Sitting on a lush carpet he flips one page after another. The words glide past, but he doesn’t hear them. He melts into the worlds of illustration, which settle upon his every glance. The hours melt away like this, as he stares entranced at the enchanting world of images inhabiting this magical picture. A piece of an old timer here, a genie’s lamp there, a bird cage here, and a golden Chinese lucky cat not far away. Welcome to this – other world. The world we leave in the toy bin when we “really” grow up. The world that appears to us as a faded memory, when we step on a toy that is too hard or too big to just be crushed under the weight of an adult step. The world where not just one truth reigns supreme, but two or more weave their thread. This world is close to his heart, he says, and that’s why architect Andrej and the apartment’s owners got along so well.
She truly fell in love with the apartment when she went to the archive and peeled back its story layer by layer. This story was written in Ljubljana’s hand back in the ancient year of 1932, when they built it – the Baker’s Association building in Bežigrad. It was the last in a series of constructed likenesses that popped up all over town – and then nothing happened with them for a long time. Only a vast field spread over the northern part of the capital. This field opens up your view, and takes your thoughts on a path with no end, and even no beginning. Like everything in nature these thoughts, too, are constantly expanding and coming full-circle. They intertwine with her narrative, as the two of us walk through them. We’re traveling a circular path, which hugs the apartment like a necklace. The home was moved to the center during the renovation, so that it’s near end became, at the same time, a new beginning.
“We were just about to sell it.” Then came an unexpected moment: the stories from the archive spread out like a net and captured her world into them. “That woman in the picture is me, as I’m taking the trash out.” This cherished memory is the work of a friend, who used the money he made from the painting to buy a ticket to Berlin, where he was accepted into a fine arts academy. Story after story is linked together, like jewels on a necklace, while I feel sliding under my feet the hardwood floors, laid in an interlocking diagonal pattern: “When we got rid of the linoleum, we found newspapers from 1964 laid underneath.” She has all the documents from that period stored away safe. Even those dustworm and forgotten pictures from the apartment’s first owner are waiting in the basement. I think that she, who knew how to fall in love, was left a free path and she found her way at the very beginning of everything that we can feel.
Project name: K16
Project designer: THREEE ARCHITECTS
Andrej Mercina, Jagoda Jejčič, Laura Mercina, Brina Vizjak, Primož Pavšič
Photographer: Matevž Paternoster
Year of development: 2015
Year of production: 2015
Floor space: 78.00 m2
The article was published in Outsider Magazine.