Maribor Art Gallery

In our design for the New UGM, the gap, space, dis-position of creative translation finds expression in two geometric languages that are continually engaged in poetic dialogue. The galleries, library, residences, café, bookstore and creative industries center are located within two pure rectangular volumes that form an L-shape along the site’s west and north boundaries. Pure rectangles speak a language of order, symmetry, consistency, neutrality, modernism, the “Yale-box,” etc. One section does not differ from another cut 10, 20, 30 meters after. This is a language of totality. The other language, however, is continually articulating its constant departure from the totality (but, at the same time, its unavoidable attachment to it). How better to express this artistic ‘twist’ than with, well, a twist? Every 2m within the rectangular box that forms the building’s exterior, a sequence of ever rotating rectangular frames twist along and flow throughout the building’s interior. Each ‘reading’ of the interior twist departs from the pure rectangle differently than its neighbors; and yet, each movement is harmonized in free, sinuous curves that become legible only by admiring the system as a whole. Each departure, each translation creates a new space, and summed together, they create a beautiful, complex and sculptural architectural space rendered all the more beautiful by its constant comparison with the stolid rectangular frame that supports such creative play. Visitors to the New UGM literally inhabit these creative interstitial spaces framed by geometric translation. Appropriately, the architecture embodies the very spirit of the program within: to collect individual objects of art, curate exhibitions that knit them together across time and media, and inculcate the spectator with a sense of the incredible spirit that allowed each artist, individually, and each movement, collectively, to create a unique visual distance between their creative voice and convention. Each piece of art, each twist-within-a-frame, is a snapshot of the creative individual’s standard deviation from the ordinary, an index of how truly extra-ordinary each work and artist is.