Tivoli Underpass

Establishing the axis between two of the city’s main castles

The underpass between Tivoli Park and the Gallery of Modern Art in Ljubljana represents the main connection of the city with its largest park. The underpass follows an axis that runs from Tivoli castle to City Hall, which lies under Ljubljana Castle. Until 1950s, this axis and its promenade was the core of the town’s social life.

Reviving the former promenade that connects both castles was one of Ljubljana’s priorities in the field of urban development. With the closure of the Triple Bridge and Stritarjeva Street for motorised vehicles and by introducing improvements in Tivoli Park, it was time to put this plan into action.

An important piece of this puzzle was the renovation of Tivoli Underpass. In spite of its good design and basic maintenance, the underpass was in bad condition prior to renovation. The floor was fractured, the railings loose, the walls were vandalised daily and the infrastructure was expensive to maintain.

The primary goal of the renovation was following the vision of the city: the underpass isn’t merely a connection between two points. Rather, it’s an urban space that can be a park, an alley, a promenade, a playground or even a venue for various events.

The renovation was comprised of two sets of interventions: a renovation of what is already there and an addition of new elements. The works included renovating a sewage system, graffiti removal, adding a layer of protective coat onto the concrete walls, pavement renovation, setting up weather-proof steel panels, painting the railings, setting up lighting, and a renovation of the stairs that lead to the underpass. The interventions improved the look of the underpass and prevented further vandalising of the place.

In addition, we panelled the round spaces in the walls of the underpass with walnut wood and enabled people to sit down, read or hang around. The underpass is now better maintained, and a walk to the city’s main park is safer and more pleasant.

Tivoli Underpass at the Gallery of Modern Art (MG)

Co-authors: The department for economic public companies and traffic of the City of Ljubljana (regular maintenance), Rima, d.o.o. (construction works), Alukomen, d.d. (metal works) and Javna razsvetljava, d.d. (electric works).

Commisioner: Ljubljana Tourist Board

Investor: City of Ljubljana, Ljubljana Tourist Board

July 2009