Between the stone quarry and the ring road
In recent years, housing developments by the architects Matija Bevk and Vasa Perovic have attracted a good deal of attention and established their authors as convincing representatives of the younger generation in Slovenia. Here they once more present a large-scale, multi-storey apartment house characterised by its formal stringency and combination of building types.
Michael Hanak Pilon Housing occupies an unusual location on the site of an abandoned quarry next to the main ring road of Ljubljana. The remains of the quarry previously looked like a wound in the natural landscape. An old limekiln building made of stone stands in the corner of the site, protected as a cultural monument. The challenge for the architects was to place a large housing complex in sensitive surroundings, to preserve the quarry and to design the housing as a new landmark related to the adjacent highway.
The location was treated with respect. The rock wall was preserved, protected against crumbling and planted with greenery. 140 apartment units were structured into a complex of two separate buildings, and each building was divided into two slabs connected by a communication core. Each of the slabs in a pair is individually placed so as to follow the steep topology of the terrain and create different spaces in front of and behind the buildings. The access route leads over almost flat terrain to the gorge-like intermediate space between the two volumes where the entrances are located. The greenery-covered back yard is framed by the rock wall.
The façades are designed as an interplay of open and closed elements. Glazed balconies with yellow railings are placed adjacent to closed storage units clad with velvety black fiber cement panels. Storage space is thus both an element of the façade and a divider between the different apartments.
Bevk & Perovic
The block-like appearance of the two seven-storey volumes is structured by the clear design of the façade. Pale vertical stripes emphasise the ceiling slabs and are contrasted by the intermediate wall surfaces with dark, velvety façade panels. The hermetic block is perforated by regularly placed staggered sections for private exterior spaces for each apartment. The façades are designed as an interplay of open and closed elements.
The complex pays a kind of homage to the former quarry while at the same time functioning as an eye-catching landmark on the Ljubljana ring road.
Bevk & Perovic
The differences in the outward appearance are due to the organisation of the apartments. The internal structuring of the complex is based on the idea of condensation similar to that of the vertically condensed city with different types of apartment stacked one on top of the other. Small one-room flats incorporating glazed verandas with yellow railings occupy the five lower floors. Perforations on the lower halves of the fiber cement panels that clad the adjacent storage units give the façade a discreetly playful appearance. The sixth and seventh floors accommodate duplex apartments organised around a doublestorey open space, and the top floor is taken up by staggered luxury penthouse apartments. “The complex is,” as Bevk & Perovic comment, “in harmony with the silhouette of the hill and pays a kind of homage to the former quarry while at the same time functioning as an eye-catching landmark, a strong orientation point on the Ljubljana ring road.”
NICE TO KNOW
Pilon Housing, Slovenia
Pilonova ulica, Podutik, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Metrokras invest d.o.o., Ljubljana
Bevk & Perovic, Ljubljana; Matija Bevk, Vasa Perovic´, Davor Pocˇivasˇek
Miran Kambic, Radovljica
2007 – 2008
Gradbinec d.o.o., Kranj
Alkam d.o.o., Kamnik
Swisspearl custom color
PDF project sheet
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