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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

Garden City K66 in Ljubljana, Slovenia by OFIS Architects

June 9th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: OFIS Architects

Invited international competition – 2010_second prize

The project proposes two layered volumes embracing the rich mix of different programs and distributed in:

  • base of the volume as public programs and offices
  • top floors as apartments

The tower strip steps up and down according to the urban height limits and form terraces-gardens. Public Base volumes are separated and create open squares – dialog of external plaza with public programs and offices. Spaces are communicative, bright, fluid, and easily accessible and offer nice views and connections with surroundings: Strenia square, Park and roads.

Garden City K66

  • Architects: OFIS Architects
  • Project: Garden City K66
  • Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Leed: Dan Kazachki, AIA, LEED AP, CSI, CCCA, Texas, USA
  • Design team: Rok Oman, Špela Videčnik, Janez Martinčič, Janja Del Linz, Katja Aljaž, Andrej Gregorič, Kasia Bernatek, Cristian Gheorghe

Garden City K66

Areas :

  • Covered public plaza in ground floor: 7.400
  • Opened public plaza in ground floor: 7.600
  • Internal office garden: 1.000
  • Strenia square: 6.200
  • Gardens on different levels: 9.200

Garden City K66

Both volumes are divided into modules, 10x10m in floor-plan. This is most sufficient modular grid for all programs (housing, public, office, service, and garage) and in this grid structure, façade panels and installation shafts are organized. Therefore plans and volumes are flexible and adaptable so distribution of programs can change according to the demands of investor or changes in the market-needs.

Exterior View

The proposal is based on the required surfaces from the brief. Due to its modular grid program distribution is flexible also the brief can be interchangeable and adaptable. Grid and modules repeat in apartments, public areas, offices, so it is possible to change, switch programs or insert new according to the changes on the market or investors needs. Distribution of vertical cores allows different organizations of plans – combinations of offices/programs within one or more floors. On the proposed grid leasable or saleable configuration can be organized.

Bird's View

External plaza is space which connects all programs. This is light, fluid and airy space, partly covered and uncovered. It has opened views to park and the streets. It offers good accessibility to all the entrances of the complex and flows of people from the roads and the park. The plaza creates bright and communicative sheltered external space.

Garden City K66

The western part includes the tower which reaches up to 60 meters and has 18 floors.

Bird's View

Base of the building – public and business
The base of the building has four floors and is separated into 3 groups of program. Strenia square consists of 2 separate volumes with Gallery and Library. Floors have general height of 4.00 m net in ground-floor and 3.00 m in upper floors. Some spaces have double height of 6.50m net Plan and structure of both volumes is flexible so it allows also other programs such as offices, medical, shops or other services. Ground-floors are connected with external plaza and allow programs such as gallery shop or cafe in combination with reception, entry lobby and exhibition.

Garden City K66

Volume and shape of the building is archived with simple rules:
The volume that is given by the urban regulation (building with tower of 60m) is cut with the grid of 10x10m. Further on given program is distributed: public program in the base and housing on top. Base is further cut into 3 volumes:
Strenia square host Library and Gallery; the third volume content is office program with internal patio garden. Cut of the volumes allow perforated plaza that is airy, fluid and allows pedestrian flows. Top floors – the height of the tower gently slopes down in terraces and creates garden patches of 100m2 and offers extra quality space to residents with natural light, ventilation and green outer space.

Garden City K66

Library and gallery have internal connection with escalators or stairs. Accesses with elevators are separated for public and employees. Due to modularity it is easy to adapt the plan layout according to more detailed brief that will be elaborated in the future.

Garden City K66

Offices are gathered around internal park so all spaces get maximum of natural light and natural ventilation. There are accessible by four cores. The shape and distribution of cores allows flexible occupancy. One floor can be shared by different owners and organized into separate units. It can be also connected for larger companies – both horizontally within the same floor or vertically in different levels. Shape and layout of the building allows different organization of floor: ocean type shared offices, single separate offices for 1 or 2 persons, meeting and presentation rooms etc…

Over Bridge View

There are 6 vertical cores distributed according to the program accessibility and fire protection rules. Each core includes 4 elevators, two for residents and two for public programs. Fire escape stairs are shared by all programs. Accesses to stairs and elevators are controlled so it is strictly controlled that uninvited guests can not enter to residential area or to business area. All elevators are accessible from level 0 and from underground. In upper levels from each core 2 of the elevators are opened in residential area and 2 in business area. Elevator entrances can also adapt differently according to the needs or be controlled with controlled card access. Business and public entrances to elevators in level 0 are from reception halls/lobbies. Entrances to apartment’s elevators are separated through residential entrance.

