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Sixty Years of Architecture: A Look at the Past and Future with Ofis Arhitekti

Socialistic visions, Western ideas: With Detail marking its 60th anniversary, Rok Oman and Špela Videčnik look 60 years into the past and the future.

What is the heritage of the 60s when it comes to architecture?
We come from a region that was part of Yugoslavia in the 1960s and was marked by post-war enthusiasm to build a new society with socialistic visions. Architecture and urban planning played a vital role in this process. Public space is important in systems shaped by socialism, new housing developments were built to provide equal opportunities for all and leave large areas of green and recreational space open. Many talented architects studied abroad bringing back Western ideas with them in the spirit of building a new version of society. Edo Ravnikar, Marko Mušič, Stanko Kristl, Edo Mihevc , Savin Sever, Oton Jugovec , Milan Mihelič are only some of those whose ideas still occupy us in our office or in discussions with our students. Beautiful post-war monuments, public buildings, factories, hospitals and mass housing had experimental structures, new materials and beautiful details. This courage, experimental work and spirit are a great inspiration for us. Again and again we study beautiful concrete sculptures, details of glazing, building volumes and admire the enormous possibilities of designing public space.

Where do you think architecture will stand in 60 years’ time?
Climate change will create uncertainties that will also be reflected in architecture. It will probably lead the methods back to simple, low-technology and environmentally friendly ones.

When did you come across Detail for the first time?
Back then during our student days it was hard to get books and magazines from the West, our school library was very basic, the internet was still under construction. We already worked together at that time and subscribed to two magazines together. Detail was an annual subscription that Rok’s aunt Eda bought every year as a birthday present. We still keep all those copies, and the shelves of Detail magazines in our office are the longest and most frequently used. Happy birthday Detail!

Rok Oman
(born 1970) studied architecture at the ljubljana school of architecture
(grad.1998) and at the Architectural Association in London (grad.2000).
From 2014 teaching on Harvard GSD, Boston, MA
From 2019 teaching on Architectural Association, London, UK

Špela Videčnik
(born 1971) studied architecture at the ljubljana school of architecture
(grad.1997) and at the Architectural Association in London (grad.2000).
From 2014 teaching on Harvard GSD, Boston, MA
From 2019 teaching on Architectural Association, London, UK

Current magazine
DETAIL 9/2021
9/2021

Concept: Sports Facilities

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