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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.

Mothers home in Ljubljana, Slovenia by Jereb in Budja arhitekti d.o.o.

March 1st, 2017 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Jereb in Budja arhitekti d.o.o.

Mothers home is a safe haven. A stepping stone for mothers with difficulies. A chanse of respite for their children. And a sense of home for their small fragile families.

Architecture follows these statements and is trynig to give form to inteweaving dualities of this social programme.

Image Courtesy © Blaž Budja

  • Architects: Jereb in Budja arhitekti d.o.o.
  • Project: Mothers home
  • Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Photography: Blaž Budja
  • Client: Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs
  • Structural engineering: Andrej Blatnik u.d.i.g./Plata d.o.o.
  • HVAC: Marko Mervič d.i.s./Marko Mervič s.p.
  • Electrical engineering: Primož Poje u.d.i.e., Tomaž Vrčon eč. teh./Avelis d.o.o.
  • Traffic regulations and landscaping: Gašper Janežič v.o.k./Aspekt plus d.o.o.
  • Signage: Žiga Culiberg u.d.o.
  • Construction supervision: Vinko Kralj d.i.g./Vinko Kralj s.p.
  • Contractors: Adaptacije vzdrževanje d.o.o., Atlas oprema d.o.o.
  • Area: 817 m2
  • Timeline: Project – 2011/12, completed – 2016
  • Opening: 7.11.2016
  • Awards:
    • Nomination for Piranesi Award 2016
    • Work nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2017

Image Courtesy © Blaž Budja


Mothers home is part of social programme of Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of Slovenia and partially co-founded by Municipality of Ljubljana. Its goal is to lend a helping hand to mothers with young children in social difficulties.

Image Courtesy © Blaž Budja

Image Courtesy © Blaž Budja

The content is divided between institutional and technical part of the programme on one side and communal and private areas for residents on the other side. Design of the house is based on a co-living concept, where private and social slide closer and thus offer a new learning experience in social skills and personal growth with the emphasis on forming new relations while still maintaining a sense of privacy and shelter.

Image Courtesy © Blaž Budja

Image Courtesy © Blaž Budja


The site is situated in suburban area of Ljubljana, caught between Žale, Ljubljana’s central cemetery, Ljubljana bypass and Ljubljana’s biggest commercial area.

The spontanous growth of othervise planned suburban area, framed by more short-therm commercial developement and contrasted by constancy and tranquility of cemetary and nearby park acts as a decicive role in design of the building.

Materials and form follow the directive of clearly stating the uniqness of the programme while still trying to be incorporated in the subburban tissue.

Image Courtesy © Blaž Budja

Concept – context and strategy

Context is formed mainly on the programme and its location. It revolves aroud dualities that present themselves:

  • protecting and connecting,
  • respite and activity,
  • institution and home,
  • society and family
  • communal and private,
  • before and after.

Image Courtesy © Blaž Budja

Architecture follows these dualities and uses material, form and structure to tell and protect the stories that live inside.

First set of challenges is in the relation of institutional setup of rules for the programme in contrast to everyday needs of mothers, kids and employees using the building. It is adressed with a co-living concept of the Home. Large communal areas in groundfloor offer flexibility and a sense of comunity. Mote withdrawn areas on the higher floors ofer more or complete privacy. The administrative part acts as a protective area between the public coutryard and private garden. Clients usual demands of robust, economical construction were almost in direct contrast to users needs of homley and sustainable feel of spaces.

Image Courtesy © Blaž Budja

Second set of challenges was in decomposition of suburban fabric with relations between large scale commercial developement and small scale residential short term reality contrasted with strong symolic statement of eternity in nearby cemetery and comanding views of the Alps.

The resulting architecture is defined with delicate interaction of two volumes that differ in materials and with subtle differences generate simmilar but emmotionaly quite different ambients.

Image Courtesy © Blaž Budja

Construction – Materials and Structure

The materials used in construction are  based on the client’s decision on minimal maintenance, relative stability of the program with its specifics and strict fire regulations.

But based on specifics of intended use we limited our use on natural materials.

Image Courtesy © Jereb in Budja arhitekti d.o.o.

Wood is used in most instances (wooden railings, wooden roof construction, flooring, ceiling, doors, windows and most of the furniture). Areas with more frequent use have more robust materials (aluminum roof, teracco flooring, concrete kitchen counters, stainless steel railings, steel clad walls as bulletin boards…).

The construction is mainly in concrete (bearing walls and floors) and partly wooden (roof construction).

Image Courtesy © Jereb in Budja arhitekti d.o.o.

The double ventilated facade embraces the house from two sides, with two materials. Strong but delicately formed concrete on the northern and street side and double glass facade on southern and park side.

Finishes are based on natural states of materials – wood is oiled, the concrete is sanded or polished.

Image Courtesy © Jereb in Budja arhitekti d.o.o.

Heating and ventilation are based on energy efficiency. Floor heating and sanitary water is treated with heat pump, supported in colder months with natural gas heater.

Ventilation is minimal and treated with recuperation.

With use of materials we have achieved a detailed character of architecture but still adapted the design to low cost demands of the client.

Image Courtesy © Jereb in Budja arhitekti d.o.o.

Image Courtesy © Jereb in Budja arhitekti d.o.o.

Image Courtesy © Jereb in Budja arhitekti d.o.o.

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Categories: Facade, Living Area, Residential, Social Centre, Social welfare

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