Zarchy architects
The New Maribor Art Gallery
At the center of the contemporary museum discourse, lie two challenges:
1. There is a tension between two paradigms of the contemporary museum space- one calls for neutral exhibition spaces while the other demands architectural extravagance.
2. The contemporary museum plays a dual role- as an artistic and cultural center on one hand, and a public, educational, and social hub on the other.
How can these two challenges be manifested in a museum’s architecture?
The ambition of this project is to weave the museum into the city. It is conceived of as a single object penetrated by a series of interlocking volumes, forming a complex void. This spiraling void is used as the central design concept, and functions as the heart of the building. It organizes the program, defines the circulation inside and outside of the building, creates a visual and tactile connection to the surrounding context, introduces filtered natural light and fresh air into the building, and articulates its form.
The resulting structure is not solely an internal space. By entwining the inside with the out, it enables the public to pass through freely and experience the building from within, while still being in the public domain. It offers views from inside out to the city and the river, and vice versa. The museum becomes not simply a public building, but literally a public space, open to everyone: the heart of the building evolves into the beating heart of the city's urban fabric.

15,000 sqm