Unveiling the hidden
Docomomo Switzerland / TSAM Lectures: Maruša Zorec, Arrea Architecture, Ljubljana
«Some spaces touch us in a special way. Sometimes suddenly and sometimes slowly. In some places this requires a moment, the right light or an open view. By returning to and dwelling in them we discover who we are. «Nothing was yet completed, before I glimpsed it», says Rilke, and architecture too does not spring from nothing, it always evolves from a certain time and a chosen space. Good architecture is always personal, and although it addresses the problem at hand the ways and answers it offers can be as countless as the constellations between us.
The creative process that takes place in our studio is not planned ahead; the concept grows from the process. The topics that emerge from projects are inspired by what is already there; they are born between the layers of the past, in the silence of moments, readings, the beauty of nature and the joy of new encounters. Our world is composed of tiny little pieces of life filled with spatial impressions, quotes and open views. The thought slowly finds a way between them, gradually shaping a concept so strong that it moves us and reconnects us into a new whole. Architecture, like nature, has the power to stop both time and ourselves, to reflect and see that the beauty that surrounds us is the very same beauty that is inside us all.
We aim to respect tradition and understand the past as a part of the living present. We want to open up the space into a free floor plan so that it becomes space for a free spirit and makes way for the light that brings new life to the voids between old walls. We try to unveil the layers of past times and link them to the times that are to come. We want to bind the interior and the exterior into a single space of flows and transitions. When we penetrate a wall or even bring it down it is only to open the view onto the natural environment, to the horizon, to that scarcely legible line in infinity…»
Maruša Zorec has been an independent architect since 1992; she is also assistant professor at the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana. Most projects by architect Maruša Zorec and his studio Arrea consist of interventions in existing heritage-listed buildings and complexes. Examples include the renovation of the Villa Ventrelli complex, the design of a day chapel in the basement of a Franciscan monastery and the restoration of the Jože Plečnik’s House in Ljubljana.