Marjan PIPENBAHER – Prize-winner for the year 2021 – Statement of Reasons by the Finance Newspaper

A bridge is always a path across the water or another obstacle and connects two points. But it can be more. A bridge can have the soul of the one who designed it. The bridge always connects people, but it also connects souls and can inspire them. The bridge is always functional, but it can also have a deep aesthetic content. A bridge is always rational, but it can also be an art.

Marjan Pipenbaher, a civil engineer and, as the saying goes, a sturdy Styrian, has always upgraded rationality and functionality with aesthetics and power in his works. His bridges, whether in Slovenia, its surroundings or somewhere far to the east or west, always fill you not only with a sense of efficiency, but also with humility and every time you cross them, or just look at them, with a fresh and deep sigh.

What would Slovenia be today without the impressive Črni Kal viaduct, Croatia will only be well aware of what the Pelješac bridge brings to it tomorrow. Sometimes it seems that waters and valleys exist only for Marjan Pipenbaher to build bridges over them.

Of course, it is primarily about precision and business intelligence. Nowadays, there can be no art in construction if it does not have its own business justification and mission. It has probably always been so, but too many times it seems that modern construction projects are intended only for functionality.

In his more than forty-year engineering career, Marjan Pipenbaher has proven, that as an entrepreneur and a reasonable businessman he is well what aware of what business is, as well as the importance of price and functionality, while still adding a deep cultural expression to his work.

Slovenian construction has been growing in recent years, but it is still here and there under the burden of former tycoon scandals and ubiquitous competition. Very often, builders, not only in our country, but also elsewhere in Europe, complain that the profession of civil engineer is no longer attractive. Marjan Pipenbaher also as an educator proves that construction can be infinitely attractive and brings boundless and wide satisfaction with what is created. The reputation of Slovenian construction took the otherwise modest engineer far into the world.

Many people, especially the younger ones, think that today Information technology and artificial intelligence are everything. But we cannot agree that algorithms could give bridges such a distinct mark.

Marjan Pipenbaher is unique, such builders are today anything but in abundance. He is an example for all of us and that is also why we are convinced that the Finance Award is in the right hands.