In the early 1960s, architect Jože Usenik conceived the ZUIM complex in the spirit of Modernist open design. In the early 1990s, we began the renovation and extension that is finalised in 2008. The original design was retained, gradually renovated, and augmented with extensions, floor extensions, and new wings.
In the foundation and framing phase, we lengthened the central hall and added two gyms, a swimming pool, and a therapy wing. We renovated and enlarged one of the two classroom wings, torn down the cafeteria together with the kitchen, and replaced them with a new building that is to house also an Internet café, health facilities, and a library. The complex is built like a sort of a small-scale city with corridors and halls acting as streets and squares, connected with exterior ambients. On the outside, the complex is expressed by its tectonically shaped wings that line up tidily along the translucent glass interconnecting wing. Large serene white volumes with banded windows and light-coloured blinds are placed on the darker rustic bases. The spaces between the wings have been made into exterior living spaces – atriums. On the outside, the wings have different modes of address, each in accordance with its content. With its longer side, the swimming pool hall opens towards the south, i.e. the partially dug-in wooden terrace offering outdoor sunbathing. The windows of the big gym are oriented towards the north while the small gym opens itself to the southern sun. At the end of the interconnecting wing, there is a staircase and a large lift with a glass-panelled panoramic exterior wall that connects all the floors and programmes as a travelling room or a public means of transportation. The interior architecture is vibrant and colourful, and allows the children with mobility disability to enjoy as much freedom as possible as they live, work, and play there.
In collaboration with: Vesna in Matej Vozlič (Atelje Vozlič)
Colaborators: Eva Fišer Berlot, Matej Hoefler, Marjeta Fendre, Klemen Vodnik, Tadej Žaucer
Location: Novi trg 43a, Kamnik
Client: Ministry of education and sports, Ministry of health
Project: 1988, 2005
Built: 1990, 2008
Photo: Miran Kambič, Matej Vozlič
Award: Piranesi Honorable Mention 1990