The project is a winning entry for two housing blocks in a competition convoked by the Slovenia Housing Fund, a government-run program that is providing low-cost apartments for young families.
The proposal won for economic, rational and functional issues but mostly for the ratio between gross vs. saleable surface area and the flexibility of the plans. When signing the contract we were obliged to prepare construction documentation for the building cost 600€ per m2 of net surface area.
The blocks are set out on a hill with a view of Izola Bay on one side and of the surrounding hills on the other. The given urban plot was 2blocks of 60×28 meters.
The brief required 30 apartments of different sizes and structures, varying from studio flats to 3-bedroom apartments. The apartments are small, with minimum-sized rooms according to Slovenian standards. There are no structural elements inside the apartments, thus providing flexibility and the possibility of reorganising things.
The blocks are set out on a hill with a view of Izola Bay on one side and of the surrounding hills on the other. Since the blocks are subject to a Mediterranean climate outdoor space and shade are important elements.
The project proposed a veranda for each apartment, thus providing an outdoor space that is intimate, partly connected with the interior, shady and naturally ventilated.
A textile shade protects the balcony and apartment from prying eyes, yet due to its semi-transparency allows the owner to enjoy the views of the bay. Perforated side-panels allow summer breeze to ventilate the space. The strong colours create different atmospheres within the apartments. Boxes at the side of each balcony provide room for air-conditioning units.
The small rooms become visually bigger because the textile shade creates a perspective effect that connects part of the exterior with the interior.
Sustainability issues: Balcony modules are designed as efficient system providing shading and ventilation for the apartments. Textile elements fixed on the front of the balconies block direct sunlight and accumulate “air buffer” zone. In the summer hot accumulated area behind the shadings is naturally ventilated through (10 cm holes) perforated side partitions of the balconies. In the winter the warm air stays in the area and provides additional heating to the apartments.
Awards : Nomination Mies van der Rohe 2006
National competition 2003 / first prize
Architect: OFIS arhitekti
Location: Livade, Izola, Slovenia
Design team: Rok Oman, Špela Videčnik with Martina Lipicer, Nejc Batistič, Neža Oman, Florian Frey, Marisa Baptista
Design year: 2003
Construction years: 2004-2006
Structural engineering: Valide d. o. o.
Mechanical engineering: Oves d. o. o.
Electrical engineering: Winky d. o. o
Construction company: Makro 5 gradnje, d. o. o and Kraški zidar d. d.
Client: Slovenian Housing Fund and Community of Izola
Surface area: 2,294 m2/block
Construction area: 5,452 m2
Cost: 1.54M €/block
Photographs: Tomaž Gregorič.