Elementary School Mala Kolezija


Location: Ljubljana, SLO
Category: Public buildings
Area: 2.500 m2
Year: 2021
Client: Mestna občina Ljubljana
Status: Competition
Tjaša Plavec, mag. inž. arh.
Katja Orehek, štud. arh.
Rok Božič, štud. arh.
Leonardo Baron, M.Sc.


The competition proposal responds to the spatial constraints of the Kolezija Primary School with the introduction of new construction of modern teaching premises, which provides pupils with multi-layered environments to ensure a relaxed, open, and interactive atmosphere, while at the same time it creates unique spatial conditions for children to calm down and concentrate, thus enabling an easy transition in 45 minutes lessons.

Through two different design principles, the competition proposal creates two clear environments; in the framework of block A, the knowledge environment, and in the framework of block B, a playful environment.

The purpose of the competition proposal is to create a friendly and encouraging atmosphere (block B) and a friendly and calming environment for learning (block A) for the youngest students.

The new premises of the Kolezija Elementary School, despite their dual materialization, functions as a coherent functional whole.

The first contact with the school is planned to the east of the location within block B, which is framed by the entrance courtyard with a newly arranged traffic design and an open green park to the west.

Centrally located vertical communications allow a clear transition to the upper floor. In the afternoon, external visitors to the sports hall, located on the floor of the north block A, walk up the main staircase, with the help of sliding panels to close off the more private areas of the school and thereby enable the potential dual use of the entrance hall.

In the immediate vicinity of the lobby, there is also an elevator for physically challenged visitors of the building, which has the option of individual exit to the space and private access through the utility yard.

The northern part of the site is programmed for the economic needs of the school, and in contact with the entrance hall of block B, a shelter is connected to the dining area.

Male and female pupils are intuitively invited to enter the southern part of the school via block B, which extends in its uniform materiality and opens towards the western park. The hybrid transition from block A to southern block B, which with its southern location ensures optimal lighting for all classrooms, is planned within the multifunctional space of the classrooms, which allows each main classroom to increase its teaching spaces by 24 additional square meters. Spatial enlargement enables pedagogues to regulate the lighting of their classrooms and to conduct lessons in a variety of ways. The enlargement of individual classrooms does not hinder other horizontal communication connections.

In the heart of Block B, there is a walk-through library, which has an open and playful spirit with the help of the same sliding panels. It receives additional light through a double-height space with a larger glass opening, which also contributes to the building’s energy efficiency.

On the floor of the building, within block B, the staff rooms are elegantly secluded, with the central chamber in the southern heart, which with its glass surfaces allows an indirect view of the game and the activities in the school.

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