Villa Beli Kriz / SADAR + VUGA

Architects: Sadar Vuga Architects
Location: Portorož,
Project Team: Jurij Sadar, Boštjan Vuga, Anamarija Volk, Corina Trunz, Goran Golubič
Structural Engineer: Elea IC
Landscape: GLG projektiranje
Client: Lesnina Inženiring, d.d.
Project year: 2009
Site Area: 626 sqm
Constructed Area: 398 sqm
Photographs: Marco Covi

Villa Beli križ stands on the incline of the hill above Portorož. The matrix volume of the villa consists of four two-storey apartments of equal size with an associated outer garden space, terrace on the shadow side and terrace with a pool on the sunny side. Within the villa, apartments are arranged in such a fashion that the large glazed surfaces opening the apartments to the outside offer a colorful variety of views of the sea and of the horizon. At the same time, this arrangement provides for the desired privacy and intimacy between the villa’s residents. In this way, from his apartment on the upper floor, a resident will always have a view of and access to his part of the garden on the lower floor.

4 apartments diagram

Consequentially, this exhibits in the ambient diversity of the apartments’ interiors. Opening of each internal space towards the sea and alternating twin hooded roofs lead towards the “winged” form of the building’s sides. Pairs of apartments are mirrored across the central axis. In conjunction with the villa’s setting on the garden-covered podium of the garage, this serves to emphasize the presence of the villa in the context. Alternating perceptual cinematic opening and closing of the villa’s volume at our passing-by makes advantageous use of the positioning of the villa on the street bend. The white grid of the structure cladding creates a distinguishable element in the near surroundings, as well as a dialog with the white grid balconies of the Porotorož hotels downhill by the sea.

Cite: "Villa Beli Kriz / SADAR + VUGA" 27 Mar 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 01 Aug 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=16738>

5 comments

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    There are some things that I find extremely intriguing about this project. First, it must not have been terribly easy to do in a holiday community like Porotorož, especially in a speculative context where the client seems to be an engineering and construction firm.

    The design itself is most successful in its advantageous use of what appears to be a rather difficult triangular site along the bend of a road. The need to maximize the exposure of each apartment to the selling point of the project, the view of the sea, has informed the torqued shape that I happen to find extremely sculptural.

    The sculptural quality is perhaps the most intriguing thing. There seems to be a clear division between the floor or road level that is expressed in a natural material and blends into the curve. Then there is a rather heroic pedestal that sits on top of that. The pedestal is neutral in color but emphasizes the formal language of the “piece” it supports. On top the building itself takes rationalism and splits it apart into cubism without ever letting its functional motive drop out of sight.

    Conceptually, I have to say that I believe that is an extremely original and artistic approach.

    Within the result there is something to do with the relationship of Slovenia and Italy. In some ways this could have been a building from the 1960′s and fits into a continuum that includes what I always thought of as La Dolce Vita modernism as it is exuberantly expressed (too often over-expressed) in places along the Italian and French seaside. Slovenia is having that moment nearly fifty years later than western Europe and I find the picking up of this kind of architecture really interesting. If this project where built, for example, in Cassis or Porto Venere one would be tempted to label it retro.

    The interiors don’t seem quite up to the promise of the exteriors but I lay that off to the holiday cottage phenomenon and the fact that this is a speculative project.

    Last thing that I want to say is that I like the way this building is made. I really find myself resisting the trend to make uselessly-sculptural polygonal architecture with computers. It strikes me that there are a lot of kids sitting around studios who don’t really understand what a site is or why architecture really is. Therefore, the approach to making this that clearly uses a computer as a tool and not an inspiration. The plastic quality of the model itself is appealing.

    Even though this is not a 100% successful project in my opinion it has a good bit going for it. Certainly I think it is a great building for Porotorož and a stimulation to make other architecture in similar places that is equally exuberant.

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