Mercator Shopping Centre

Nova Gorica, Slovenia, 2000-2001


project commission


Nova Gorica, Slovenia

Site area
38.298 m2

Building area
7.000 m2

Total floor area
34.753 m2

basement + ground floor + 1

supermarket, shops, storages, parking lot

existing prefab concrete construction [shopping mall], new prefab concrete, construction [parking], steel frames [circulation services]

eternit panels

SADAR+VUGA (Jurij Sadar, Boštjan Vuga, Dimitrij Mirah, Marjan Poboljšaj, Tadej Žaucer, Gašper Blejec, Tina Hočevar, Klemen Pavlin)

Hisao Suzuki, Ramon Prat

Circulation – technical block of the Mercator centre in Nova Gorica is a soft container placed in the redesigned warehouse halls, placed between two parking platforms and a shopping centre. All vertical communications (escalators, two staircases, lifts and freight elevators), technical utilities and air conditioning are placed in a block. All customers leaving the parking lot pass through the block on their way to the shopping centre. Within the block, there is an attractive interior area wrapped with the Matrix Enfolder – made of heterogeneous ethernite and transparent lexae slabs.

The structure of the Matrix Enfolder must have the ability to assume the diversity of the exterior and the interior conditions. The Matrix Enfolder is thus a unified system which undergoes local modifications due to the conditions imposed on the interior or exterior side. The Matrix Enfolder of the communicational – technical block is designed as a cca. 120m x 18m area of vertical red folded surface, divided into 38 three metre strips. Like the vacuum packing of merchant goods where the wrapping assumes the shape of the product thus reducing its volume, so does the design of the three etaged technical-communicational block gravitate towards reduction of used inner space. As the three etages differ in their content, they are of different shape and size.

The Matrix Enfolder connects all three etages and with its structure defines the optimal inner space, tuned to the flow and the number of people in certain areas. Indirect daylight enters the block through lexane glazings which are obtained through the geometric contrasts of two strips. In the night time the polarity changes – the light drifts out of the building forming tender light scales around it.