Pits As Symptoms – A cycling tour of construction pits

Organised By ROGLAB, Performed by Ljubljana cycling network


On Saturday, April 20th, professor Janez Koželj will take you on a architectural sightseeing cycling tour of construction pits. We will meet in front of the former Šumi site at 10 am.


Tim Etchells installation at the Šumi site. Photo: Nada Žgank

Tim Etchells installation at the Šumi site. Photo: Nada Žgank

For the third year running, the Ljubljana cycling network will organise an “architectural cycling tour”. With these tours, we are trying to bring the idea of permanent, mobile architectural tours to life. However,  this time, within the frame of RogLab, we are going to try something different. This time we are going to take you on a tour not of architectural grandeur, but of architectural shortfalls, a tour in which professor Janez Koželj will guide you through the unrealised projects, the various construction pits of Ljubljana.

At 10 am on Saturday, April 20th, we will gather at a legendary location, the meeting point of the Ljubljana progressive scene, the Šumi site. In April, Lighting Guerrilla used a Tim Etchells installation to illuminate this long-abandoned pit. Etchells’ spatial installation, which consists of a light artwork that spells out a simple phrase that can never be fully understood by the passersby, will be presented by the curator Katerina Mirović.

Our route will lead us away from Slovenska Cesta (dented in by the Šumi construction site), towards Lower Šiška. Belle Vie – a housing project that should have been erected in the area of the former Slovenijavino factory – can only be seen in plans and sketches.

From Lower Šiška, we will continue on to Celovški Dvori, an infamous location full of unsold flats, in front of which we can see construction pits marking the location on which the former Vegrad wanted to build a hotel, while its successor was planning to build two apartment high-rises.

From here, we will continue on towards Bežigrad in search of cycling passages along Drenikova, through the narrow straits and between the reefs of uncut pavement kerbs, past the stadium, where we will make a sharp right turn towards the centre … and there we will see it, to the east, a 400-metre-long metal protective construction fence that hides the pit where the former Ljubo Šercer military barracks used to stand. The Ministry of Justice has no idea what to do with it, this is just another state hole – only this time it is not in the budget but in nature.

We will continue our tour in the centre, where the pit on Bavarski Dvor, next to the SCT skyscraper, remains an open issue, a deep northern entry that leads into the earth’s interior, a pit waiting for the prices of real estate to fall.

At the end, we will set forth eastbound, past the “Bishkek style” bus station onto Resljeva, where we will arrive at Beyond a Construction Site at around 1 pm. Here we will get a chance to see the first seasonal home-grown young lettuce from the carefully tended  allotments in the communal urban garden, a nice story about healing the symptoms of construction speculation.