Project: Main Post Office
Location: Maribor, Slovenia
Client: Business, Pošta Slovenije
Year: Invited competition 2019
Area: 320 sqm
Authors: BAAM architects
Typology: Commercial space, automated branch
Photo/Viz: BAAM arhitekti
The integration of a modern, automated 24/7 postal branch into a building from 1894 presents a unique challenge. Our design approach was similar to that employed for the Automated Branch at Čopova Street. The different, more orthogonal design of the historic interior is also reflected in our intervention
We utilized the rich interior, which underwent several transformations over the century, as guidance for our design. A new layer of columns, distanced from the existing architecture, emphasizes the rhythm of the existing columns and pilasters with offsets. By installing mirrors in the niches and the backs of the sales counters, and by using stainless steel sales cabinets, we further multiplied the rhythm and existing architecture.
Upon entry, the user is greeted by a space that opens up in all its grandeur, beyond the taller sales cabinets. All the decor of the period is brightly illuminated through large window areas and artificial lighting. During the 24/7 night mode, the branch is partially closed off with glass walls, preserving the view of the entire space without making the user feel confined.
The visually vibrant sales assortment was toned down with the restrained language of the new interior.