Medprostor Architecture Studio
In keeping with its name, which means "interspace" (as well as referencing the construction term "crawl space"), the studio works on the principle that heavily urbanised environments require renovation and redesign, an insertion into existing space, more than new construction, and this for reasons of sustainability as much as for the aesthetic challenges that this offers. This approach has informed almost all of its projects.
While not focused exclusively on residential architecture, two of the studio's most resonant projects have been houses for private clients. The first, begun in 2011 and completed in 2017, was the renovation of the Vrlovčnik Homestead, a collection of residential and farming spaces in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, which the studio felt called for a "subtle intervention" into the existing site and the use of local contractors and materials. The project studio won several awards, including a 2018 German Design Award. The second was the widely admired Hribljane House (2014–2018), situated in a small village not far from Cerknica, which uses the sloping terrain of the land to construct a discreet dwelling barely noticeable within its wider setting.
Medprostor's signature approach is just as evident in its more public-facing work, which includes the renovation of two central Ljubljana thoroughfares (Gosposvetska and Čopova) and of the arcade along Slovenska cesta (2013–2018). All projects manage to find new, subtle dimensions of light and space in previously timeworn and rather neglected urban areas, while the Rakova Jelša Town Park project on the edge of the Barje marshlands to the south of the city (completed in 2016) used local materials to restore meaning to an area that had, over the previous decade, become an illegal waste dump.
Medprostor has also been involved in two school construction projects: the renovation and extension of the primary and nursery school in Cerklje ob Krki (completed 2017), which again displayed the studio's sensitivity to the requirements of the existing spatial context, and the construction of a gym at Vižmarje Brod primary school on the outskirts of Ljubljana, which opened in May 2019.
Monuments and memorials
The studio is also known for its memorial and monument work: memorials to Slovenian architect Maks Fabiani and to philosopher and poet Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, which was commissioned by the Montenegrin consulate in Slovenia, and the Monument to the Victims of All Wars (Spomenik žrtvam vseh vojn). which, typically for the studio, is as much about the space left unoccupied as the intervention itself. All three projects are situated in or near the centre of Ljubljana.
Medprostor has also embarked on a number of collaborations with other architects and planners, most notably on a planning project to improve the navigability of the Ljubljanica river (2012–). The project was awarded a European Prize for Urban Public Space (organised by the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona) in 2012, an International Max Fabiani Commendation in 2015 and a Golden Pencil Award in 2017.
A collaboration with London-based Slovenian architect Lucija Penko in 2018 led to the renovation of a 400-year-old barn in the Karst region of Slovenia. The project was given a BigSEE Interior Design Award in 2019.
Awards and nominations
- 2017 Constructive Alps Award (nominated)
- 2018 German Design Award
- 2019 Open House Slovenia (OHS) Award, "Excellent Projects" category
- 2019 EUMies Award (nominated)
- 2018 BigSEE Interior Design Award
- 2018 BigSEE Wood Design Award
- 2018 Piranesi Award (nominated)
- 2019 Design That Educates Award, Honourable Mention
Rakova Jelša Town Park
- Medprostor website
- Medprostor brochure (in Slovenian)
- Profile of Medprostor, Dnevnik, September 2018 (in Slovenian)
- Medprostor page, Dnevnik (in Slovenian)
- Medprostor page, ArchDaily
- Cerklje ob Krki primary and nursery school, BigSEE, includes interview with Rok Žnidaršič (in Slovenian)
- Hribljane House, Outsider, December 2018 (in Slovenian)
- Hribljane House, BigSEE, August 2018
- Rakova Jelša park, ArchDaily, October 2018
- Vrlovčnik Homestead, 2019 EUMies Award page
- Kambra, BigSEE, September 2019