Most of us remember our school buildings with nostalgic charm: typical furniture, turn-of-the-century buildings, green boards and many more iconic details lie in our memory. Nowadays, we pay more and more attention to the comfortable design of public spaces and public institutions, of which schools cannot be left out, as the aesthetic environment means a lot to even the smallest ones. The design trio of Mojca Gregorski, Miha Kajzelj and Matic Lašič, who have dreamed up the Šoštanj Music School, also know all this very well.
The local music school is located in the center of Šoštanj, Slovenia, which is an important cultural center of the city: at the same time, it is the cradle of high-quality music education for children, a house of culture, and the city’s leisure music groups. In addition to renovating the building, the project aims to provide a community arena that connects different generations. The renovated building creates a special atmosphere in the center of Šoštanj, otherwise known as an industrial city—the undisguised aim of the reconstruction is to increase the cultural role of the city.
The task of the architects was to provide space for several different generations: the Zaria band was given a spacious music room on the ground floor of the annex, and the Svoboda Choir was given a place in the middle of the building. The music school has been expanded with additional classrooms and an upstairs lecture hall. Due to the different usage functions, the building also has two separate entrances: schoolchildren can enter from the street, next to the main entrance of the cultural center, the choir and the musicians can enter from the riverside park. Thanks to this, the building has two façades that have a unique artistic expression.
Efforts have been made to design the interiors so that as much sunlight as possible enters the building, so the huge windows also stretch the corridors and common areas. For the sake of transparency and easy orientation, the architects covered the walls of the cross corridors with dark wood and the walls of the longitudinal corridors with light wood paneling. The simple and light style blends with the warm woods so that we can feel like we are in a minimalist modern house and a classical theater at the same time. The building is thus a worthy home to the cultural cavalcade.