Municipality of Ajdovščina turned old military premise in 2011 into youth centre and hostel. The initiative came from a group of young people.
Description of the original use
The premises were built in 1960 by the military of the Republic of Yugoslavia and were used as a warehouses and accommodating facilities for the army. The premises were owned and used by military till 1991 when the Republic of Yugoslavia disintegrated and the military complex fell in the possession to the Municipality. After that the premises were abandoned and disused, but were soon rented out to smaller companies. The initiative to renovate one of the premise came in 2008 from a group of young people. The youth centre was opened in 2011.
Description of conditions for change of use
The Municipality of Ajdovščina is the economic and cultural centre of the Vipava Valley, which lies in the west of Slovenia, near the Slovene-Italian national border. The municipality is divided into 26 local communities and comprises 45 villages.
When Slovenia became a part of Republic of Yugoslavia, Ajdovscina, being close to Italian border, became also a military city. The military built a lot of new premises, a few of these were premises in Pale. The original buildings were actually built in 1960 and were used as a warehouse and accommodating facilities for the soldiers.
After 1991 when the Republic of Yugoslavia disintegrated, the military complex fell in the possession to the Municipality. The premises were abandoned and disused for a while, but were soon rented out to smaller companies.
The initiative for renovation came from young people. In 2008 the Municipality of Ajdovščina submitted a project proposal for national cofinancing. The project referred only to one part of the old military complex, the northern barracks, where it envisaged a youth centre and hotel. The project proposal was successful and the construction works were soon launched. The Youth Centre and Hotel was finished and opened in 2011. The entire project cost 1,21 million EUR. 800.000 EUR was EU (57%) and nationally cofinanced (10% via Ministry of Education and Sport), whereas 410.000 EUR contributed the Municipality (33%).
The process of renovation began with design concept which focused on content and functionality in a sense of what object does the municipality need for young people. After this step, a tender for the construction followed which resulted in decision to completely demolish existing premise to its foundation and completely rebuilt a new building. The rebuilding was finished in 2011 on a turn-key basis.
Description of the current use
The owner of the Youth Centre and Hotel is Municipality of Ajdovščina, but the manager and operator is Ajdovščina Sports Institute. The building is being used by its manager, a number of youth organizations and a touristic information centre. Premises also offer a variety of additional services and activities such as a temporary gallery, DŽOB (coworking offices), conference room and a bar with a small stage.
Youth centre and hostel has a rich programme for all age groups, not only for youngsters. Programme is organised mostly by Sports Institute, but also by other youth organisations which reside in the building. Events that take place are musical events, cultural and culinary events, various workshops, stand-up comedies, exhibitions, travelogue lectures and various activities in a sport park, etc.
Municipality of Ajdovščina still partially funds activities in Youth centre through financing Sports Institute.
The Municipality discovered that demolishing is sometimes a better choice than renovation due to financial costs and time spent. The construction of the new building was more expensive than expected and planned in the beginning.
Investing in young people by providing them a place to work is on long term very lucrative, because young people have a lot of imagination and are very energetic, so they can provide a great programme for all age groups.
Prepare good calculations of the sustainability of the project before you begin implementing it, especially sustainability of programme, financial issues, etc.
The whole facility together with touristic information centre is maybe a bit too far away from town centre. And there is a lack of gastronomical offer in a close proximity.
In order to attract more tourists the hostel should be more publicized and promoted abroad and have a more attractive and efficient web site.
|Where||Pale Sport Park, Ajdovščina, Slovenia|
|What||Youth centre and hostel, a number of youth and other organizations and a touristic information centre, temporary gallery, DŽOB (coworking offices), conference rooms and a bar.|
|Timeline of current use||From the year 2011|
|Previous uses||Disused military premises|
|Where is it, address||IV. Prekomorske Street 61 A, 5270 Ajdovščina|
|Size||1673,90 m2 in two floors|