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Hungarian Design Wins First Prize in Prestigious Maribor Competition

BUDAPEST, April 29, 2010 – The Hungarian design team led by Tamás Lévai and Ágnes Jószai has won the first prize worth €40,000 in an international competition to design the New Maribor Art Gallery in Maribor, Slovenia. The competition was announced in conjunction with Maribor’s upcoming role as the European Capital of Culture in 2012.

A staggering 400 firms competed to design three key areas in Maribor: the Drava River embankments; a new foot- and bicycle bridge across the Tabor and Lent embankments; and the new art gallery. Designed using ARCHICAD, the new, four-story art gallery will also include a Children’s Museum, an Architecture Center, a Library/Creative Industry Archives, and Studios. According to Tamás Lévai, ‘The space in which we had to design the gallery is a confluence of three, separate worlds. The Drava River lent a natural border, inviting the presence of water in the design; the other two borders were based on the existing area between the historical city center and the new developments.’

In its decision, the Jury highlighted the form of the building as being ‘carefully considered, well-placed and balanced, particularly in terms of the urban spaces it frames,’ and the natural flow ‘from outdoor spaces into the well-planned, extremely visible and inviting Entrance Hall.’

The building design incorporates features intended to reduce energy, by using power derived from the Drava River for heating and cooling purposes. Solar panels on the roof will heat the water.