Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture

  • Investor (key institution): City Municipality of Ljubljana
  • Contact person: Piera Ravnikar, Project Manager,
  • Year of implementation: 2008
  • Implementation venue

  • Country: Slovenia
  • Region: Central Slovenia
  • Town: Ljubljana
  • Impact: regional

    Total costs: EUR

    Source per every institution

    Important stakeholders concerned - names of the institutions

    • other: City Municipality of Ljubljana
    1. Improved provision of local cultural and social events.

      Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture is a centre for contemporary and urban creativity serving Ljubljana and Slovenia in general. It is the first and only project of the kind in the region, primarily dedicated to music, theatre, dance and experimental events, while it will also ensure production facilities (rehearsal, labs and studios). The programme of Kino Šiška represents and combines the urban life,multiculturalism, a politically unbiased attitude and advanced technology, at the same time encouraging innovation, creativity and international cooperation. Featuring 2,468 m2 of architectural and technological innovations, Kino Šiška ranks among largest and technically most advanced venues of its kind in Europe. The large Katedrala hall with its 743 m2 can hold 800 visitors standing or 450 seating in various configurations, adapting to individual events, mostly music and theatre performances, whereas the small Komuna hall can hold up to 120 seats at 205 m2 for more intimate, mostly experimental events or discussions.

    2. Improved support for the development of small business operators in the area of blocks of flats.

      Kino Šiška hosts many events of the Coworking Slovenia initiative which importantly contributes to the increased number of small business operators in the area of creative industries.

    3. Improved attractiveness of the architecture of the socialist buildings.

      Kino Šiška hosts many events of the Coworking Slovenia initiative which importantly contributes to the increased number of small business operators in the area of creative industries.

    4. Improved involvement of the local community in events organized in its quarter.

      Local and wider regional community regularly attends events in Kino šiška Centre for Urban Culture.

    5. Identified new functions for structures from the era of socialism in 1945 - 1989).

      A mono-function structure (cinema) turned into a multi-function structure hosting a wide array of communal cultural and business events.


    Ljubljana being divided into several municipalities after 1957, Šiška was also designated an individual administrative unit. Based on plans to arrange the centre of Šiška municipality, a new urban communal centre was constructed towards the end of 1950's between the two main roads between Upper and Lower Šiška. The main square i.e. platform is surrounded by: the administrative unit – municipality, a store, a cinema and male workers lodgings, later added an extension and transformed into a hotel. Outside the central part, a post office, a health centre, a primary school and a kindergarten were constructed later on. Constructed in 1961, Kino Šiška is considered a first-class building marked by modernist architecture. The building, designed by the Slovenian architect Božidar Gvardjančič is located in the suburban centre, its façade opening towards the Celovška street above the store in front. In 1961, Ljubljanski kinematografi (Ljubljana Cinematographic Company) was appointed by the city of Ljubljana to manage the Kino Šiška cinema, where films were being screened from 1964 to the end of 1980's. The cinema was then closed down due to a decrease in the number of visitors, and the venue was being rented for various events and lectures. In 1994 the cinema was launched again. After Kolosej multiplex cinema opened in Ljubljana in 2001, the story of Kino Šiška with 725 seats was again brought to an end. Between 2002 and 2007, art projects were being made in Kino Šiška, dance and theatre workshops took place there, as well as renewed rehearsals for group and individual performances and dance campaigns. In that period Kino Šiška also become the property of the City of Ljubljana. When Vika Potočnik and Danica Simšič consecutively held the office of mayor of Ljubljana, a civil initiative with the current city councillor Gregor Tomc as its active member, was already struggling for Ljubljana to acquire a centre for urban culture. The first ideas on establishing such a centre date back to 1995 when preparations were under way for Ljubljana to organise the European Cultural Month (1997). In 2004 Kino Šiška was added to the list of Infrastructure measures, stated in the National Programme for Culture. The foreseen Centre for Contemporary Arts was supposed to have a network structure, comprising the Stara elektrarna institute as well as Metelkova 6 and the former Kino Šiška. The abandoned venue was to be changed into a multipurpose venue for theatre and dance performances, video works and installations, also featuring a bar, cyber café, rehearsal space and dressing rooms. Renovation was planned to begin at the end of 2005. Investments into the network-structured Centre for Contemporary Arts were to be acquired from European funds. (A. Rihter, Delo newspaper: 20 August 2004) The deadlock was only broken in 2006 when the new mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković, forwarded the project into the phase of implementation, the project having the position of a priority in his programme. In 2008, the centre opened its doors to the public.

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