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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Villa Castle nearing completion

A green oasis in the city center beneath the old castle of Ljubljana, Villa Grad (Villa castle) is designed as a residential building consisting of basement, ground floor, 2 upper floors and terrace floor. It contains 10 apartments while the basement is reserved for 23 parking facilities.

A very important urban planning aspect was to maintain the rich green tissue of the surrounding hill and connect it with the newly designed green par terre.

The previous building hosted under its roof in 1924 was Černigojs School of Architecture (The painter Avgust Černigojs (1898 – 1985) attended the Bauhaus school in Weimar and became interested in Constructivism). This heritage catalyzed the idea of the “living cell”, inspired by the principles of Constructivism and their application on our post-post modern time.

Like the large and small salon in the school, the main space in the building is a huge and bright room usable as living room, bedroom, cabinet, containing movable walls or screens.

The new building is a combination of two basic elements: The Spine - a skeleton-like structure in the building and the Living Unit, containing the large salon and a minimum of peripheral parts (a homage to the Černigojs school). The bedrooms are designed as little salons oriented towards the hill connected with the big salon by a few stairs.

The stacking principle of the small and large salons results in a composition where the large salons, containing the living rooms, create the main street façade of the building. The exterior becomes a mirror of the inner structure.

The building spreads like a beehive allowing different variations. The façade is a result of a dynamic, vivid, dancing, rhythmically growing “living cell” on the skeleton structure.

The clearness of the structure is underlined by the use of transparent materials and moving parts. Vivid, basic colours, mainly red, combined with black and white create strong contrasts, anchoring the building to the complementary colour of the surrounding green hill.

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