SLOVENIA - Maruša Zorec is a busy woman, running her own practice, teaching at Ljubljana University and researching Slovenian architecture from the 1960s and '70s. And yes, she is a woman architect, but gender is not an issue for her. At the end of the day it is the work that counts.
Maruša Zorec has been an independent architect since 1992; she is also assistant professor at the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana where she herself studied. Although best known for her renovations of historical buildings, which she subtly transforms with brave new additions, her activities range from set designs to urban interventions, from researching Slovenian architecture of the 1960s and '70s to writing. She is always striving to discover different layers of space, but her highest admiration is reserved for voids and nature.
Maruša Zorec: My work is not about specialization. Things complement each other. When I am working with my students, there is more time to think my ideas over, to reason about whatever is going on. On the other hand, I need to use my intuition a lot more when working on projects, especially in the early stages. Therefore working with students helps me a lot. I can focus on certain aspects and I have to defend them fiercely in front of other people, which I wouldn't have to do if I stayed in the office. I have also learnt a lot from our architectural heritage by studying it in greater detail and not just observing it.
The power [architecture] exerted in Slovenia was immense. The Sixties were especially interesting. We had this modernism going on but it retained a local, sensitive feeling. In those years – the '60s and '70s – it was already moving from extreme, strict modernism to take account of the relevant context. This transition is what makes it interesting to me. The incorporation of traditional and modernist aspects is fascinating, especially in the work of Oton Jugovec.
Architecture, Design, Theory