Social housing, Ljubljana
Shadow of elegant steel
ŠENTVID / LJUBLJANA (SI) - Nearly six years ago, dans arhitekti won a competition for the design of a small block of social housing in Slovenia. When funding for the project was finally settled in 2011, construction could begin. Late last year, the complex of 22 small residences was completed. With its elegant steel enclosure the project still appears quite similar to the original design, and has been made very energy efficient, for instance, through its use of passive energy.
The new building is located in the rural district of Šentvid, which forms the north-western part of the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. The site is located precisely at the intersection of the highway and the railway towards Italy and Austria, directly opposite a marshalling yard and the local train station. Because the highway goes underground here and the marshalling yard is very wide, the location is much quieter than one would initially expect.
The length of the block is aligned with a large car park, perpendicular to the Pipanova road. The ground under the building is slightly excavated, allowing for a semi-underground entrance level. Located here are the common entrance lobby, staircase, two living units and individual storage spaces. On the first and second floor are two times ten apartments, ranging from fourteen or seventeen square metres, for one or two persons, to 29 m2 for a family with two children.
The most striking part of the project is the white, forged steel fencing which encloses the balconies. When the sun shines, a graceful pattern of curls is projected onto the east or west facade. Slovenia has a long tradition of metalworking, which can be seen in the nearby village of Kropa. With this project, dans arhitekti demonstrates that it is indeed possible to resume this old tradition, and consequently, at the same time to design a contemporary, ornamented (and also energy-efficient) building.
Thursday | 14 February | 2013 | Slovenia | Emiel Lamers