Between permanent and temporary

Between permanent and temporary
Jan Šimnovec
Temporary strategies for permanent revitalization of industrial heritage.

Jan Šimnovec
Kamnik, Slovenia
Team members
Jan Šminovec
Field of work
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Project submitted

I am a freshly graduated architect with great interest in topics like user-participation, sustainability, circular economy, renovation, future-proof technologies, etc. During my studies in Germany and Slovenia I had an opportunity to learn from interesting mentors. Among others, I was enrolled in studio by Diébédo Francis Kéré, Pritzker Prize winner, at Chair of Architectural Design and Participation at TUM.

During studies I also participated in a Stanford University program, focused on developing high-efficient and sustainable buildings, that addressed topics like sustainable materials, technologies, prefabrication, parametric design, equity, etc. Project was entirely powered by BIM software and used future-proof communication technologies, like VR glasses in virtual reality environments. The program included a competition for high-efficient building, with our project being chosen as winner.
I see myself strongly as a participatory architect and I believe that participatory architecture is crucial, for making spaces that fit users needs. I gained important insight in making of user-tailored spaces while being part of the organisational and architecture team for very fresh and developing Creative district Barutana. In last four years of initiation we built multiple urban interventions and opened a new public space for the city dwellers. Relating to the topic I also continuously work with a non-profit urbanism studio Prostorož, known for their public space initiatives and activism. Together we also co-created a workshop Urban Academy, where I worked as a mentor for young architects.

Recently I realised my first project, called "Novi trg", a renovation of the 350 years old house, that was published in several publications and news outlets like Outsider, Mladina and OHS festival. BIG SEE festival that will happen in October 2023 will host me as a speaker on the topic Future of the architecture.

Smodnišnica, was once a successfully operating complex of factories for the gunpowder production. Today the area is heavily degraded, full of spontaneous and illegal construction, demolition of industrial heritage, uncontrolled deforestation, undiversified use of space and fragmentation of area ownership are just a few examples of today's spatial problems. A contrast to that is the new creative and cultural quarter, that is starting to develop on the southern part of Smodnišnica and is slowly revitalizing the space and changing the spatial policies. The area, called Creative district Barutana, employs temporary uses as the main protagonist of the spatial development. Unlike more formal, permanent uses, their response to the space is much faster, enables a more organic and multi-level development. Their informal character also creates better conditions for dialogue with the users of the space. Based on examples of similar foreign and local projects, this methodology is being recognized as a successful strategy for the revitalization of areas and buildings. It is a strategy that is not only used for the initial start-up phases, but as a lifelong mindset for building and development. In this project, the same methodology of temporary uses is employed, to revitalize the abandoned and dilapidated building Ključavničarstvo, located in the center of Creative district Barutana. Its renovation could be important for the expansion of the creative district. Ključavničarstvo, as a new center of culture and creativity, would become a hybrid of permanent and temporary uses, that would allow a flexible, relevant and critical programs.