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.
Brick Neighbourhood in Ljubljana, Slovenia by dekleva gregoric arhitekti
March 18th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: dekleva gregoric arhitekti
How to establish a clear spatial, material and social identity of the neighbourhood? This question was the basic principle when developing the design of objects and their surroundings in terms of deeper connection of future residents with their living environment.
The concept of the 3D erosion is resulting from the critique of the existing master plan with generic volumes in terms of size and height and their arbitrary position. This concept of sub-structuring of the volume is further reflected in the material expression: the initial envelope is defined with the brick layer and the cut-outs with balconies in render.
The selection of bricks as a preliminary material derived from the memory of the brickyard which used to be on-site. Furthermore the bricks provide an opportunity as means of expression for additional micro-structuring of the facade surface. The material manipulation allows for a unique identity thus significant for the future community.
A clear systematic approach to the organisation of 185 dwellings was developed to allow for an array of 17 diverse flat types differentiated in terms of size and internal arrangement in order to address different needs of future residents. The position of the structure, installation and internal organisation of the flats with the backbone service stripe enables the internal flexibility – the diverse set of room distribution either as one large unified space or a set of smaller rooms. The system allows joining of smaller flats or separating of larger units, before, during and after the construction.
Communications are naturally illuminated from two sides, in this way a corridor becomes a place of meeting. Social interaction is upgraded by placing a shared common space above each building’s entrance. They provide the possibility for birthday parties, indoor playgrounds for wintery months, gym or any other activity.
On communal spaces’ glazing there are poems of Slovenian poets written. Each communal space, each residential community is literary enriched by the chosen poet. This contextual and semantic upgrade of the architecture allows the resident extra identification with his living environment and at the same time enriches cultural awareness of inhabitants. »We are living at Tone Pavček, next door entrance to Prešeren.«
dekleva gregorič architects
dekleva gregorič architects was set up by Aljoša Dekleva (b.1972) and Tina Gregorič (b.1974) in 2003 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. They have both graduated at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and continued studying at the Architectural Association (AA) in London, where they received Master degree in Architecture with Distinction in 2002. They are co-authors of the book on mass-customisation and responsive environments in collective housing titled Negotiate my boundary! that received intense professional attention and was published by AA Publications, 2002, London and re-issued by Birkhauser, Basel, 2006. In 2014 they initiated and led the research on nanotourism that was recently presented and awarded at the BIO50 (24th Biennial of Design).
The work of dekleva gregorič architects first received international attention with XXS house in Ljubljana and was awarded Silver Plate, European Architecture Award Luigi Cosenza in 2004 and WALLPAPER* award, Best breakthrough designers in 2005. In 2009 Metal recycling plant ODPAD was nominated and shortlisted for Mies van den Rohe Award 2009, was awarded International Architecture Awards 2009 and Plečnik’s Medal prize in Slovenia among others. In 2009 they have also won international award 40 under 40 award from the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. In 2012 the Clifftop house on Maui received the 2nd place in AIT award in Luxury Living category and International Architecture Awards 2012. Last year the office was selected in a Highly Commended group of practices for 21 for 21 WAN AWARDS 2012 – searching for “the 21 architects for the 21st century. The initiative aims to highlight 21 architects who could be the leading lights of architecture in the 21st century; outstanding, forward-thinking people and organisations who have the demonstrable potential to be the next big thing in the architectural world.” Two of their projects Housing Perovo and KSEVT (Cultural Centre of EU Space Technologies) were nominated for Mies van den Rohe Award 2013. Recently, their last finalized project Compact Karst House has been also nominated for Mies van den Rohe Award 2015.
Tina is professor and chair of the Department of Building Research and Design at the Institute of Architecture at Vienna University of Technology, Austria and was previously teaching at Graz University of Technology. Aljoša is director of Architectural Association Visiting School (AAVS) Slovenia and was guest professor at École d’architecture de l’Université de Montréal, Canada. In 2014 Aljoša and Tina mentored international design research professionals as well as international students of AAVS Slovenia on the topic of nanotourism, which received the Best Collaboration Award at BIO 50 (24th Biennial of Design, Ljubljana, Slovenia), for being an outstanding example of design ingenuity being used to reinvent and reinvigorate an important area of the Slovenian and other economies. They have been visiting lecturers and critics at Architectural Association London, Technical University Graz Austria, University of Ljubljana, IUAV Venice, Akademie der Kunste Berlin, University of Napoli Italy, DWM Mexico and many others.
dekleva gregorič architects understand design as research on several modes (spatial, social, material, historical…) and response to specific constrains and conditions. They are aiming to challenge the obvious. There is no style but rather a systematic design approach as organizational technique to intense structuring of space and challenging the use of materials with exposing their primary natures. They are concerned with the user and therefore aiming to stimulate new social interactions among users, users’ participation in the design process and customization to users’ needs. Their work spans different scales and programs as well as diverse climates and localities. The understanding of each is crucial for any subtle response within the codes of each context.
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