Monument to the Victims of all Wars

Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2013

public space, monument

open competition

Ministry of labour, family, social affairs and equal opportunities

Južni trg, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Site area
1.175 m2

dynamic urban space, space of remebrance, celebrations, play

concrete, granite tiles, polished alluminium

SADAR+VUGA (Jurij Sadar, Boštjan Vuga, Lovrenc Kolenc, Jure B. Sajovic, Jakob Travnik)

Južni trg or “South Square” becomes an urban square with a memorial place; a hybrid urban place that features a monument to the victims of all wars. It is a place of remembrance, a venue for protocol events and, at the same time, a dynamic public setting that, with its design, enables participation to visitors of all sorts at any time of day and year. Južni trg is a new public square in the centre of Ljubljana that represents symbiosis between a memorial place, monument and urban public space.

The monument to all war victims derives from a plaster model of a large fountain for the Slovenian beech in Budva dating back to 1981 that was made by the deceased sculptor Negovan Nemec. Our proposal for the monument dedicated to all war victims is an interpretation of the upper part of the model of the mentioned fountain that is developed into a large sculpture made of polished aluminium and standing on the water surface of the new Južni trg.

Južni trg is formed by four continuous surface areas that, by folding, translate the difference between the level of the declining road along Zvezda Park and the level of the square that follows the level of the existing platform. The water surface on which the sculpture will be erected elevates from the road and breaks into a narrow stone-built memorial surface featuring an inscription, flag poles and a wreath spot. The stone-made venue for events takes up most of the Square and is intended for protocol events and informal everyday happening. In the northeast section, the surface gently ascends, thus forming a sort of a grandstand in the square. The even pattern covers all four surface areas.

Just above the inclined surface, there is a green cloud hovering on a light structural frame – a pergola supporting wild vines that will provide a soothing shade in summertime.

The Square concludes with a wall that is covered by a reflex ceramic mosaic. Reflections dematerialise the end of the Square and create an almost metaphysical sense of space together with the sculpture standing on murmuring water surface, the uniform pattern and the hovering verdure.

The four continuous surface areas are folded so as to offer a view of the closed top part of the sculpture, the event venue and inclined surface area when looking from Kongresni trg. The memorial place and its “interior” sculpture are not revealed until one reaches the square, much like the final sequence of one’s arrival to the square.

Južni trg is a 21st century square, with its atmosphere changing according to the time of the year and to the happening taking place in it. It is a place of remembrance that turns into a place to play.