Architects: dans arhitekti
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Project Team: Miha Desman, Katarina Pirkmajer Desman, Rok Bogataj, Eva Fiser Berlot, Vlatka Ljubanovic
Project year: 2004-2010
Photographs: Damjan Svarc
The site of the Hospic building is confined by the slope of the hill Golovec next to the traffic heavy Hradeckega road. The new building is situated at the edge of the pitch and leans against the hill slope with its terraced retaining wall and terraces. Layout of the building is almost square with a central core. A staircase connecting common areas in all floors spirals around the central core. The ground floor is reserved for management and training, and there are rooms on the first and second floor. The rooms and bathrooms are fitted according to the standards for the disabled.
The path of the stairs surrounds the core and opens different perspective with different daylight on each of the landings. The elevator and service rooms are located in the centre – core – of the building, while the more important spaces such as the rooms for residents are arranged around the perimeter. The rooms all have large, whole-length picture windows. To ensure the feeling of security and intimacy the whole-length windows have glass fences imprinted with a traditional ornament – motif borrowed from Plecnik’s ex – libris. By referencing Plecnik, especially his design of the National Library, the building communicates its stability and safety. We wanted the building to have a strong identity and to be recognizable. Its shape and materials are reminiscent of a traditional rural wood stove.
The design of the facade is inspired by the chessboard pattern with light- and dark-coloured ceramic squares and evenly distributed window openings. The railing, together with the ground-floor entrance canopy, adheres to the street line. On the side of the building, there is a yard with parking spaces and the path to the park.We wanted the architecture to convey the feeling of being safe at home, so we used familiar materials, warm colors and understandable forms.
The architectural design develops categories with positive psychological effects and those of the ambient. As a home for persons in their final stage of life, Hospic bears witness to the more serious aspects of life, failing health and the departure most of the time. This is why the possibility of identifying with one’s environment is so crucial along with the feeling of security. For an ambient to feel comforting, the acoustic dimension is very important, together with tactility, calmness, colour, and lighting. Sterility as well as excessive silence and excessive noise are to be avoided. The house is intended to offer an ambience and serve as the backdrop to life and to being connected with the surroundings and the nature.