The jury will be tasked with selecting the buildings and space arrangements presented in this year’s 14th edition of OHS Festival, which will take place all over Slovenia between April 14th and 16th. As 2023 has been declared the year of Edvard Ravnikar, our programme will feature several projects related to modern Slovenian architecture and building renovations.
The members of this year’s expert jury are:
Assist. Prof. Vlatka Ljubanović – architect and teacher
Vlatka Ljubanović graduated from the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Ljubljana in 1998. Three years later, she completed her postgraduate studies of architecture and urban culture at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in cooperation with Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.
In 2004, Ljubanović co-founded the bureau DANS arhitekti (Rok Bogataj, Miha Dešman, Eva Fišer Berlot, Vlatka Ljubanović and Katarina Pirkmajer Dešman). Their projects received numerous awards, including a nomination for the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2017, the Golden Pencil Award of the Chamber of Architecture and Spatial Planning of Slovenia (ZAPS) in 2013, first prize at the 21st Novi Sad Salon of architecture for the church of Saint John Bosco in Maribor in 2018 and the first national award for the best wooden construction for the bicycle footbridge over the Sava river at Bohinjska Bistrica in 2013. In 2016, the footbridge received the Architizer A+ Award. The DANS bureau projects have been presented at numerous solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad, and published in Slovenian and foreign professional magazines. Ljubanović is also a researcher of the work and legacy of the Slovenian architect and thinker Dušan Grabrijan. She designs specific architectural works dedicated to special social groups.
For six years she served as member of the executive board of the Ljubljana Association of Architects. She has been a member of DESSA since 2010 and a member of its board since 2012. She has been a member of ZAPS since 2004. As a jury member, she participated in several public competitions and in other expert committees.
Vlatka Ljubanović writes articles for general and professional publications, runs workshops and summer schools in Slovenia and abroad, and has curated several exhibitions related to architecture and spatial culture. She has participated in several projects of set design, costume design and art installations.
“OHS is a festival of creativity. Rational thinking has been responsible for the transmission of knowledge throughout human history, while creativity and imagination are the driving forces behind the new inventions. The environmental and social crisis we find ourselves in will be solved by reason, while the creative impulse will care for the humanity and a socially inclusive society. I believe in the mission of architecture and its contribution to disaster relief, and this is why it will survive. In its own, architectural way it will ensure preservation and protection of nature and reduce disparities in a stratified society. It is important that the public feels the power of the creative in architecture, and this is what OHS is working hard to achieve.”
(Vlatka Ljubanović on the importance of OHS)
Gašper Skalar – architect and urban planner, president of the Ljubljana Association of Architects (DAL)
Gašper Skalar, M. Arch, works in the fields of urban planning and architecture. He works within his own architectural cooperative, which he founded with partners. Through a diverse range of projects, he pursues both the broad scale of the city and the more detailed scale of the apartment house. He is interested in the potential of architecture in the design of public space as a building block of society and, on the other hand, in its potential in solving the problem of housing as an emancipation of the individual. Since 2022 he has served as president of the Ljubljana Association of Architects. In 2023 he has become actively involved in the design of housing policy within the Ministry of Solidarity-Based Future. During his studies, he received his Faculty’s Prešeren Prize for his research work and the University Prešeren Prize for his master’s thesis. As a co-author, he received the ZAPS Golden Pencil 2021 Award for Spatial Planning.
“Over the past decades, Slovenian contemporary architecture has become recognised by both the domestic and foreign professional public. This is evidenced by numerous award-winning architectural works abroad and by participation of Slovenian architects in foreign educational institutions, exhibitions and events. However, there is still a lot of potential to bring this architecture closer to the wider public and, above all, to users. The OHS performs this task by “opening up” the space to everyone, so that the individual understands architecture through his or her own experience of the space.”
(Gašper Skalar on the importance of OHS)
Meta Kutin – architect and andragogue
Meta Kutin is a researcher and designer working at M-Kutin architectural bureau. Her design practice is committed to small scales and exploring the importance of a quality single-family home. She is interested in issues of atmosphere, ageing, accessibility and carefully chosen materials. She researches socially engaged elderly education and architecture, as well as the role of public space for social inclusion of the elderly. Kutin also leads a number of national and international projects involving older students from the Slovenian Third Age University in expansive/exploratory learning. She has written several articles and publications. She is a member of the executive board of the Ljubljana Association of Architects and a member of the Slovenian Docomom. She is the recipient of the Piranesi Student Award 2004 and the ZAPS Golden Pencil Award 2021.
“Space users of all generations need to be continually educated to understand and experience the built environment. In this respect, the OHS project has taken an indispensable place and consolidated its role as a platform contributing to the continuous education of the broadest society for an active relationship with space. Everyone benefits, users, planners, decision-makers. When we learn from each other through visits of good architectural practice, our common space is improved.”
