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Slovenian Open House Festival: “Architecture of New Opportunities”

The Slovenian Open House Festival (OHS) took place from Friday, 11 April 2024, to Sunday, 14 April, 2024. Among the many interesting places open to the public was also the jewel of Koper, the Tiepolo-Gravisi Palace, one of the candidates for the OHS Award.

Visitors were guided through the palace by Dr Tilen Glavina, Deputy Director of ZRS Koper and Head of the Centre for Venetian History and Cultural Heritage of ZRS Koper, Nataša Škrjanec, conservator-restorer from the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, and architect Marjetica Garzarolli Dharu. They emphasised the significance and special nature of the building as an example of 17th and 18th century civic architecture, which was created by combining and remodeling three buildings.

During earlier restoration works in 1993, wall paintings from different eras, in different techniques and with different motifs were discovered under layers of plaster. These included paintings with biblical themes, such as the scene of Mary with Child and two Saints from the early 16th century, as well as paintings with scenes from the Old and New Testaments from the late 15th century. The illusionist painting on the baroque double main staircase has also been preserved. Between 1994 and 1996, the paintings underwent conservation and restoration measures to protect them from further deterioration. In 2013, the restoration centre also carried out scientific examinations of the plaster and paint layers of all the paintings. Last year, all wall paintings were conserved and unified in terms of level and colour. Gothic lancet windows with plastered jambs, one of which had also been reopened, were also presented, along with fragments of paintings that were discovered during the renovation. The work on the paintings was carried out in collaboration with the Working Group for the Protection and Conservation of Wall Paintings. Their final presentation will follow.

The theme of this year’s OHS Festival is “Architecture of New Opportunities” and it addresses the issue of inclusion of all people and interest groups in the built-up and designed communal areas. It deals with questions of equal opportunities and new possibilities for living, working, education, existence and societal development by including all living beings and nature in order to find answers about the coexistence that good architecture can help enable, promote and secure.

On this occasion, we would like to invite you to submit your vote for the OHS Award, which is awarded by the public to the best realised projects of the previous festival programme.

You can vote once a day in the categories Public, social and business projects, Housing projects and Wood projects.

Voting is open until 5 May 2024.