DESSA Architecture Centre


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Contact info
DESSA Arhitekturni center, Ljubljana
Židovska steza 4, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 1 251 6010
Fax386 (0) 1 251 4074
Maja Ivanič, Director

Andrej Hrausky - Sodobna slovenska arhitektura 02 - architecture MGLC - Photo Nada Mihajlovic.jpg

DESSA Architecture Centre works as a non-profit architecture organisation, publishing professional literature, organising lectures and excursions, and managing the Architectural Gallery DESSA with its ten exhibitions of architecture each year, many of them international. DESSA is also one of the leading associations to nominate architectural achievements for the international Mies van der Rohe prize, and as of recent years a co-organiser of the Piran Days of Architecture.


The acronym DESSA stands for Delovna skupnost samostojnih arhitektov, which is the Slovenian term for the Association of Freelance Architects, founded in 1982 by 36 architects for the primary purpose of helping private architects work in a socialist society. Since then it has provided both a business framework and a physical space for the activities of freelance architects who work in various design fields, ranging from urban planning, architecture, interior and graphic design to theatre set design.

With the possibility to establish private offices for architecture and in cooperation with the economic sector, the role of DESSA has changed and many famous and prosperous studios have arisen from its activities, among them, Atelier, Bevk Perović Arhitekti, Ravnikar-Potokar Architecture Bureau and others. In 1996, with 74 founding members, DESSA restructured itself and registered as a non-profit cultural institution, DESSA Architecture Centre, with the objective of elevating general social awareness of the cultural value of architecture.

In 1991 DESSA founded Arhé, a design firm which at first assisted members to produce and sell architectural designs, but later took over all commerce and financial responsibilities of DESSA, thus allowing the association to focus on cultural activities pertinent to the field of architecture. Today the branch Arhé still "covers" several groups of architects, but has become only one of the actual providers on the market.

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