Slovenia Celebrates the Birthday of the Outstanding Architect Jože Plečnik

The most famous Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik, who changed the image of Ljubljana, was born on 23 January 1872. He studied at a regular school and then continued his studies at the Graz Commercial and Industrial College. In 1895, Plečnik entered the Vienna Academy of Arts, where Otto Wagner was in charge of the Department of Architecture. After finishing his studies, Plečnik worked in his studio.

In 1911–1921, Jože Plečnik lived in Prague, working as a teacher of the Art Craft College. In 1920, he was invited to reconstruct the Prague Castle. At the same time, he was appointed a teacher of the recently opened Faculty of Architecture at the University of Ljubljana. In 1921, he moved to the capital of Slovenia. Until 1934, participating in the reconstruction of the Prague Castle, the architect often travelled from Ljubljana to Prague and back.

In the capital, planning the architecture of individual buildings, he worked out various small urban solutions. Besides, Plečnik prepared two common urban projects for the capital of Slovenia, which were never implemented.

What is the heritage of the famous architect? These are the buildings of the Slovene National and University Library, the Žale Central Cemetery (Garden of All Saints), the Triple Bridge with balustrades (Slovene: Tromostovje), the Čevljarski Bridge, the Križanke, a bridge across the Gradaščico River, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Šiška, a stadium in the Bežigrad neighbourhood. Among its architectural solutions, it is worth mentioning the project of the Vega Cesta (to the church in Trnovo) and the Trnovski Pristan beach with the Ljubljanica embankments.

Jože Plečnik died on 7 January 1957 in his house in Trnovo. In the 60-70-ies of the twentieth century, his legacy was consigned to oblivion. In the 80’s and 90’s, with the onset of the postmodern era, a new period of classical shapes and motifs came to architecture. At the same time, the interest to the creative heritage of Jože Plečnik was renewed.

This was facilitated by an exhibition in Paris in 1986 dedicated to the Slovenian architect, which aroused great resonance. The biggest national awards in the field of architecture are named in his honour. Every year since 1973, the Jože Plečnik Foundation has been holding a contest for the Jože Plečnik Prize and presenting the Jože Plečnik medals.