night time view of the new multi-purpose open public space in front of the main existing building offers terrific views to the city and is used throughout the day and night
main architecture concept for object refurbishment in three stages
schematic section through the main existing building with added vertical tower
exhibition corridor in the new added basement level extension with ceiling daylight
exhibition area in the existing building, acting as “machine for exhibiting machines”
FRANCIS SHAFT REVITALIZATION
10/2014 I master’s thesis I mentor: prof. Miloš Florijančič, u.d.i.a I co-mentor: doc. Mitja Zorc, u.d.i.a I co-mentor: dr. Matej Blenkuš, u.d.i.a.
The Plečnik Award for student Recognition 2015
National nominee for European Architecture Medals for The Best Diploma Projects for 2015
Idrija, a city of technical culture and a UNESCO site, deserves a quality presentation of its heritage and for that, it needs a suitable place to do so. More than five hundred years of mining in this area have left behind some priceless examples of European machine manufacturing from the end of the 19th century to early 20th century. Today, these machines are on exhibit at the complex of Francis’s Shaft, the only still operating mine shaft in the city. Mater’s thesis is dealing with a question of revitalizing industrial heritage and presenting the technical heritage of Idrija’s world-renowned known mercury mine.
The intervention takes up on the whole area of the shaft. The historical development resulted in many alterations to the main building and to the surroundings. The existing building was extended and partitioned from the inside with many small rooms several times. Furthermore, after the second war, the administrative building was built in front of the main building, covering almost half of its historical facade to the city. On top of that, the site suffers from not being connected to the city; therefore today the site attracts almost no visitors.
The new design aims to clear all the structures added over the course of time and to presenting just the main elements of the site. Open space in front of the existing building is used to host new program and also acts as a new entrance to the area. Moreover, due to the historical importance, the clear separation between the existing and the new must be achieved so that the whole context is readable and understandable.
The new institution with the exhibition of old mining machines targets to become one of the leading European actors in the field of technical museums. It emphasizes natural sciences with the added programs of the World center for Mercury and the Geological center. Those two programs are interlaced with the city and its history. The new design creates a relationship between all three main programs and besides them, adds an additional commercial program that also brings life and activity to the site at all times, day or night.
The newly designed complex will become one of the main tourist attractions in the city and would contribute to a better understanding of the whole story of the rich heritage of Idrija’s mercury mine.