The city as a weaving process: Plecnik’s Ljubljana
ResumoSlovenian architect Joze Plecnik (1872-1956), an almost exact virtual contemporary of Le Corbusier, produced most of his urban work in, at that time, in the relative isolation of his native Ljubljana. Far from the critical examination of European modernists, Plecnik had quietly orchestrated a transformation of his hometown from an anonymous central European town into a visual and experiential treasure for the inhabitants and visitors alike.
This paper suggests a different reading of Plecnik’s design of the city of Ljubljana. It is a well known that Plecnik, as a student of Otto Wagner, was exposed to the writings and theories of Gottfried Semper, an influential 19th -century German architect and architectural theoretician. Semper’s seminal though uncompleted work, , regardless of the fact that it was never completed – a book entitled The Style in the Technical and Tectionic Arts , was an important element in the development of Plecnik’s ideas, especially regarding the treatment of the wall surfac In the first volume of The Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts , Semper devotes his discussion entirely to the textile arts. Close examination of his theoretical work can help a readers find connecting points between the historical development of textiles and textile- making techniques, and the present architectural moment. In that respect, two of Semper’s ideas are especially relevant. One is an overall theoretical framework that recognizes, or proposes, textiles as the “first” architecture”, and the other one is a theory of dressing, or cladding (Bekleidung).