The construction of the Rotovž Center in Maribor, which is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the field of culture in the country, is currently about a third of the way through. According to current forecasts, it should be built by the end of 2024.
Center Rotovž is being built in order to solve the decades-long space constraint of the central unit of the Maribor Library, and the new building will also provide exhibition spaces for the Maribor Art Gallery (UGM) and the city cinema. Mayor of Maribor Saša Arsenović predicts that it will Center Rotovž “the new heart of the city”.
Building a modern center it is slightly behind the originally set timeline, as it turned out from the beginning that some additional work would be required. The execution of the works is very demanding, as it takes place in the old city center, with limited access to the construction site, and there are also unexpected additional works.
When they started building on Rotovške trg in February 2022, they first had to demolish the old library building and the building opposite, and then deepen the square. “Currently, we are halfway through the construction work, or one third of all the work related to the project Center Rotovž,” they report from the municipality of Maribor.
At the moment, concrete works are being carried out on the construction site on the new part of the library and gallery building, in the southern part of the construction pit, a new structure has already been built up to the level of the former (and future) Rotov Square. On the site of the library’s former building, they are carrying out the underconstruction of the former icehouses or old cellars, and on the buildings next to the construction pit that were not demolished, they are finishing static reinforcements and preparing for the underconstruction underneath them. The biggest challenge is the underconstruction of the icehouses or cellars, which are being preserved. “Underneath the entire part of the old cellar, excavations, underconcreting of the walls and a new floor slab must be carried out. All these works are carried out in phases and in very cramped spaces. We are also challenged by the accessibility and limited construction site, for which necessary daily adaptation,” they say in the municipality.
“The project ran into the first major obstacle in terms of the originally set timeline right at the start of the work, during the demolition of the existing buildings, when it turned out that one of the neighboring buildings did not have an independent wall. So the demolition had to be stopped and an appropriate engineering solution found. Also the entire the process of placing the new facility within the compact city core was time-consuming and required adjustments,” they say in the municipality. The murals next to the town hall will be preserved
Protecting the arcades of the Rotovž town hall was particularly demanding and time-consuming. These are an important Renaissance monument and had to be protected so that they could be protected during construction center they would not collapse. Additional work was also necessary during the reconstruction of the preserved building next to the town hall due to the discovery of paintings of monumental importance in it. They plan to preserve these paintings, but it is not yet clear whether they will be able to restore them.
Two additions to the original contract with the selected builders Pomgrad and GIC Gradnje were already concluded after the need for additional works became apparent.
Value investments is currently estimated at slightly more than 31 million euros, while the value was according to the base investment documentation at 25 million euros. In accordance with the agreement with the Ministry of Culture, the state will contribute 12.7 million euros, the rest will be paid by the municipality. The basic contract for construction and crafts work was concluded in the amount of just under 19 million euros. This, however, does not cover the supply of equipment for the facility, for which the municipality has yet to publish a call for implementation.
By building Center In Rotovž, the Maribor Library will acquire modern premises for carrying out its main activity of collecting, processing and forwarding all kinds of library materials, as well as for the activities of courses, lectures, exhibitions and workshops. They are said to be equipped with the most modern technology, part Center Rotovž is also supposed to be a computer workshop.
Space for visual art and filmCenter will also provide space for various events. It will also house a new exhibition space of the Maribor Art Gallery, which will enable the setting up of exhibitions based on contemporary ones concepts, and space for gallery workshops and lectures, for children’s creativity and play. In the basement, there is a planned space for a city cinema, with which Maribor should finally acquire a permanent place to support the film and audiovisual arts. A small cafe is planned in the area of the former Rotovž restaurant.
The building, designed by the Medprostor architecture office, will cover 8,500 square meters of space on several floors, including underground. The largest part of the facility, intended to connect all programs, is supposed to be multimedia or event space in the basement, under the square.
A former library dedicated to non-governmental organizationsAccess to center will still be from Slomškovi and Main square, and it should also be accessible from Lekarniška street, where a small courtyard is planned. The building of the former Rotovž Pioneer Library, which is not part of it Center In the future, Rotovž should be dedicated to the operation of non-governmental organizations in the field of the youth sector.