Architects: Api Arhitekti
Location: Portorož, Slovenia
Investor: Istrabenz Hoteli Portoroz d.o.o.
Design team leaders: Uroš Birsa, Goran Čala
Landscape architecture: Lanscape
Interior design: Dessins
Project Area: 28041,00 sqm
Project year: 2008
Photographs: Miran Kambič
In the very centre of the most cosmopolitan coastal resort in Slovenia, the long-closed Palace Hotel has decayed for many years. It was already built during the time of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and hosted affluent guests from all over Europe until the end of the eighties of the previous century.
The investor wished to bring the old neoclassical building to life by the renovation and to expand its accommodation capacity by building an extension.
The architectural renovation also had the goal of highlighting the symbiosis between the stylistically different architectural movements, as well as to reveal the detachment from the memory of the past. All that was preserved of the old building was the main façade overlooking the sea, with the crystal hall and appertaining salons alongside it, the side facades and the historic staircase. The floor structures, the mansard and the rear façade are built using modern materials. All the new materials and details on the façade are discretely designed.
The extension is entirely new, but subordinate to the historic façade of the preserved part of the building in terms of rhythm, choice of colours and materials. Employing a combination of stone cladding and greenery on the façade, the building melds with the hills in the background when seen from the sea and thus preserves the dominant role of the existing facade. The most extreme possibilities afforded by the materials used, such as glass, stone and steel, have been fully taken advantage of, all of which is complemented by the unique detail one can discern in the building.
The connecting element between the old and the new is the glass entrance hall which softly merges two wholes, greeting the visitor and offering him a magnificent view of the sea, the sky and the park upon entry.