For the first time Yugoslavia’s leading architects have been, thanks to the MoMA’s exhibition, introduced to an international audience. As MoMA notes on its website: “Situated between the capitalist West and the socialist East, Yugoslavia’s architects responded to contradictory demands and influences, developing a postwar architecture both in line with and distinct from the design approaches seen elsewhere in Europe and beyond.”
A special attention dedicated at the exhibition goes to the Slovenia’s capital and the GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre (GR) which is a great example of a postwar functionalism in architecture. Every hall at the GR wears a clear authors’ signature.
Particularly highlighted at the exhibition is the GR’s Steklena Hall and its architectural creator Milan Mihelič. Steklena Hall (formerly named exhibition pavilion C) is considered to be the most prominent example of the structural architectural solution in Yugoslavia, and at the same time the monumental design of the expanding architecture. It is a complex of several types of elements, the centre of which is an interesting mushroom octagonal roof.
The hall, built in 1967, consists of four identical modular units. They can be combined hassle-free into new units for which architect Milan Mihelič predicted organic expansion. The flexibility of such spaces also creates excitement in the profession today. With the distance of time, this part can be regarded as an exceptional architecture, which was completely in the spirit of the time and is still aesthetic and mature today.
Meeting planners are often unaware that they are located in sites that were at the height of architecture in time when they were built and are upgraded today to successfully compete with the global scene. GR is also in a great location, as it is located in the centre of Slovenia’s capital. At the Convention and Exhibition Centre, an innovative congress-event concept is combined with quality architecture. Time has shown all the value and depth of the thinking of the architects who co-formed the GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre what is also emphasized at the MoMA’s exhibition.
Ljubljana has exceptional comparative advantages for congress tourism (favourable climate, location at the crossroads of south-eastern and central Europe, developed infrastructure, hospitality, etc.). The GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, which has been positioned as a medium-sized regional congress and fair centre, has been a key factor in this also with its marvelous Steklena Hall.