The community of Vitanje, a small village strongly connected with nature and with a specific vernacular character, recently gave ground to the project of KSEVT - Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies. An old community centre building was removed and thus provided space for the new building of KSEVT, that was envisioned to facilitate the research of Space Technologies and raise awareness of the work of Herman Potočnik Noordung. Replacing an integral infrastructure of the local community, it was designed as a hybrid building containing both, scientific and community programmes in order to bring together community life and the idea of ‘Culturalization of Space’.
KSEVT, a collaborative architectural project, was jointly designed by four Slovenian architectural firms: Bevk Perović Arhitekti, Dekleva Gregorič Arhitekti, OFIS Arhitekti, and Sadar + Vuga Arhitekti. The concept design for the building of KSEVT derives from the habitation wheel of the first geostationary space station described in Noordung's 1929 book titled “The Problem of Space Travel - The Rocket Motor“. It features a series of interlocking decentralized rings that lie on top of each other to create a continuous interconnected structure of spaces. It integrates offices for researchers in residence, a main exhibition space, round multipurpose hall, entrance foyer and series of small and differentiated spaces for local community associations. It also contains two sets of changing rooms with showers that work as fully equipped infrastructure for the adjacent sports field.
Since its inauguration two years ago, KSEVT has attracted over 25,000 visitors per year with its exhibition related activities, while Vitanje, a community of 600 inhabitants, has not fully taken advantage of either the recently built community centre nor the substantial turnover of people coming to their town. AAVS Slovenia is thus an ideal opportunity to revisit the building as it thoroughly encourages participants to experience its performance and to extensively learn about its ways of existence in the social and physical context of Vitanje. The complex relationship between KSEVT and the community of Vitanje serves as an important topic of investigation and improvement. The round multipurpose hall transforms itself into a 24/7 studio where we explore and exploit the building of KSEVT and its underused infrastructural and cultural potentials for possible manifestations of nanotourism. Could it perform as a local resource catalyst or as the reception of a ‘dispersed hotel’ in Vitanje? Or could it even be a hotel on its own?