Female Students of Jože Plečnik between Tradition and Modernism

Tina Potočnik, PhD

20. 6. 2014, Turin, Italy

European Architectural History Network. Third International Meeting

19. – 21. 6. 2014, Turin, Italy

After World War II, in the changed socio-political conditions of the newly established socialist state of Yugoslavia and in contrast to the pre-war period, more female than male students studied under the leading Slovene neo-classicist architect Jože Plečnik (1872–1957) at the Ljubljana Faculty of Architecture. The present paper focuses on those women architects who were professionally active when the crucial period in twentieth century Slovene architecture began and reached its peak in the 1960s. Their professional position and the role of their work in the formation of the new socialist country and the new society will be discussed, with special regard to the following questions: How did Plečnik’s female students negotiate his architectural views (influenced/inspired by tradition), foreign influences, and the needs and directions of a socialist state, such as solving the housing problem and building public facilities? Why did they, in the time of the socialist regime, study and work under Plečnik, known for his interlacing of architecture and religion? Because of their gender, were they seen as potentially having little professional potential and thus directed to him, since Plečnik’s work was not really appreciated at that time, or were they just not enticed by ideological conformity as some of their male colleagues were? Where did they find work after concluding their studies and what kind of commissions were they given? On the basis of archival research and interviews with Plečnik’s female students who are still alive the paper will deepen the understanding of the position of women architects in socialist Europe.

EAHN 2014: http://www.eahn2014.polito.it/index.html

EAHN 2014 Program: http://www.eahn2014.polito.it/EAHN2014booklet.pdf

EAHN 2014 Book of Abstracts: http://www.eahn2014.polito.it/EAHN2014abstracts.pdf

EAHN 2014 Proceedings: http://www.eahn2014.polito.it/EAHN2014proceedings.pdf