Černigoj Milan, architect

Symbols: Urn and Pillar

Urn and pillar, female and male symbol, are the work of here buried architect, who played an important role in shaping of post-war Maribor. They symbolize the elements involved in the architectural design of public buildings, public areas and industrial buildings of the former giants of the Maribor industry, which architect designed.

Milan Černigoj, born in Tolmin and later a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture of Ljubljana, settled in Maribor in year 1936. His mentor and teacher, the famous architect Jože Plečnik was a sufficient reference for the twenty-four years old Milan, so he got a job in the architectural firm Dev.

His career was interrupted by World war II. In year 1944, he was arrested by Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp Flossenburg, where he stayed until the end of the war. Then he returns to destroyed Maribor and later played an important role in its postwar construction.

In the city exactly 466 buildings had been completely destroyed, and many more were seriously damaged. Such were the consequences of 55 air raids by the Allies, which dropped around 12,000 bombs on the city with important industrial and transport infrastructure. In first years of post-war reconstruction of the city, most of the working-age citizen participated and  directed by the team of designers of socialist Maribor, including two Černigoj brothers.

In the field of industrial building, Milan designed industrial halls for two important companies in the city, Metalna and TVT Boris Kidrič.

He also planned major city sports facilities and recreation areas. In the 50s he designed the new stadium SD Branik, the sports centre in Mladinska street, a sports park in Ljudski vrt and in Tabor. Černigoj is also designer of the former Leninov trg (today Trg generala Maistra), including running water. Here citizens for decades relieved their thirst in a stone fountain, designed by grand simplicity.

His most important and visible architectural work is the Railway Station Maribor, built on the site of the older, demolished in the war. Architectural complex, built in 1954, is an example of the late Slovenian functionalism. The station's dominant element is a tall clock tower near the main glazed hall. Černigoj was also important lecturer at the Higher Technical School.

According to his plans Hotel Slavija was built, once very popular place in Maribor. In the 60-is, there were some special guests including then president of Yugoslavia Josip Broz - Tito. This minimalist designed hotel, a combination of portrait and landscape stone block, has a similar symbolism as Urn and a Pillar on his grave. But the latter have the form of true doctrine of teacher Plečnik, and so values, which were at the peak of Černigoj’s career marked as reactionary.

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