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.
Air Traffic Control Center ATCC IN Ljubljana, Slovenia by SADAR + VUGA
September 26th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: SADAR + VUGA New Air Traffic Control Center at the Ljubljana airport, comprising air control center with 24/7 amenities and office premises, is a highly demanding and complex object due to the nature of the institution it hosts. It is designed to enable safety and high operational activity as well as consistent comfort for visitors and staff 24 hours a day all year around.
The building is located in the middle of the plot, at the north there is a parking platform and at the south high vegetation of the garden. Within, the object is organized by five levels of security zones with access control at each passage. The further one moves from the rim that holds administrative and rest areas towards the centre of the object, the greater the security level of the areas. The compact design serves to enhance the operational efficiency of the object, paths are short and manageable. The clear division into a pentagonal head (control center) and two wings (offices and public program) provides easy orientation within. They are connected by a central multi-leveled area with an entrance lobby, restaurant, conference room and gym. The vertical hall is a place for meeting, informal socializing and communication.
The Center appears as a monolithic shell, opening towards outside only when necessary. Building is wrapped in belts of glazing and combined aluminium parapets and brise-soleils that regulate the intensity of heat and light transmission to the interior. The angle and the size of the brise-soleil are determined by the layout of the windows and the intensity of solar radiation related to it. The height of the parapet is determined by the interior of individual areas and the related wish for greater or lesser openings for views. The windows are made of bronze reflective glass mirroring the mountains in the surrounding. The beige and bronze colour coding of the façade visually reflects the building’s character of security and protection. The roof is rising in terraces, thus continuing the play of blinds and parapets on the facade, providing daylight to the interior areas, especially to the control room in the pentagonal core of the object.
ATCC has been officialy opened in May 2013 and since then awarded many national and international awards. Andreas Ruby, Quote form the Golden jury report about the excellent realization of ATCC: “With their air traffic control centre building, Sadar+Vuga have achieved something incredible. They have managed to make a typology visible that normally does not register on the radar of our architectural culture. This structure wants you to look at it, and it looks at you: its meandering banded windows are crowned by obliquely cantilevering sunshade panels that read like eyelids. Inside, the porosity of the facade pays off in generously lit interiors, which yields another exotism – daylight in a control building.
The atrium is a carefully sculpted well of light that you would expect in a cultural institution or high standard office building, and stands emblematic as an architectural strategy to overwrite the usual misery of this typology with an abundance of tectonic care and sensual consideration. This investment in design is no boutique-fetish, but acknowledges the exceptional kind of work of those who work there. Now, from the inside, you also understand the rationale for the design of windows and sunshades. The size of the window strip corresponds to the hierarchical importance of the program behind it. Thanks to this “primitive parametricism” (Boštjan Vuga) the design of the building never slides off into arbitrariness and formalism, which you can better witness on site than from photographs. The building uses its form not as an end, but as a means to transform the conventions of its typology. It wants to restore cultural value and dignity to a type of building all too often treated as junk or inconsequential space. One could easily (mis)take it for a cultural or public building, but that’s exactly the effect the architects worked to generate with their design: to make us reconsider the role of such buildings for our cities and endow them with a greater mission and ambition.”