Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Lace Apartments in Nova Gorica, Slovenia by Ofis Arhitekti
May 1st, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
The location of the apartment block is in the centre of Nova Gorica (population 32.000) – Nova Gorica is situated in the west of Slovenia, adjacent to the Slovene – Italian border. It lies 92 meters above sea level and has very specific climate conditions – it is renowned as the hottest town in Slovenia during summer and also has very strong winds in winter. With its climate, vegetation and way of living the city has a definite Mediterranean character, where external shaded space has high importance.
Types of Apartments:
Therefore, the clients demand was to design rich external spaces of varying characters. Having studied the different types of external spaces on the existing houses in the area the following types were proposed: balcony and terraces – both opened and covered with roof or pergola, loggias that are closed from the side and fully or partly glazed and fences of different characters – transparent with glass or metal, full and of different heights.
Many balconies have integrated cupboards for storing external furniture. By using all of these traditional elements the apartments gain different characters that are more exposed or intimate and that offer opened or partialy enclosed views. Using these elements the building reinstates three-dimensional lace which embraces its volume. The fixed urban plot of the building had to be an orthogonal block 48 x 16m x 5 floors.
The clients brief was also clear that apartment sizes and typologies were to be simple and repeated. Over this simple structure the second skin of terraces provides each apartment with a different character and a possibility for the buyer to choose the one that responds to his lifestyle. The facade colour patterns are taken from typical colour elements of the area (typical Gorica valley soil, wine and brick roof-tops) …nevertheless the locals began to call it «pyjamas» (for its similarity to a pyjama pattern). As well as the 5 floors two underground garages were built.
In the ground floor, offices and shops/services are located. The combination of façade elements such as, projecting roofs, pergolas, apartment dividing walls, terraces and balconies with loggias function as a constant temperature buffer zone to the main living and sleeping areas and protect against sudden weather changes and strong winds. Additional aluminum shading panels are placed on the outer sides of the winter loggias and balconies. The service and communication spaces are reduced to minimum thus the daylight is provided on the shafts. The basic monthley energy and service costs are very low. Therefore it is economic for the inhabitants.
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