Science Center Ljubljana

Ljubljana, Slovenia 2019


international, open competition

Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (MIZŠ), Slovenia

the area in the functional part of Ljubljana’s Trnovo between Barjanska road and Riharjeva street

Site area
12.435 m2

Building area
3.910 m2

Total floor area
12.473 m2

exhibition space, showrooms, laboratories, offices, gallery, conference halls, planetarium

steel and timber, concrete

glass, grass

SADAR+VUGA (Jurij Sadar, Boštjan Vuga, Maja Omerzel, Matjaž Bahor, Aleš Pajk, Jure Žibret, Tamara Rijavec) / Landscape architecture: Darja Matjašec, Nika Marn

cooperation / Construction: Atelier One (Aran Chadwick, Ewa Hazla) / Energy concept: dr. Miha Praznik / Visualisations: Matija Goljar / Model: Luka Jančič

Our competition entry defines the Center of Science as a large »market place of knowledge« – as a place of production, presentation and knowledge exchange, as a place of socializing and relax and as a  building that becomes innovation itself.


The Science Center (afterward SC) building acts as an attractive, anti-monumental facility, easily accessible from all four sides. Events in the park from the north and south sides of the building softly pass into the large entrance lobby in its interior. SC becomes an important public space where people go, even if they do not intend to visit experiments in mezzanine or exhibitions in the gallery. SC becomes a new recognizable and attractive point in the southern part of Ljubljana.

The “Threehead” entrance facade in Barjanska street, together with the pronounced construction “legs”, has a powerful and memorable appearance when arriving in the center of the city from the south side. The folded roof in the South City Park tunes the landscape of the park with the character of the SC. Under the roof, we inserted four thick level plates, which follow the geometry of the roof bands. The panels are continuous in the direction of the east-west and of such dimensions so that one program package of SC can be fully integrated into them.

Inside the SC, in spite of the uniform and simple structural design, ambients become very diverse because of different heights, different views outwards and different intensities of daylight.

The SC building is designed as “hardware” with panels, which allows different usage in relation to the changing nature of scientific research and achievements. The flexibility, flowability, and openness of the SC building allow for the placement of different scenarios and possibilities of use. The four panels are surrounded by a triple glazing facade covered by wooden frames of the same raster. The external glass is printed with a photovoltaic push of three different densities. These depend on both; the usage of the individual interior space and the orientation of the membrane.

The promenade in the park, which runs in the north-south direction and has links to the existing path along Gradaščica and on the Barjanska and Riharjeva streets, rises 14 meters above the ground in the building area and slows down the user’s experience with a strong winding left and right. It is a novel in the city, a promenade in the park above and below the park, with a constant presentation of nature and processes in it.

Interlace of all layers (wrinkled terrain, green and paved surfaces with planting) creates a park in three levels: a lower level besides Gradaščica river, central park on the ground floor and the raised level on the green roof. Park becomes a new city park, City South Park.