Svet Vmes adds black-framed glass cabinets to school entrance

Svet Vmes adds black-framed glass cabinets to school entrance hall

Slovenian firm Svet Vmes Architects has renovated the entrance hall of a 126-year-old school in Ljubljana, adding glass cabinets that resemble geometric line drawings (+ slideshow).

Renovated entrance hall in Ljubljana by Svet Vmes Architects

The practice wanted to draw attention to the building's historic features, including decorative mouldings on the wall and ceiling as well as the school's ornate stone columns.

Renovated entrance hall in Ljubljana by Svet Vmes Architects

Nine steel-framed cabinets were made in a range of sizes, with two larger glass-encased spaces created to function as reception or study areas.

The thin outlines of the cabinet edges resemble line drawings. This technique has also been used in furniture and homeware by designers including Nendo and Thomas Feitchner.

Renovated entrance hall in Ljubljana by Svet Vmes Architects

"These elegant black, at first sight almost fragile, geometric bodies, look like an abstract piece of art, encouraging students and staff to experiment with different spatial compositions, that can be used for various school exhibitions and information boards," said Svet Vmes.

Renovated entrance hall in Ljubljana by Svet Vmes Architects

The two offices are placed either side of the hallway's columns, and offer views through to the building's central stairway.

Renovated entrance hall in Ljubljana by Svet Vmes Architects

The school, which was built in 1889, previously featured an "unattractive" ceramic floor that the firm has replaced with stepped concrete. This created a sunken centre with a series of elevated platforms on either side.

Renovated entrance hall in Ljubljana by Svet Vmes Architects

The steps double as seats, and were designed by the firm to encourage students to interact with the space, and one another.

Renovated entrance hall in Ljubljana by Svet Vmes Architects

"The raised concrete podium highlights the symmetry and invites students to sit down during brakes and engage in chatting and people watching," said Svet Vmes.

Renovated entrance hall in Ljubljana by Svet Vmes Architects

The forms of the stairs also echo the shapes of the rectangular glass cabinets, and the original entrance steps.

A central chandelier with a single circular strip of light allows visitors to peer through at the patterned ceiling. It also contrasts with the square forms of the interior.

Renovated entrance hall in Ljubljana by Svet Vmes Architects

In 2014, Svet Vmes completed another school renovation in Ljubljana where an unused entrance was filled with wavy green cushions and polka dot walls.

Photography is by Matevž Paternoster.