Slovenian culture finds a home in Trieste

Location: Trieste, Italia
Architetti: SoNo Arhitekti
Foto: Žiga Lovšin

A bookstore devoted to the Slovenian culture, not just a book shop, but a hub for networking and events, related to the history and traditions of the neighboring Slovenia. In the centre of Trieste, the Slovenian studio SoNo Arhitekti won the first prize in the competition for TS360, a place that plays an important role in the link between Italian and Slovenian culture.


The architecture of the city of Trieste inspired the interior design of the shop, especially for its proximity to the former Balkan Hotel (Narodni Dom, National House of Slovenes), designed by architect Max Fabiani in 1905.


The TS360 project was designed with double goals: to be respectful of the architecture of the building in which it is located, dating back to the first half of the twentieth century, and to highlight its function as a container for books. The winning idea was to build an architecture in architecture, using melamine panels to create a structure that houses the books and at the same time designs the spaces, thus achieving an independent life.


The framework for the books, made of panels of contrasting colours, white and wood essence, comes from a reproduction of Art Deco stylistic elements, taken from the façade of the Narodni Dom. The design thus creates shelves of different shapes and sizes, square, rectangular, which can be seen as architectural elements or large pixels, depending on the angle you look at them from.


A practical example of how a whole project can be developed by a careful use of melamine panels, which are suitable for many purposes and are the perfect choice for frames with a strong architectural value, which express their beauty in the nature of the material.