location: Corso Verdi, 51 - Gorizia, Italy

    program: cultural and educational center for the Slovenian community

    dates: project 2006-09, execution: 2007-10

    data: total built area 1.800 m2

    architect phase 1, 2, 3: waltritsch a+u, Arch. Dimitri Waltritsch Trieste, Italy
    Building permit project ph. 1 with Piero Celli, structural engineer: Renzo Cocetta

    team: Dimitri Waltritsch

    main contractor: Pasalic, Monfalcone

    façade and cladding: Seretti srl, San Giorgio di Nogaro

    interiors: Falegnameria Sors, Trieste

    photography: Marco Covi, Trieste

    The KBcenter is a new space for cultural and social interaction dedicated to the Slovenian community in Gorizia. It is located in the hart of the 19th century development of the city, on the main street of the town. The centre gathers 13 organisations, dedicated to different cultural interest and age groups. Among others, a Library, two Educational Institutions, The Slovenian cultural and economical Association and The Music school. The main goal is the promotion of the Slovenian cultural activity in a framework of a respectful multiethnic society.
    The project consist of a functional renovation of an existing building, as well as of a new two storey building for the Library, located in the interior courtyard. The form of the new building deals with the issue of the dialogue between a historical presence and the contemporary architectural language, within the physical constrictions of the historical city. The choice of the façade materials, synthetic wood and large glass surfaces, was made to favour a delicate insertion (the existing buildings are at a distance of only 5 meters). The whole building was thought as ‘a large piece of furniture which slides on the courtyard floor’, in order not to break the intimacy of the courtyard self and of the garden. The large windows are acting as program displayed, and are favouring the visual inclusion of the refurbished garden in the daily activities of the Library. The large glass surfaces are fixed so that framework is reduced. The natural ventilation is happening through some large panels hidden in the façade cladding. When they are closed one can notice them only because of the stainless steel line acting as railing. The façade materials are treated as a complete surface without frames, sometimes provoking an ambigous reading. From a certain distance the glass surface appears to be heavier than the wood. From a close up, the large glass surface reflects the garden and the life around, and almost disappears. On ground floor the building host the Library depot, with a capacity of 25.000 books. The shelves, which are in most projects considered as non aesthetic element, are here generously  exposed and underlined with a chromatic choice. Other interventions include the Henrik Tuma conference hall, the interior reorganization of the library and educational facilities, the garden refurbishment and design of all open spaces.

    Images and text © D. Waltritsch. Use only by permission.