New City Library – Center Nova

  • Investor (key institution): Municipality of Velenje and Pilon (private investor)
  • Contact person: Ms. Helena Knez,
  • Year of implementation:
  • Implementation venue

  • Country: Slovenia
  • Region: Savinjska stat. region
  • Town: Velenje
  • Size of area: 8836 m2
  • Impact: municipal

    Total costs: 5007511 EUR

    Source per every institution

    • national: 1390000 EUR
    • other: Mun Velenje: 2060000; Pilon: 1557511 EUR

    Important stakeholders concerned

    • national: Ministry of Culture
    1. Improved provision of local cultural and social events.
    2. Improved support for the development of small business operators in the area of blocks of flats.
    3. Improved involvement of the local community in events organized in its quarter.
    4. Identified new functions for structures from the era of socialism in 1945 - 1989).
    1. What forms of cooperation were used as new approaches in the field of rehabilitation and conversion of urban functional areas?
    2. The old facility, known to the local population under the name NAMA, was constructed as the answer to the consumer needs of the local population. Its external appearance was partially following functionalistic guidelines. After revitalisation the facility gained a completely new look that followed urban and social activities, which took place in the immediate vicinity of the facility. In the facility itself, activities were introduced that responded to the educational, cultural and consumer needs of the local population. The facility is located in the heart of the city centre. It is bordered on two sides by pedestrian zones and on the other two by the business/living complex. The architect was also guided by this fact. He introduced large glass surfaces to the sides that were bordering the pedestrian zones in order to enable the visitors to observe the events, activities that take place beneath them. Visitors enter different levels through the outer staircase and with the help of the elevator that offers a panoramic view. This increases the attractiveness of the facility. By doing so, the architect tried to bring the facility/the visitor closer to the urban events.

    3. Was the building or the space between buildings) identified as a valuable socialist heritage?
    4. The facility is located it the immediate vicinity of the city centre and was protected as a monument of state significance by the Ordinance amending the spatial components of the Municipality Velenje long term plan for the period 1986 - 2000 and the Official Gazette of the Municipality Velenje No. 17/88, 7/01 and 13/04. The renovation and the revival of the city centre also included the renovation of the facility "NAMA" that was once a shopping mall in the city centre. With the resettlement of shopping malls (modern and large multi-complexes) into the city suburbs, the existing facility needed a drastic change - physically as well as conceptually. The facility itself was not protected as a cultural heritage, but gained in significance after its revitalisation/renovation. For the renovation its author, architect Rajter Uroš, received the Plečnik award for second place. This is the most prestigious award in the field of architectural design in Slovenia.

    5. What criteria were applied to make this judgment?
    6. The main argument that the facility received quality renovation is the Plečnik award for second place. This is the most prestigious award in the field of architectural design in Slovenia. The facility represents a new quality in the urban environment, from the architectural as well as economic and cultural point of view.

    7. Was the building or space between buildings) important to local communities and how were they involved in decision-making process about its rehabilitation or conversion?
    8. When the decision was made to execute the revitalisation of the facility, five public debates took place. The participants were experts, interested public, cultural workers, representatives of the Municipality Velenje and private investors. The project was presented and the participants were invited to give amendments, suggestions. The expressed opinions were included in the final project as much as possible. The project was approved by all investors and stakeholders.

    9. Were attempts made to improve territorial cohesion within the city/town/district? And, if so, how was success on this front gauged?
    10. The basic motive for the investment by the Municipality Velenje was the relocation of the city library into a bigger and more modern facility. Velenje library, which is located on the second floor of the facility, is a host for many cultural and other events that enrich the cultural realm and the people in it. It is perceived as one of the providers of various cultural and informative events for all age groups. By hosting different events they achieve different objectives such as promotion and offering assistance to members on how to use library's materials and services. By carrying out its mission it effectively joins people of different ages, social, educational and social status. It also has a wider regional influence, as visitors come from near-by municipalities (e.g. Šmartno, Šoštanj...).

    11. Were there attempts to reduced disparities between districts within cities/towns achieved reduced? And, if so, how was success on this front gauged?
    12. This was not the focus of revitalisation.

    13. Other important facts and comments, e.g. critical review.


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