Herman’s Square, the new business residential building by Arhimetrics + Enota, is located at an important location in the old city centre in Celje. The land intended for construction is a part of a larger degraded non-built up area, which was somewhat forgotten for decades and exempt from the development of the city. Through the years a very heterogeneous structure evolved around this “wound” in the urban tissue, which was untouched for a long time. It is now surrounded by a range of modern construction in an area that has extensive open space intended for a future park along the Savinja River.
More on this project after the break.
The volumetric design of the new building is not so much related to searching for a connection with the historical city centre but to reconnect the exceptionally heterogeneous construction of the area into a logical whole. The starting volume of the new building is determined in three steps. The lower floors, set up along the edges of the lot, epitomize the height of the freestanding residential buildings in the south. Together with the public program of the existing city block buildings they embrace the central area and form a new city square. In general, the city block buildings are the dominating form of construction in the city centre in Celje.
The fitting for the city block at the treated location is formed by the existing buildings in the north-eastern part of the lot, while the central part of the new building on the western side of the lot rounds up the block with equally high building volume. The tallest point of the new building in Herman’s square relates to the height of the existing residential high-rise, which is located along the road in the north-western edge of the lot.
The position of the building next to large opened park surfaces enables equal opening of the facades and lengthy quality views along the whole building envelope. The architectural design with circumferential balconies descends towards the south in the form of terraces and this blurs the sharp transition between the starting volumes. The number of floors of the building softly traverses between the heights adjusted according to surrounding buildings.
Due to the proximity of the city centre, the project offers a great opportunity to expand and enrich the urban ambient. Special attention is paid to connecting to existing walkways towards the city centre, which is further emphasised by directing all traffic underground. The system of squares defined by adjacent public program, connects the whole area between the surrounding streets and the central walkway along the river. The proposal for development of the wider area also suggests that the unarticulated edge of the individual residential villas along the path towards the river is rounded up with a low residential condominium during the second phase. In that manner accomplished rounded up area of new construction is separated from the historical part of the city with a wide green area. The green belt with the park creates a frame to the historical construction thereby helping to integrate a varied present with the past architecture.
Architects: Arhimetrics + Enota Location: Celje, Slovenia Project: Herman’s Square office and residential building Type: invited competition, first prize Year: 2010 Status: in progress Size: 22,600 sqm Client: Hermanov trg Project team: Arhimetrics (Darko Vasiljević, Janez Turk, Tanja Špan), Enota (Dean Lah, Milan Tomac, Nebojša Vertovšek, Nuša Završnik Šilec, Alja Černe, Polona Ruparčič)