< Go Back

A Hidden Place
in Ljubljana

icon twitter


Placemaking Actions

view all

Launching of the student workshop in Ljubljana

Description: At the beginning of March, the foreseen 3-month student workshop has been launched at the Faculty of Architecture (Ljubljana). The goal of the workshop is to initiate the collaboration be

Posted on 20/06/22


During the Austro-Hungarian Empire, this site was occupied by artillery barracks (“Topniška vojašnica”, in Slovenian). After an earthquake in 1895, the barracks were thoroughly refurbished and partly rebuilt. The site continued to be used for military purposes until Slovenia gained independence. In 1994–1996, the barracks were demolished and the Bežigrajski Dvor (a business-residential neighbourhood) was built. A quarter of the area remained vacant; there was no consensus reached at the governmental level, and this part remained unused, fenced and concealed since then.  


Since access to the area was always restricted, the site became entirely disengaged from its surroundings –spatially, visually and socially. Therefore, despite its central location, surrounded by dense neighbourhoods, the plot does not have a social history, that is, it is not present in people’s minds or memories as a place. After being entirely uninhabited for the last twenty-five years, this fenced plot does not have the characteristics of a place, neither of a non-place; it simply does not exist for people. Yet in the meantime, nature has followed its own course and lash vegetation has covered the surface behind the fence.  


In this situation, the aim of the placemaking activities is to suggest new usages, inviting youth and adults (teachers from nearby schools, parents and relatives of children and youth, and other interested residents and passers-by) to approach the site, to inhabit it and to transform it into a place. 


The activities will include a preparatory phase with students of the Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana, educational and artistic mentors as well as invited lecturers. Then, there will events in the physical and social settings.  


The work will be carried out throughout the intertwinement of two elementary types of activities: 


On-site activities. The activities will begin conducting a spatial, social and historical analysis of the area. The placemaking activities will engage children and youth (and their teachers) in nearby schools and on residents. Participating schools and interested local stakeholders will collaborate with artistic mentors (ProstoRož and invited artists), pedagogical mentors and architecture students in the preparation of physical interventions. Members of other participating partner cities will be involved in person (visiting) or distantly via digital networks. 


Learning spaces for reflection. There will be open lectures, debates and reflections organized by Faculty of Architecture to discuss the meanings of place which the different planned and potential interventions aim to reveal. Along with students, pedagogical and artistic mentors involved in the on-site activities, other interested audiences (residents and local schools representatives, invited artists, writers, historians, psychologists and sociologists) will be invited to unveil the sense of place in the area of study. These open discussions will give rise to new learning spaces, embedded in the community. 


In accordance with the objectives of A-Place, the purpose of the planned activities is: 


- To develop and apply creative placemaking practices which help to reveal the manifold meanings that various age groups give to the places they share. We aim at bringing people, professionals, academics, and different social groups to reveal the hidden meanings of the site, to unfold its potential and to connect it to the spatial and social context through interventions prepared by students of architecture. 


- To create cross-disciplinary learning spaces arising from the confluence of the artistic practices, paired with professional and academic ideas, as well as with public views and youth interpretations of A Hidden Place potentials. 


These objectives will be achieved with the combination of two types of placemaking activities: Spot-Place, by carrying out onsite interventions with the participation of multiple local stakeholders (in the current situation, the “on-site” interventions and F2F would transform to virtual mode), and Learn-Place, creating spaces for analysis and reflection with the collaboration of artists, architects, professionals from other disciplines and interested local public. 


- Faculty of architecture website: http://www.fa.uni-lj.si/default.asp?id=1721 

- Faculty of architecture Facebook website https://www.facebook.com/uniljfa/ 

- Prostorož website: https://prostoroz.org/en/ 

- University of Ljubljana: https://www.uni-lj.si/eng/


If you would like to have more information about these placemaking activities, please contact: 


Spela Verovsek 


Alenka Korenjak  



The activities will be carried out with the participation of: 


Cultural organizations (NGOs)

ProstoRož (artistic mentors), Simbiocen (guest mentors)  


Architecture students and faculty

Staff (tutors, researchers and guest critics) and students from the Faculty of Architecture. University of Ljubljana  



Local communities, students and teachers from local schools, general public