The Ajdovščina underground passage, which is situated in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, used to be one of the most modern underground passages in our country but it’s abandoned today. Numerous economic, social as well as urban processes have devastated the once-visited shopping and service center below Slovenska Street and transformed it into an underground ghost town. Today’s neglected passage will gain a new purpose in the coming years – and again become part of the increasingly attractive social fabric of Ljubljana.

A new CITY CINEMA MINIPLEX will house five underground cinema theatres and will have its entrance on the ground shaped in the form of a low cylinder. The pavilion becomes part of an ensemble of diverse buildings in the square of Ajdovščina. A smooth, round, facade creates a building that works as a sign in the cityscape and is a window of a cinema that invites specatotrs to its interior. Through the large semicircular opening, which features impressive circular stairs, the interior space of the pavilion flows into a spacious lobby that forms the central space of the city cinema. The lower lobby becomes part of the city ground floor through a direct visual connection to the open and illuminated space of the central lobby, adjacent to the large and smaller halls.

The access to the theatres is consistently arranged through the passageways of the screens of the service and auxiliary premises of the cinema, so as not to disturb the events in the central space of the lobby, while allowing transparent movement and unimpeded circulation of visitors. The multipurpose hall is also designed to allow the various accompanying activities of the city cinema to run smoothly. At larger events the multipurpose space can easily be expanded into the lobby. The underground part of the cinema is oblivious to the former function of the passage and wants to erase it from memory, creating new story instead.


architects: Arhitektura — office for urbanism and architecture, Skupaj arhitekti  |  team: Peter Gabrijelčič, Tomaž Ebenšpanger, Boštjan Gabrijelčič, Aleš Gabrijelčič, Anja Mencinger, Nik Solina, Lovre Mohorič  |  client: Municipality of Ljubljana  |  status: Competition (2020)  |  clasification: 1 rang  |  location: Ljubljana, Slovenia (46.054364, 14.504230)  |  climate: Continental, Temperate  |  material: undefined  |  environment: Urban  |  visualizer: Studio  |  budget: 7.500.000 €  |  scale: 3.180 m2 medium  |  ratio: 2.358,49 €/m2  |  types: cultural, cultural center, mixed use  |  views: 1.554