SEŽANA (SI) - The Safir casino and hotel occupies a rather unusual location near the Slovenian-Italian border, an enigmatic object in no-man's-land. Once the property of customs and the military, the site is now surrounded by motorways, regional roads, filling stations and untamed nature. Krajcar arhitekti conquered the asphalt by bringing nature inside the building. They simultaneously succeeded in designing a peaceful hotel and an attractive casino while avoiding the kitschiness associated with this typology.
The ground floor is designed as a wide base for the hotel slab. Its green roof blocks the hotel patrons' view of the asphalt while also shielding them from motorway noise. The roof gradually morphs into an awning for the open terrace on the south side of the complex where it is protected from prevailing winds. The casino box is a counterweight on the other side of the base.
At night the complex presents an entirely different picture. While the hotel modestly fades into the background, the casino takes centre stage. Its simple cubic volume is wrapped in a multimedia facade made up of a multitude of triangular prisms. The resulting abstract geometrical texture reflects sunlight during the day, but at night it metamorphoses into a vivid and colourful field of light. The facade is lit by a LED light system controlled by a custom-made computer program. It works as a screen that can even project simple images and texts. The LED lights are integrated into every single facade element resulting in a total of 116,000 LEDs over the 700 m2 surface. The vertical slats on the upper part of the hotel present a clear contrast to the casino facade. By day they act as dividers between the rooms and by night they demarcate the hotel with slow changes in light. While the kaleidoscopic casino illumination speaks of illusion and dreams, the vertical illumination of the hotel reminds us of bar codes and reality. (Maja Vardjan)
Colour, Facade, Light |