Kunst Blume

"The new Maribor Art Gallery" competition

Location: Maribor (SL)
Year: 2010
with: Arch. Viola Toccafondi
Arch. Michael Heim
Status: competition entry

Kunst Blume operates as a urban acupuncture: the new Maribor Art Gallery recalls the scale of the city center through self-clustering on site. In order to host the complex activities program, it creates a network of buildings connected by a covered multipurpose entrance hall. The entrance hall is a clear reference to a city square and functions as a public space/urban densifier through landscape and activities. It will keep up the public realm and intertwined it with the building specific destinations.

The scale and aspect of the new building, placed right at the gate of the historic center, aim to reconcile the old city to the new. Through this operation the Kunst Blume will contain both characters of the new developments as well as the old one, being able to infuse new energy to the entire city by providing a vision for a vibrant future urban life.

The Kunst Blume altogether works as a small scale city: every element is complete in itself (both architecturally and environmentally) and connected to the rest, from which it depends on. This condition will allow further changes in destinations providing a flexibility that will strengthen the identity of the site.


The new Art Gallery will be a landmark within Maribor for its outstanding architecture. Nevertheless it it is respectful to the city character and scale: it gently grows from East to West, constantly relating to the urban context, enhancing the river waterfront.


The new Art Gallery design is thought around the concept of self-efficiency. A mixture of technologies applies to the building in order to reduce and control energy consumption:

1. River sourced cooling is coupled with a radiant chilled slab and either displacement ventilation
2. Night purged ventilation with trickle ventilation is implemented where appropriate for pre-cooling
3. Solar hot water supply will be used for local demand and exported to adjacent residential development through facade integrated evacuated tubes
4. Low-energy LED lighting with daylight dimming control will be implemented throughout the whole building.