Exhibition LEGO # Plečnik was a sideline event of the exhibition Universum Plečnik: Between Workshop and Myth. We put on display Lego creations erected by architecture students who explored the spatial concepts of Plečnik’s Ljubljana during the seminar and workshops.
The bricks with their modular nature were a challenge, in the first place because these “building materials” came in a limited range of colours, shapes and sizes. The basic bricks served as a starting point for creating occasionally very intricate and detailed structures of Plečnik’s architecture. Our aim was to go beyond a simple re-creation of buildings in the form of miniature replicas, so we used the bricks to recreate carefully abstracted architectural designs and details, which we rasterized during the assembly process. This required proper understanding of scale, volume, symmetry, basic patterns, and geometry. Our templates were scanned original architectural designs kept by MAO and the Plečnik Collection; they served as the basis that helped us adapt the scale to the size of details, architectural elements and, last but not least, the size of the brick used. By testing various brick combinations and exploring the materials and colours, the emerging shapes began to tell the stories of different spaces and their images, both at the scale of buildings and the city.
We saw the beautiful cultural avenue of Vegova Street come to life before our very eyes, demonstrating how various scales used in spatial design can result in diverse, open-content programmes. The National and University Library is identified by the column motif and the window of the grand reading room. Different materials are used so as to convey a clear and readable story. The colours of the stone and brick shine through the belfry of the Church of St. Michael on the Marshes, while the whiteness and a forest of columns lead the eye to the Garden of All Saints, the monumental gateway to the Žale cemetery. The intricate construction of the Three Bridges in the centre of Ljubljana invites us to rethink the historic context that shapes the most vibrant public space in the city centre today. The collection of models of Plečnik’s architecture is completed with a detail of the Cathedral of Freedom. The mystical nature of this unrealised project solicits debate on national symbols, leaving us in the domain of the utopian.
So what does Plečnik have in common with Lego bricks? The creative force that pushes the boundaries of what is possible.
The exhibition has been such a success that we decided to put it on show again, this time to a different space, and with an addition – the Church of St. Anthony of Padua, which Plečnik designed in Belgrade.
Prof. Alenka Fikfak, PhD; Asst. Janez Peter Grom, PhD; Asst. Kristijan Lavtižar, Faculty of Architecture
Natalija Lapajne, curator, Museum of Architecture and Design
Ana Šink Krenner, Kaja Križ
Jure Žigon, Filip Živković
Vit Balas, Lana Bavcon, Nina Beganović, Nea Bekonjič, Benjamin Boben, Manca Gjura Godec, Vladislav Kvitka, Lara Korošec, Eva Košak, Ana Kovačevič, Nejra Kovačević, Ksenja Kozamernik, Kaja Križ, Eleonora Lazarova, Maruša Legat, Lucija Lohkar, Tisa Lozej, Žan Ložar, Tilen Mavrič, Lara Mrak, Tomaž Ogrič, Adrijan Piano, Lucija Petrinić, Marko Rapuc, Stanislav Rudenko, Filip Slakan Jakovljević, Jakob Smrekar, Arne J. Stare, Samanta Šalamon, Uroš Tesić, Vladimir Tripković, Barbara Veronica Vasić, Iza Verbovšek, Filip Živković
Our special thanks goes to Ms Mija Razpotnik for donating Lego bricks to the Museum of Architecture and Design.