O R T O
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenija
Author: Primož Jeza
Co-operator: Špela Hudnik
To create an interior as social hybrid. Excerpts of music, film, theatre-performance, fashion, literature, politics and the comprehensive visual aesthetics of the adolescence of generations born in late 1960’s. To visualize the zeitgeist or the fuel of Slovenian velvet revolution in its stormy form of youth (street guerrilla) culture. For such a space “in time”, the fetish for material and for the event is required. For each turn of the ventilator, the reflection of chrome and stainless steel, the sensibility of velvet, the projection of shadows and film sequences and searing of guitars with the power of a visual destination. From the sociological viewpoint, Orto bar should be an artefact – a product of the subculture of the 1980’s in the spirit of selective – critical selection of media.
We enter the bar from the factory yard through an oval entrance designed like some mental converter between the industrial environment and the “sacred” space that only surprises you the first time. As you enter Orto, you know what it’s going to be like. Apart from the optional socialising beside the intentionally oversized counter, minor events take place in the bar, including concerts, film and video screenings, fashion shows, book and CD promotions… For such events a small multipurpose stage with a sound and light system and the projection screen has been built at the exposed far side of the interior. In case of a “non-event” the screen assumes the role of a live wall, a partner that never leaves you alone. The programme is followed by a directed light set and the “travel” ventilators are turned on. Seats and standing room are arranged in the space in levels and positions appropriate for keeping track of the (potential) programme.
Service facilities are partly placed in the same floor as the bar, with the majority placed in the cellar. In summertime the bar extends to the platform in front of the building.
Situation, original state of the space in question:
The complex, in which Orto bar is positioned, is located at the brink of the city centre, bordering the Vodmat residential area with two sides whereas the other two are marked by the very busy Šmartinska road and the similarly busy railway. The interior is integrated into the long abandoned battery factory Zmaj, some kind of a “maternity ward” for industrial products that besides the portable pocket technique generated many mechano dreams – products for children.
The space featured a uniform volume and, due to its construction period, a wooden ceiling. The primary material was brick. One of the longitudinal external sidewalls (oriented towards the factory yard) featured two large industrial windows. The access to the interior and the vertical interior communication have remained unchanged.
Velvet, chrome and polished stainless steel, wood.