the world's most visited architecture website

Is There a European Identity in Architecture?

“There is a certain tradition, history, and continuity that you can read in European architecture”
- Spela Videcnik, OFIS arhitekti

A product of context and history, Europe has influenced the architecture world in a way that perhaps no other continent has. The continent is the topic of the latest video from the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, produced in relation to their European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, in which prize-nominated architects from 16 European cities are interviewed on what they believe brings them together, and what makes them different.

As a US citizen who has previously lived in Europe for two years, I was struck by the essential question prompted by the video: “Is there a European identity in architecture?” And if so, what exactly is it? To try to answer this question, I sat down with ArchDaily’s managing editor Rory Stott - a Brit - to debate differing perspectives.

2015 Prize Winner - Philharmonic Hall Szczecin / Barozzi / Veiga. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu Gym Hall TNW / NL Architects. Image © Luuk Kramer Metropol Parasol / J. Mayer H + Arup. Image © Javier Orive 2013 Prize Winner - Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre / Henning Larsen Architects & Batteriid Architects. Image Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

Video: Football Stadium Arena Borisov / OFIS arhitekti

Recently completed in BelarusOFIS arhitekti's Football Stadium Arena Borisov combines modern technology and creative space planning to produce an environment with fine-tuned acoustics, 360 degree views of the field, and lots of public recreational opportunities. The 13,000-seat arena's stretched textile skin lends a distinctive character within its rugged forest setting and public street at its base where it lifts away from the building's core. Beyond the stadium, its 3,628 square-meter site hosts public gyms, a bowling area, restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as offices, press boxes, and training facilities. Check out the video to get an in-depth look inside the arena and learn more about the stadium, here

Harvard GSD Talk and Exhibition "Housing in Extreme Environments: Alpine Shelter" Opens Tomorrow

The extreme climatic conditions of the North introduce a design paradox for architects. The fragile environmental conditions require incisive designs that respond to irregular loading from strong winds, heavy snowfalls, avalanche risk zones, and extreme cold. The studio investigated a prototypical design: a unit with sleeping and cooking space for up to eight people, on a mountain site in Slovenia. The talk (on Friday, February 13th) serves as an opening for the exhibition on this project, curated by Spela Videcnik, John T. Dunlop Design Critic in Housing and Urban Development, with Rok Oman, featuring the work of her Fall 2014 studio, displayed on the Experiments Wall (in Gund Hall). Construction of the shelter is planned for summer 2015. 

Video: Hayrack Apartments / OFIS Arhitekti

Located on the edge of Cerklje, an alpine town in Slovenia, the Hayrack Apartments have beautiful views due to the courtyard opening onto a view of the surrounding mountains. Designed by OFIS Arhitekti, their video highlights the character of the social apartments as they were sold to the Slovenian Housing Fund for young families at a price of 900 EUR/m2 which is extremely cheap. he concept of the façade is taken from the hayrack system – wooden beams following traditional details and patterns. Traditionally farmers use the beams to store grass and corn, on the housing one can store flowers or other balcony decoration. Apartments are of different sizes – from 30m2 studio flats up to four room apartments of 80m2.

Video: Lace Apartments / OFIS Arhitekti

Continuing with the video updates OFIS arhitekti have share with us, the last one showcases some very interesting details of the Lace Apartments. The video shows the very geometric shapes of the facade, that seams a constant in this office’s works.

Video: Villa Under Extension / OFIS Arhitekti

This is an update from the project already published in 2008 from slovenian architects OFIS arhitekti. In the words of the architects: “This project involved the extension of a 19th-century villa located in a beautiful Alpine resort next to Lake Bled. Both the old villa and the landscape were strictly regulated by the National Heritage.”

Video: Dot Envelope / OFIS Arhitekti

Here is another video from  OFIS arhitekti, this time showing the making of Dot Envelope, a project which we already published back in 2008, located in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Video: Honeycomb Apartments / OFIS Arhitekti

Slovenian architects OFIS arhitekti shared with us this video that showcases the making of this very interesting construction named the Honeycomb Apartments, located in Izola, Slovenia.

Video: Farewell Chapel / OFIS Arhitekti

Back in 2009 we published the Farewell Chapel by OFIS arhitekti that went on to win the ArchDaily’s Building Of The Year Award in 2009 for the Religious category.

Video: Football Stadium FC Bate Borisov / OFIS arhitekti

Our friends from OFIS arhitekti shared with us a video they made for the Football Stadium for FC Bate Borisov of Belarus. The opening is planned for 2012, and will host 13,000 seats. Amazing work!

Football Stadium FC Bate Borisov / OFIS arhitekti

Courtesy of OFIS arhitekti
Courtesy of OFIS arhitekti

Slovenia-based OFIS arhitekti shared with us their football stadium for FC Bate Borisov, of Belarus. Construction is expected to begin next year. More images and architect’s description after the break.

Garden City K66 / OFIS arhitekti

Courtesy of OFIS arhitekti
Courtesy of OFIS arhitekti

A couple of days ago we featured a project by Slovenian architects Enota, which received second prize in an invited competition. In that project, our readers asked for OFIS arhitekti’s proposal to the competition, so they shared it with us for you to enjoy. More images and architect’s description after the break.

OFIS arhitekti need local offices in Belarus and Russia

Slovenia-based OFIS arhitekti (see their projects here) are looking for a local office around Minsk, Belarus and Sochi, Russia to work with two sports projects (a football stadium and a building for Winter Olympics).

AD Interviews: OFIS Arhitekti

While in Croatia, I took some time to visit Ljubljana, Slovenia, and interview OFIS Arhitekti. The practice was founded in 1998 by partners Rok Oman and Spela Videcnik, both graduates from the Ljubljana architecture school and the Architectural Association.

Sports Park Stozice / SADAR + VUGA, with KSS + MYSI + OFIS

Architects: Sadar Vuga Arhitekti (lead architect); KSS, London (consultant in sports architecture); MYSI, Tel Aviv (shopping centre concept); OFIS arhitekti, Ljubljana (architect shopping centre) Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia Landscape Architects: AKKA, Ljubljana Construction Engineering: Gradis; Atelier One, London Mechanical Engineering: Lenassi; Jelen & Zaveršnik Electrical Engineering: Elprojekt; UTRIS Fire Engineering: EKOsystem Client: Ljubljana City Municipality, Grep Project year: 2007 Site Area: 182,000 sqm Constructed Area: 460,720 sqm Photographs: Sadar Vuga

4 Islands in Maldives / OFIS arhitekti

Island 2 - Hadahaa
Island 2 - Hadahaa

Architect: OFIS arhitekti Location: Maldives Islands Project Leaders: Rok Oman, Špela Videčnik Design Year: 2004-2006 Further Development: 2009 Design Team: Nejc Batistic, Martina Lipicer, Marisa Baptista 3d Animations & Realisations: David Lozej, Jaka Zvan, Rok Jereb

Island 4 - Randheli Island 1 - Funamadua Island 3 - Konotta Island 2 - Hadahaa