Ljubljana Drama SNG building makeover gets under way

Ljubljana, 5 July - After long-time efforts to renovate the Ljubljana Drama SNG theatre building, the first phase of the project has kicked off. The theatre signed on Tuesday a contract for drawing up project documentation with the architecture firm Bevk Perović Arhitekti, which was picked in 2017. The project is estimated at EUR 43 million.

SNG Drama Ljubljana theatre.
Photo: Bor Slana/STA
File photo

The documentation is expected to be drafted by the end of 2021 at the latest, while construction work is scheduled to start in 2022, said the theatre's director Igor Samobor at the project's presentation on Thursday.

The theatre plans to put on the last play before the renovation in June 2022, while the works are set to start in September that year and end by 2024 or 2025.

The building, which was built in 1911 by the German community in Ljubljana, will thus undergo extensive renovation.

Samobor said that, thanks to Culture Minister Zoran Poznič, renovation funds had been secured and the theatre was thus able to carry on with the project after years of trying to carry out comprehensive renovation works.

Culture Ministry State Secretary Petra Culetto said she was pleased the government included the project among its 2019-2022 development strategy plans. A total of EUR 3 million is currently earmarked for the documentation development, which is the first step towards the project realisation.

Presenting the renovation project, Tine Tribušon of the award-winning architecture firm said that the original part of the building will be refurbished in accordance with cultural heritage standards. The theatre's extension, added in the 1960s, will be demolished and rebuilt, while a square in front of the building will be refurbished.

After the makeover, Drama SNG is expected to include four venues - the main, small, experimental and rehearsal stages. Samobor pointed out that the current condition of the building did not support contemporary theatre production, with outdated technology from the 1960s hindering the progress.

The additional rehearsal and workshop space will free up the main stage and thus enable more show dates. The main stage will stay as it is, being protected as cultural heritage, but its stage technology will be revamped, while the small stage, currently seating 100 people, will be moved to the basement and could welcome up to 200 spectators.

© STA, 2019