(Meta Kutin on the importance of OHS)
Assist. Prof. Aleksander Vujović, architect and set designer
Frequent moves and changes of environment during his childhood inspired him to study space in more detail. The intersection of his interest in art and technology led him to architecture and urban planning, and later to scenography. For his master’s thesis he was awarded the faculty’s Prešeren Prize at the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana, where he now works as an assistant professor. He is currently completing his doctoral studies and is active in the field of renovation of housing and public spaces, as well as at various levels in the field of urban planning.
His reflections on space have been published in various media, such as Outsider, Hiše, Razpotja and Večer magazines. Between 2012 and 2018 he was editor of the Trajekt portal, and in 2021 and 2022 he was a member of the editorial board of Outsider. He occasionally participates in architectural and urban planning competitions with his colleagues at home and abroad, with some of his projects winning prizes.
In 2019, he had a solo retrospective exhibition of his set designs entitled “Discovering the Black Box” at DESSA Gallery. In 2022 he received the BIGSEE Interior Design Award for the renovation of an apartment on Kotnikova Street in Ljubljana.
“For years, the Open House Slovenia Festival has been developing a simple concept: a visit and live presentation of quality spatial interventions. This has two major potential consequences: the exchange of experience between designers and, even more importantly, the education and extension of the field of possibilities of interventions to a wider range of users and future clients of spatial services. The Festival therefore has a constant impact on improving social understanding of important spatial planning issues at different scales and thinking about space in its variations.”
(Aleksander Vujović on the importance of OHS)
Martina Malešič – Ph. D. – art historian and researcher
Martina Malešič is an art historian, assistant professor and researcher at the Department of Art History, Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. Her research interests include Slovenian architecture, design and urban planning in the 20th century, with a special focus on residential culture. She is active in the organisation and implementation of projects aimed at the research and popularisation of modern architecture. She has curated a number of exhibitions, including Streets and Neighbourhoods: Vladimir Braco Mušič and Large Scale Architecture (co-curated by Luka Skansi, Bogo Zupančič, Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana, 2016) and New Spaces, New Images: The 1980s through the prism of events, exhibitions, and discourses – Part 1 (co-curated by Asta Vrečko, Moderna galerija, Ljubljana, 2016). She also participated in the advisory board for the exhibition on Yugoslav architecture under socialism (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018). In 2021, as a member of the curatorial team, she prepared an exhibition in the Slovenian pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, entitled The Common in Community: Seventy Years of Cooperative Centres as a Social Infrastructure.
“The OHS Festival is of great importance to the professional and general public, as it opens the doors of buildings that are usually off-limits. We can feel, move through and perceive with all our senses spaces that we otherwise only see in photographs. It also allows us to meet other visitors, designers, clients, owners and contractors. In this way, the OHS Festival creates an environment in which we can talk about space, share experiences and explain ideas, where we can think about the space that surrounds us.”
(Martina Malešič on the importance of OHS)
Andrej Strehovec, architect
Andrej Strehovec, a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Ljubljana, is an architect, critic/reviewer, independent curator, international selector, theorist, inter-media designer and set designer. He has been designing architecture, mainly public buildings and residential houses, since 2004. He is the author of award-winning architectural and urban design projects as well as architectural designs. Since 2010 he has been publishing in professional magazines in the field of architecture and culture (Piranesi magazine, DaNS, Hiše, AB, Slovenika, m-Kvadrat, PRO Bauhaus, The Riba Journal…). He is internationally active in the field of architecture, design and inter-media projects and has exhibited in galleries in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, England, Israel, etc.
Between 2018 and 2022, he was a member of the executive board of the Association of Architects of Novi Sad (DaNS) and the editorial board of DaNS. He is a national selector for the Piranesi International Architecture Award and the recipient of the Golden Pencil Award 2019, awarded for excellence by the Slovenian Chamber of Architecture and Spatial Planning.
“The OHS Festival has been recognised for its specificity and instant relevance since its inception. It has fostered the highest level of professionalism, from the criteria for the inclusion of the selected buildings to the public and media presentations. At the same time, it succeeds in opening up a broad insight into Slovenian architecture to a wider public and in nurturing architectural enthusiasm and commitment to a dwelling culture. The organisation of visits to selected buildings is particularly specific and important, and is a unique phenomenon in the field of architectural and design platforms, as it offers an unforgettable experience and a genuine, professional, yet relaxed contact with top Slovenian architecture.”
(Andrej Strehovec on the importance of OHS)
foto Vlatka Ljubanović: Mateja Jordovič Potočnik
foto Gašper Skalar: personal archive
foto Meta Kutin: Janez Marolt
foto Aleksander Vujović: Blaž Jamšek
foto Martina Malešič: Jana Jocif
foto Andrej Strehovec: Tatjana Tucić