Rog factory is an industrial complex on the east edge of Ljubljana centre, which produced the famous Rog bicycles and was shut down in 1 991. Since then it has laid abandoned, empty, and in deterioration for 15 years. In 2006 the area was occupied by engaged students, artists and activists as a critical response to the post-socialist transition process (privatisation and de-industrialisation), and erosion of public and social spaces (individualisation and atomisation of society). The occupation pulled legitimacy from the need for places for non-formal artistic, cultural and political activity (autonomy, alternative culture, horizontal political organising).

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The statement posted on the FB page of the group of Second Home circulating around following events at Autonomous Factory Rog asks for a response. The following text is a statement from Rog´s users who were part of these events, who are more aware of the details and know the circumstances at Rog better.

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Slabo leto pred lokalnimi volitvami je svoj propagandni video za Center Rog, spremenjeni oz. prenovljeni projekt nekdanjega CSU Rog, ki naj bi v obstoječi načrt prenove vključil "več javnih vsebin" pripravila tudi Mestna občina Ljubljana. Seveda ob tem v svoji izčiščeni arhitekturno-urbanistični viziji konkretnih vsebinskih načrtov (razen javne knjižnice, razstavne hale, 3D RogLab in nekaj ducat ateljejev) ne omenjajo! So pa zato dokaj bolj jasno vidne bodoče pridobitve obveznih komercialnih vsebin v obliki umetniških trgovin, kavarn in restavracij ob Ljubljanici ter podzemne garaže na dvorišču.

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One year after the occupation - in 2007 - the municipality began planning the renovation of the area into a “Creative centre Rog”, putting the emphasis on redeveloping the surroundings in order to build an attractive area for international artists and tourists. With the help of an EU-led project devoted to revitalization of ex-industrial zones, they propose a public-private partnership to renovate the main factory building, the construction of a design hotel, up-standard apartments and commercial programs. The public-private ration is 20-80%. One of the proposals also suggests a relocation of 3 art academies to Rog, but their deans deny it, because of non-defined relations between academic and commercial programs and because they don’t want their students - who are active in the factory - to lose their studios/ateliers. The municipality could never find an investor because of global recession, so they down-scaled the project into an all- publicly financed “centre for architecture, design and visual arts” stressed on developing the creative industries economic sector and helping young designers into entering the labor market.

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Chronology of the factory spaces on Trubarjeva street.

  • 1871 - The land is bought by Ivan Janesh who builds a smaller groundfloor building for tanning hides.
  • 1879 - Janesh upgrades it into a one storey building that holds a tanning workshop.
  • 1884 - His sons build the second floor.
  • 1900 - The tannery is bought by Karel Pollak, who renovates and modernizes the workshop.
  • 1904 - Pollak surrounds the area with a wall and builds a residential villa.

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