Interior View

On top of the base there are 13 floors of apartments. Smaller apartment units are in lower 3 levels. Rooftop of this part is extending green roof that creates partly shared garden and partly private terraces. Shared garden is connected with wellness, fitness, spa and pool and creates external exercise area. Access to this park is limited for residences and fitness visitors only. 10 top floors are rising in terraces so larger apartments gain quality of house with a garden. Here different type and sizes of apartments can be organized. Since the overall plan is modular grid apartment units can divide and merge. Apartments are flexible and allow different arrangements. They all have external spaces (loggia, terrace or garden), large panoramic windows with external shading and stylish arrangement of spaces. Apartments have large living areas, large bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Interior View

Since volumes are stepping in terraces most apartments are in corner so they have windows and opened views to 2 or even 3 sides. They get maximum sun light, views and connection to its own garden. Apartments have quality of villas with private gardens with extra comfort; they are in the new city centre, they have direct access from the garage, direct access to wellness, services and shops positioned in the lower floors and since they are lifted – they gain spectacular views, sunlight and feeling of security. We propose top floor to host public program: restaurant, fitness/spa – but it can be also easily adapted into apartments and south).

Modular System

Sustainability – LEED “gold” certified
Basic principles of sustainability are generating volume of the building.

Apartments and terraces:
Terraces are creating apartments with maximum daylight, sunlight and cross natural ventilation. Each apartment has openings to 2 or 3 sides and external shading device, which gives most sufficient sun-protection and creates privacy. Large terraces with rich vegetation will create cool effect in summer. They will have removable textile roof shading for shadow and rain protection. Smaller apartment units in lower floors have loggias that create similar effect in smaller scale. Also these units have external shading.

Site Area

Offices and medical centre are generated around internal courtyard/park. That provides spaces that have natural light and natural cross ventilation and provide friendly and eco working environment. Plans are not deep. Distribution of vertical cores allows different arrangements of plans and flexibility.


External spaces:
Plaza on level +0 is well ventilated, opened, with natural light and allows pedestrian flows and good orientation. It is combined with green and water features which creates cool and friendly environment. Green roofs, gardens and terraces produce direct contact to external environment to all; residents, employees and visitors and create friendly and green quality.


Compact volume and program mix
Compact volume and program mix of living/working/service minimizes transport needs. Compact volume produces low energy consumptions and reduces energy waste. External shading and textile removable roofs above gardens produce maximum sun-protection.


Sufficient bruto/netto
Netto selling/renting surface in relation to the brutto respects rationality and high – luxurious level that building has to achieve. Minimum number of vertical cores is planed in relation to the rules of fire-escape and good comfort. Staircases are shared between different users but can be controlled with card.

We propose bicycle storages, changing rooms, garage spaces for electrical and Smart cars. We propose 2 parking per flat, no more for keeping better environment. Vegetation that needs no extra watering will be chosen. We propose rain water collecting and re-usage and elements such as low-water usage toilets and showers. We propose photo-voltaic panels on some roofs and surfaces.


Since the volume creates unique form the façade materials can be simple. Base of the building has glazed façade – this is combination of transparent glass with internal shading.  The glass is light colored with laminated metal mesh in between The facade raster is 1.00m and is modular for both – offices and apartments. The raster allows different organizations of walls behind the facade. Apartment’s façade have large panoramic sliding windows with external shading (silver alu perforated metal blinds). Textile removable roofs (tends) will cover the gardens.


Offices have double floor and suspended ceiling to achieve maximum flexibility of plan organization. Terraces have wooden floor, wood and natural stone is also planed in the apartments. Offices will have floor finishing in textile or wood.

Related posts:

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Categories: Cultural Center, Offices, Residential

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