Layer House is an urban cultural art centre in Kranj, Slovenia. Established in 2011 and named after the baroque painter Leopold Layer the House proudly carries on his name and work.
Layer House is a lively cultural centre managed by an NGO Zavod Carnica that organizes various art/music/film events runs a lovely coffee house.
Layer House – the house of artists – is a hub of cultural and social life in the capital of Gorenjska region. It is located in the town centre of Kranj, next to the Škrlovec tower and close to the Khislstein castle. The house and its surroundings have already brought a lot of dynamics into the Tomšič Street, which is slowly tuning into the cultural quarter of Kranj. Art, music, creativity, education and a pleasant café have a vibrant life here all year round. All these activities are combined into a distinctive whole by a unifying philosophy, a professional and creative approach to the content and its execution, in an honest wish for synergy and a cultural get-together, with a heartfelt dedication to work, an active commitment, a love towards the town of Kranj and a friendly attitude towards people.
The three-storey house is on its Eastern side surrounded by winding streets and ancient houses of the town centre and in the West. It has a large terrace and a garden next to the medieval town walls – part of which was the defence tower of Škrlovec, which now hosts an intimate concert hall and a pentagonal gallery. In the diverse premises of the Layer House, one can find a nice café with a bookshop, a souvenirs corner, a museum dedicated to the inventor of photography on glass, Janez Puhar, workshops and rooms for artistic activities, the Layer House gallery and the Mahlerca studio, as well as on outdoor exhibition space in the garden, called Forma Viva. The mansard attic features apartments for resident artists and tourists. The premises of the house and garden can be rented for gatherings, birthdays, parties and weddings.
The Layer House is hosting a broad and colourful spectrum of exhibitions and art projects, evenings dedicated to music and theatre, cultural and tourist initiatives, workshops and courses. One can only recommend a tea and a chat in the warm café in the wintertime and for the summer a glass of wine under the stars on the terrace, but let us invite you also to festivals and events that are organized here throughout the year: Pleska fine arts and music festival, Živa ulica street festival, Dvocikel concert cycle, Kamen, Škarje In Pa Pir creative festival, FilmMixer independent film festival, Sobotna Specialka urban intervention and several other events.
LEOPOLD LAYER was born on 20 November 1752 as one of eight children to Ana Marija Egartner from Carinthia and the painter Marko Layer from Kranj. Painting was a family tradition for generations and at that time their workshop was lead by his grandfather Josip and also Leopold's younger brothers, Valentin and Anton, worked there. After Leopold's death on 12 April 1828, the workshop was taken over by his adoptive son, Jožef Egartner, succeeded by his son, Jožef Junior. Leopold Layer was one of the most important Slovenian late Baroque painters and has created an exceptionally large opus. He was a skilful painter, especially fond of folk motifs, and in the 19th century almost every house in Kranj could boast having one of his paintings. His most famous work today is the merciful icon of Mary Help of Christians in the pilgrimage chapel of Brezje. In 1808, Leopold lost his father and a year later, Napoleon's army marched into this land and declared it a part of the Illyrian Provinces. Due to the general lack of financial resources in that time, the talented Layers started to apply the technique of pen drawing to copy Austrian paper banknotes in the value of 10 and 50 guldens. The brothers Valentin and Leopold, his wife and their maid were arrested on 28th June 1810. Valentin died in the town prison and their house and painter’s workshop burnt down during a severe fire in 1811, before Leopold was released in 1813. The house has been renovated and is now, more than 200 years later, again sparkling with ideas. Its walls, arches and arcades are alive with the spirit of history, combined with the creative energy of today.