreted anew and developed into a series of public spaces (squares, parks, streets, promenades, bridges) and public institutions (library, churches, markets, funerary complex).

The property is an outstanding example of urban renewal developed in the context of existing buildings and spaces and tailored to suit the inhabitants. Together, Plečnik’s interventions have created a different type of urban space and architecture, which is not limited to a certain specific use, but instead gives rise to a connecting of the different uses and meanings and creates a new identity for the space. The architectural elements, types and spaces of classical architecture are innovatively summarised, transformed and modernised.

Criterion (iv): The interventions designed by the architect Jože Plečnik throughout the city of Ljubljana in the short period between the two World Wars combine to become an outstanding example of human-centred urban renewal for the purpose of nation building after the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They are based on a harmonic relationship with the context of the space and its natural possibilities. The city is not built anew but improved with small- or large-scale interventions – new architectural ensembles, buildings and urban accents. The relationship with the past is established in various ways, from adapting the urban network and incorporating existing structures through architectural reminiscences and by establishing new cityscapes. The new urban space is not limited to a specific use but has various functions and the whole is thus imbued with new meanings.

Integrity

The urban design in Ljubljana, as a result of the intervention by Jože Plečnik, includes the readily identifiable characteristics of a symbolic capital city created between the two World Wars by the architect. Ljubljana’s urban landscape comprehensively illustrates an upgrade of the existing space with regards to the topography and based on its continuous use and interpretation of historical layers. The topography of the space is expressed through the urban landscape design of the two axes: the land axis and the water axis. The design of both promenades originates and draws from the continuous use of the space, which defines the positions and use of squares, markets, bridges, parks and other public spaces as well as buildings. A series of public spaces endows the city with public amenities, from spiritual spaces (the Churches of St. Michael and St. Francis of Assisi, Plečnik’s Žale – The Garden of All Saints), spaces for relaxation (archaeological park along the Roman Walls, and promenades along the embankments of the Ljubljanica River, Trnovo Quay), to market activities (Plečnik’s Market), socialising (Congress Square, the Three Bridges, the Cobblers’ Bridge), and intellectual and cultural activities (Vegova Street, National and University Library).

A unified protection regime ensures that the currently unbuilt upon areas remain building-free, that the space preserves its traditional use, and provides comprehensive protection from interventions that could potentially endanger the integrity of the serial property.

Authenticity

The serial property has maintained its original urban design and characteristics, in which the preservation and enhancement of the context of the space are reflected. The serial component parts have faithfully preserved their original design in the exterior arrangements, in the interiors as well as on the facades, in the interior furnishings and the masterful attention to detail. The building materials were reinforced in most components in the 1990s, but regardless of the individual repairs or conservation and restoration interventions, which were a consequence of continuous use, material authenticity in general has not been compromised. Larger urbanistic areas have remained unchanged; in some cases, repairs were performed in order to meet the requirements of modern use and ensure the greater safety and structural stability of the property. With few exceptions, the original functions and uses of all components and their features are preserved and the outdoor spaces are accessible to the public. The characteristics of the original urban design have been preserved as well, although partial changes have appeared due to the overgrowth of the original vegetation and in some places the pressure of local traffic, which has been strategically addressed over the course of the previous decade.

Protection and management requirements

Plečnik’s architectural heritage is a monument of national importance and is protected by the Ordinance designating the Ljubljana work of the architect Jože Plečnik as a cultural monument of national importance (Official Gazette RS, Nos. 51/09, 88/14, 19/16, 76/17 and 17/18). The Ordinance represents a single comprehensive protection mechanism for the entire immovable and movable heritage of the serial property.

All of the serial component parts have conservation plans that form the basis for any interventions on the monuments. Works are coordinated by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (IPCHS) and supervised by the specially-appointed conservator for Plečnik’s heritage. The management system complements the existing system for the preservation of architect Jože Plečnik’s heritage in Ljubljana from the professional, organisational as well as legal and financial perspectives, and involves owners, managers and public bodies alike. The management of the property operates on two levels. All component parts have their specific management plans and procedures for the implementation and approval of such plans. State of conservation is monitored by the IPCHS, with a special emphasis on the factors likely to affect the property, in particular development pressures and tourism. The coordination of individual owners, managers, public institutions and professional bodies that form the Management Body is ensured by a joint manager that has overall responsibility for the implementation of a joint management plan. The Museum of Architecture and Design of Ljubljana, as an appointed joint manager, cooperates with those institutions at the state and local level that are responsible for protection, monitoring, presentation, education and research, promotion and cultural tourism.