Architectural Gallery DESSA


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Contact info
Galerija DESSA
Židovska steza 4, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 1 251 6010
Fax386 (0) 1 251 4074
Managed byDESSA Architecture Centre
Maja Ivanič, Director
Online accounts:
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Past Events

The first and also the only specialised architectural gallery in Slovenia, the Architectural Gallery DESSA is an important platform for the exchange of ideas and opinions on spatial issues. Since its establishment in 1989 it has held over 200 exhibitions in Slovenia, organised 72 exhibitions abroad, and set up dozens of lectures.

Summing up the numerous activities and exhibitions taking place at DESSA would not be possible, but among the international projects, one can mention the 2010 the exhibition Contemporary architecture in Slovenia 1999–2010 produced by Gallery DESSA. Curated by Andrej Hrausky and Maja Ivanič, it was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje (Republic of Macedonia) in the frame of the 15th Architectural Biennial of Macedonia – BIMAS 2010.


After DESSA Architecture Centre was founded in 1982, its members soon wished for their own exhibition space. They invited the internationally renowned architect Boris Podrecca who drew the first plans for the gallery space in 1987. The place follows the principles of Gottfried Semper, and is composed of four rooms, each devoted to a different building material – stone for the gallery, wood for the library, plastic for the office, and textile for the meeting room. All items except the chairs were made especially for DESSA; chairs designed by Niko Kralj in the 1950s were donated by the manufacturer Stol Kamnik. The corporate identity of the gallery was designed by Ranko Novak.

The opening of the Architectural Gallery DESSA was celebrated in 1989 with the exhibition of the Prešeren Award winners. Recognition of DESSA Gallery was soon gained through articles in international magazines, which were published mostly with the help of Podrecca.

History of the building

The location where the DESSA gallery and office complex stands today was once the site of a synagogue. After a fire destroyed it in 1213, it was rebuilt on a larger scale. In the 16th century Cesar Maximilian deported Jews from the Carniola region and converted the synagogue to a Catholic chapel, which was demolished in the 19th century.

The current building at Židovska steza 4 in Ljubljana's city centre was built before the Ljubljana earthquake in 1895 and has since then served for several functions. In the 1930s it housed a restaurant, after the Second World War it became a music school and later a craftsmen's workshop.

Exhibition space

  • dimensions: 34m² (7.5m x 4.5m x 3.3m H) incorporating 13 linear metres of wall space
  • installation system: glass panels (11 glass panels 1m x 1.8m and 6 glass panels 0.33m x 1.8m)
  • lighting: halogen lighting system
  • climate control: none
  • sales policy: sales not permitted
  • security: security system installed

See also

External links

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