Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Physics and Mathematics

The new Mathematics Faculty, in the main Ljubljana university area, is not a building in the standard sense. It is actually an addition, a three-storey slab on top of the existing two-storey edifice that houses a completely different programme. The new building literally grows out of the old structure, but despite its dominant role it allows the latter to retain its independence and dignity.
Being an edifice without a ‘ground floor’, the new building tries to develop the idea of public spaces for the school as a series of transparent ‘rooms’ carved out of the building mass, which hovers above the city. From the anonymous entrance marked by the lowered ‘curtain’ of printed glass, the illuminated staircase leads to the second floor, which becomes the building’s new ‘ground floor’, containing lecture halls and two large communal areas. All the other school programmes are developed on the storeys above, culminating in two small urban gardens on the top floor.
A formally and structurally simple architecture is precisely formulated in terms of both the programmatic organisation as well as the tactile treatment of surfaces. The elegant glass skin, screen-printed with different densities of the same pattern, relates to the programmatic structure hiding behind. Three levels of transparency correspond to three different programmes — from the very dense print of the computer rooms to a much more diffuse print for standard classrooms.
Random repetitive prints appear as if forming an independent, almost plastic overall surface. The building is at the same time one-dimensional, a skin and a parallelepiped monolith, as well as a dynamic structure. Only the public and communal spaces of the school have transparent, floor-size glass panels without surface printing, which establish a delicate conversation between the interior and the city beyond.