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Svet Vmes Revamped 126-year-old School Entrance Hall in Ljubljana

Matevž Paternoster

Slovenian firm Svet Vmes Architects has refurbished the entrace hall of a 126-year-old school in Ljubljana. The design concept was to highlight the existing qualities of the historical shell – preserved wall and ceiling stucco and elaborate columns, placed in a strict symmetrical axis. A small square in front of the building, the entrance hall and the central staircase are all connected by this important path that has been poorly manipulated by various spatial reconstructions in the past.


“Our intervention replaces the existing unattractive ceramic floor with a stepped concrete terrazzo podium, on which nine steel spatial frames of different sizes are placed,” explains Svet Vmes. Transparent glass fillers allow unobstructed views of the stucco walls and the central staircase in the background. These elegant black, at first sight almost fragile geometric bodies look like an abstract piece of art, encouraging students and staff to experiment with different spatial compositions, that can be used for various school exhibitions and information boards.


The raised concrete podium highlights the symmetry and invites students to sit down during brakes and engage in chatting and people watching. In addition, the impressiveness of the main entrance hall is emphasized by a minimalist round light fixture, that highlights the historical ceiling and its beautiful floral stucco ornaments.

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all images © Matevž Paternoster