Looking for an Apartment … One Hundred Years of Organised Housing Construction
19. 10. 2021—31. 1. 2022
An exhibition in the Museum of Architecture and Design and the public space of the city of Ljubljan
Opening ceremony: 19 October, 6.00 p. m.
The history of organised housing construction in Slovenia is also the history of various solutions to the housing crisis. Economic, social, war and political conditions have exacerbated housing conditions in the twentieth century. Still, they have also helped develop many ambitious solutions to the housing problem for a dynamic, rapidly changing society. The housing crisis may indeed be continuous and chronic, but that does not mean that it has always been equally acute. Today, we need new answers to the old question of what constitutes a modern, healthy, economical, environmentally friendly, generous and flexible apartment. The search for new answers depends on past experiences: on the many realised projects in the space around us and on a critical analysis of overlooked opportunities. In the past hundred years, a variety of forms of organised housing have already existed in the territory of today’s Republic of Slovenia. Today, some strategies remain on the margins and are overlooked; others have disappeared. Others have radically changed the image of our cities and settlements, setting ambitious new housing standards.
The exhibition Looking for an Apartment … One Hundred Years of Organised Housing Construction was prepared by the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) with the support of the Housing Fund of the Republic of Slovenia (SSRS), a public fund that in 2021 celebrates 30 years of operation.
The exhibition, located in the public space of Ljubljana, presents the architectural, urban and social diversity of organised housing construction in the last century in our country. Designed as an information route through the public space of Ljubljana, it begins at MAO in Fužine on the eastern edge of the city. It continues to the new neighbourhoods Zeleni gaj na Brdu and Novo Brdo along Ljubljana’s western bypass. The latter is the most representative public housing complex in the Republic of Slovenia built in the past decade.
Through the residential neighbourhoods of Ljubljana from different periods, we highlight study cases and exhibition exhibits of organised housing construction accessible to all. The MAO Documentation Centre and seven open-air exhibition stations will transform the city into a study area for cooperative construction, realised pre-war and post-war living ideals, large neighbourhoods from the second half of the twentieth century, buildings with social, human, single, student and other organised housing strategies, and the organised construction of owner-occupied and rental housing after independence.
The global health and economic crisis is rewriting the importance and role of housing. Considerable differences in housing conditions have become even more visible, and the home is increasingly becoming a working place and inflation-safe financial investment. In such a rapidly changing situation, the exhibition is not only a historical overview, but a starting point for a critical discussion about spatial, architectural and organisational opportunities for addressing the future housing crisis. For many, a suitably large, safe and healthy apartment is still just a wish to which the free market does not respond with new and advanced solutions. In the period of climate change and the environmental crisis, intensified economic and social uncertainties, and the urgent need to realise a sustainable development model, tackling housing must become a fundamental development issue of the future. Reading built settlements, flexible neighbourhoods and successful projects is not only an overview of examples of past good practice but is also a critical foundation of the responsible, sustainable and shared future that we have yet to build.
Curators: Ajda Bračič, Andraž Keršič, Miloš Kosec, PhD, Bogo Zupančič, PhD
Design: Primož Pislak and Ana Valenko
The exhibition was created with the support of the Housing Fund of the Republic of Slovenia, a public fund.