R. Palekas, T. Balčiūnas, A. Palekienė, J. Puronienė, R. Marozaitė, B. Puzonas


Municipality of Maribor



Urban tissue

The goal was to catch and reflect the character of Maribor urban spaces while defining the New UGM solution. Important aspects of the character to consider were: scale, pattern, view. Drava river Embankment will appear as long line of active city space, very open to the water. To achieve spatial balance at the river bank UGM Open Space should gain intimate character. It should be closed from less attractive opposite river bank view and delicately open towards Stary Most and Little Church. Visitor should experience emotion of “secret” and “discovery” while approaching the UGM Open Space.

Design recognizability

Maribor’s topographic character – steps (terraces) along Drava river – inspires New UGM composition. Very few different materials as well as clearly defined structural grid covered by some irrational city pattern reflecting lines should be used. Main interior and exterior finishes would be fairfaced concrete and channel glass.


New UGM external space sits on top of exhibition area. The space is linked by three volumes to City living room and exhibition spaces as well as Children’s museum, Architecture centre.
The three gallery volumes clearly define boundaries of UGM external space. The space can be entered from Drava embankment and “E” street, at which part of UGM catering is set up. Exhibition spaces are divided in two parts. Periodical exhibition area spaces are defined by single level floors throughout and varying height ceilings, which creates a continuous flow of easy accessible interconnected spaces. Periodical exhibition area is accessed from entrance hall by wide stairs, which can serve as democratic amphitheatre. Permanent collection is set up above City living room on three different shaped levels – voids maintain visual links between gallery floors and add space height variation. City living room is a flowing space from down to top of the building


Simple long-lasting materials and easy construction. Spaces could benefit from high thermal mass of conrete walls and floors. Windows are designed only in places where necessary, although due to plan layout all inhabited spaces have focused views to either Open External Space or to the city and have natural diffused daylight, including exhibition spaces. Direct sunlight is avoided and northern light is additionally diffused by glass channels facade. Lower galleries (periodical exhibition space) receive ambient daylight through taller parts of the exhibition space that serve as large light wells. As little as possible partitions are designed in the main areas – spaces are flexible for various use. Natural bio-climatic principles should be applied in the New UGM where possible. Measures to reduce CO2 emissions: ventilation with heat and humidity recovery; undergrade air chambers for precooling of outside air; thermo-active building element systems; ground source heat pump; passive cooling from energy piles;Condenser heat to provide reheat for dehumidification; high thermal mass with natural ventilation.


Basement floor of the proposed building is much above ground water level. Monolith “in situ” concrete will be use for bearing structure of the building. External walls of three separate volumes will serve as main bearing elements to avoid columns in exhibition spaces. Columns and bearing diaphragms will be used only in service spaces when necessary.