EXPOSING
EAST AND CENTRAL
EUROPEAN

ARCHITECTURE

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Design Team: Rok Oman, Spela Videcnik, Martina Lipicer, Nejc Batistic, Neza Oman, Marisa Baptista, Karla Murovec, Neli Ouzounova, Florian Frey
Project year: 2003
Construction years: 2004-2006
Structural engineering: Elea IC d.o.o.
Mechanical & structural engineering: Biro ES d.o.o.
Construction company: Gradis G Group d.d.
Client: Gradis G Group d.d.
Surface area: 47,400 sq m (housing); 42,000 sq m (underground parking); 400 sq m (commercial areas)
Cost: 52M €
Site area: 15.000 sq m
Summary: Floors – 2 under ground levels (parking), 3 floors (apartments), 2 floors (duplex-penthouses), main structure – concrete wall structure, external finish – wooden precast panels and plaster
Photographs: Tomaz Gregoric

This project won an invitational competition to develop four apartment blocks from 125 to 140 meters in length. The client chose the proposal for economic reasons: the proposed design managed to provide more saleable surface on the predefined urban set-up and a lower floor space index than all the other proposals. The scheduled time for preparing plans and for resolving the building work was very tight: 650 apartments in less than eighteen months, which meant more than one apartment a day. The budget was also extremely limited: the aim was to build low-cost apartments and to bring the final production cost in at around 500 €/m2. To make planning and construction simple and to allow for the use of prefabricated elements such as bathrooms, windows and facade panels the buildings were designed in modular form. Each building is divided into four identical modules, each with its own vertical communications core. There are 42 apartments in each module, varying from small 30 m2 studios to 1.5-bedroom 60 m2 apartments on four identical floors, and larger duplex apartments from 85 to 105 m2 on
The top two floors. The module is repeated four times with slight variations at the far ends of the building. The facade is designed in two layers, the inner facade and outdoor space being formed by items such as glazed loggias, balconies, terraces and verandas. The second skin is constructed with pre-formed wooden panels, glass and metal rails. The structure of the apartments is such that each apartment gets at least one balcony and loggia that connects the outdoor and indoor space. Like the modules, the facade layers are also repeated four times, but given the different geometry of the elements the repetition passes virtually unnoticed. There are two parking levels beneath the site. The landscape provides a contrast to the geometrical facade through the use of gently curving rails and other features. It breaks up the sightlines through the complex and creates a difference between the public and private space.

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