RUBIK’S CUBE FOR YOUNG AND OLD
The former suburb Bežigrad in Ljubljana, characterized in the 1930s by smaller, single-unit villas and terraced houses, is currently seeing an increase in the construction of individual multi-unit villas and apartment blocks that are radically changing the idealized image of the garden city. This freestanding house by Point is a contemporary interpretation of these freestanding multi-unit villas.
Anna Roos The ability to adapt a house over time has at last been recognized as an important aspect of any brief for a domestic house. Lifelong employment is something of the past and people are increasingly working from home and spending the bulk of their time in their private spheres, blurring the lines of work life and private life. Thus, the architects of this detached house have incorporated a self-contained granny flat on the ground floor with its own open plan kitchen, living, dining spaces, study, and double bedroom, which can be rented out separately. On ground level is even the luxurious addition of a small indoor pool, to which both units have access. The integrity of the lower unit is maintained by the fact that one can close off this level with a door, either at the main entry lobby or, alternatively, further back in alignment with the rear wall of the garage. The upper level of the house has three bedrooms, an open plan kitchen dining area, and a study facing the road. A spacious outdoor terrace links this area to the living room on the garden side. Rather than face onto the garden, the main double bedroom faces southwards onto another, smaller outdoor terrace space with greenery.
The theme of sliding shutters continues on the lower, cutout areas.
Close, enclose, shifting shutters
Formally speaking, the house is an abstract, orthogonal volume. As with the other projects showcased in this issue, color plays a central role in the architectural expression of the building’s façades. In this instance, the color palette is rather muted: vertical bands of Swisspearl panels in tones of ochre, beige, yellow, and white encircle the entire building on all four façades. POINT took their cue for their color concept from the muted color tones they saw in the surrounding neighborhood. The upper and lower horizontal lines of the vertical windows demarcate two horizontal lines where the color of the panels shifts. Shutters, also made from Swisspearl panels, completely enclose the volume when they are in a closed position to create a uniform, homogenous whole. To break the integrity of the orthogonal box, the architects have cut away a long section on ground level adjoining the parking to create a sheltered entry space and, to the rear, along the entire width of the façade, to create a covered outdoor space that opens onto the garden. The surfaces of both cutaway areas are accentuated by a change of material and texture: here the wall and horizontal overhangs are clad in slender horizontal timber slats; another shade of brown to add to the mix of honey-brown shades on the other façades. The elongated cutaway voids in the lower section of the house are counterbalanced by the voids of two generous terraces on the upper level that can also be closed by means of sliding shutters. Since the eaves line remains intact along the building edge, the presence of the balconies remains hidden from an exterior perspective when the shutters are closed. Elongated horizontal panels on the eastern façade disrupt the pattern of vertical stripes and indicate the depth and height of the garage behind it.
The new residential house interprets and reflects today’s heterogeneously composed space and in a somewhat unusual way integrates into the context of the neighborhood.
Overall, the architects have managed to strike a careful balance in the architectural expression of the house, creating a lighthearted, playful appearance without the building looking frivolous. Their aim with the treatment of color was to keep the architecture discreet, blending the house into its environment whilst still creating a contemporary piece of architecture.
Bežigrad, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Point d.o.o., Ljubljana Šentvid
Inženiring Rupena, Ljubljana
Zaključna dela DEMMO Franc Helbl s.p., Laporje
Swisspearl, Carat Onyx 7092, Topaz 7072; Reflex Mystic Brown 9271
PDF project sheet
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