Lah Contemporary

Set at the foot of the Julian Alps on the eastern edge of Lake Bled, the town of Bled

provides one of the most scenic landscapes in Slovenia. This new contemporary
art museum is located on the fringes of the town and within an area of cultural and
historical protection in a valley below the town’s medieval castle. It will house a
private collection featuring a wide range of art by major Slovenian and international
artists, forming part of a masterplan by the local municipality and contributing to the
cultural life of the region.

Lah Contemporary

Set at the foot of the Julian Alps on the eastern edge of Lake Bled, the town of Bled provides one of the most scenic landscapes in Slovenia. This new contemporary art museum is located on the fringes of the town and within an area of cultural and historical protection in a valley below the town’s medieval castle. It will house a private collection featuring a wide range of art by major Slovenian and international artists, forming part of a masterplan by the local municipality and contributing to the cultural life of the region.

Two major considerations shaped the design of the museum: the surrounding landscape and the size and specifications of the individual artworks. The building is embedded in the sloping site with the gradient of the roofs echoing that of the hillside. Their sawtooth arrangement allows northern light into the spaces below. Formally, the building geometry adapts according to the spatial requirements of the contents while still maintaining external coherence. The result internally is a series of spaces with differentiated atmospheres, scales and light conditions.

The gallery entrance is located to the west at the highest point of the site. It is signalled by a columned portico that addresses a new public square and leads visitors, via a sheltered entrance courtyard, to a single entry point for the museum, shop and café. An enfilade sequence of gallery spaces on the upper ground floor is punctuated with a framed view and access to a sculpture terrace looking towards the castle. In contrast, the lower ground floor galleries, except for the tall, top-lit Kiefer gallery, are artificially lit, contributing to the subterranean atmosphere of these spaces.

A garden, which is accessible from the entrance gallery, provides a place to explore important installations and sculptures from the collection in a landscape setting. The garden flows into the gallery through a stepped mineral sculpture terrace acting as the threshold between the building and the landscape.

The bush-hammered finish of the structural concrete unifies the articulated volumes, giving the overall structure a monolithic appearance that is complemented and contrasted by the highly articulated concrete roof tiles. Where possible, the detailed design was developed in collaboration with local craftsmen and using locally sourced materials giving the building a strong relationship with its cultural and environmental context.

Project start:
2016
Completion due:
2022
Gross floor area:
4,900m²
Client:
Artarhiv d.o.o.
User:
Lah Art Foundation