Floating urban structure
This building in Velenje is a spacious bus station at ground level and offices and a parking garage on the upper floors. The superstructure is notable for its extensive white Swisspearl panelling that serves to unify the different sections. The irregular pattern of perforations creates a distinctive day and night contrast.
Michael Hanak Built by architects Mojca Guzˇicˇ and Gregor Trplan, this transportation building in the Slovenian town of Velenje is marked by a strong contrast between the bus station at street level and the administration and parking facilities on the upper floors. The ground floor is designed as an open public area of approximately 5.5 metres in height that provides ample space for the manoeuvring and parking of coaches. It includes the plateau with its eight platforms and various service facilities as well as a two-storey space for traffic offices under the business section in the northeast corner. The yellow-green colour of the major elements, such as the ceiling, pillars, and staircases, enhances the public character of the bus station and creates a distinct visual contrast to the superstructure.
The architectural and urban design idea for the Velenje Bus Station features an abstract floating object above an open ground floor.
Guzˇicˇ Trplan Arhitekti
The bus station is located on Sˇ alesˇka cesta, one of the main access roads into the town centre and currently its southern border. The largely undeveloped area south of Sˇalesˇka cesta is scheduled for a number of public buildings which have yet to be built. Anticipating the future development of the area, the new building is designed as a decidedly urban rather than a solitary structure. Floating above ground level, the superstructure of the building appears as an abstract object marked by two functionally separate and hierarchically distinguished sections. While the parking garage facing the street is basically an enclosed white box, the business section has a prominent location at the town’s main traffic junction. Angled towards the roundabout and towering over the parking garage by approximately 3 metres, it defines its immediate urban surroundings and constitutes a landmark for the entire area.
In many respects, the superstructure of the Guzˇicˇ and Trplan bus station is reminiscent of their Hotel Sˇpik extension in Kranjska Gora. Despite the heterogeneous use, the architects aimed for a unified appearance of the entire building through the application of Swisspearl large size panels. Echoing the rear façade used in Kranjska Gora, the office windows are assembled in a recessed layer that is framed by the surrounding white panelling. Perforated Swisspearl panels are used for the vertical sun blinds, once again recalling Hotel Sˇpik where perforated wooden panels are used in a similar manner for the balcony partitions.
On the parking garage façade, an irregular pattern of perforations provides two distinctly different facets by day and by night. During the day, the circular holes serve to illuminate the interior while hiding the construction and parked cars from view. Contrasting with the white colour of the façade, their pattern, resembling the holes in a binary punch card, can be seen quite clearly. Conversely, after dark the perforations have a markedly different effect. Lit from the interior, they create a colour display on the façade akin to that of information boards and traffic signals, symbolically indicating the purpose of the new structure.
NICE TO KNOW
Sˇalesˇkaa cesta, Velenje, Slovenia
Toming – Consulting d. o. o., Velenje and Izletnik, Celje d. d., Celje
Miran Kambic, Radovljica, Slovenia
2008 – 2009
Vegrad d. d., Velenje
Swisspearl Custom color Onyx 7236
PDF project sheet
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