LocationŠkofja Loka, Slovenia
Text description provided by the architects. The clients were a usual young family, a couple with small children. They bought the plot in package with standard house plans with a building permit. They came to our office if we could move some windows for them...however we introduced them our vision of their house and of course they were fascinated since it was tailored to them.
The 3 floors are layers of different use: the top floor is most private with sleeping units, in the middle on the groundfloor is a big open living area and kitchen, and below is the lowest floor where working and living is combined - the client is a engineer and has his office and showroom here. When the kids come from school they occupy this area, over the large overhang they can play outside no matter the weather.
Based on the specifics of the given site – its sloping terrain and the dense settlement surroundings, and the desire for as much outside area as possible our biggest challenge was how to make the building with the smallest footprint and leaving the most of the plot green, open. With two overhangs the result is 180m2 house with a 33m2 footprint.
It seems that the house only slightly touches the sloping terrain. Two covered outside areas are created. One as an extension of the basement, protected from the street and oriented towards nature. The other on street level, as a covered entrance and parking area. The vertical diversity of the object continues on the inside – the living room rises in double height, with large windows on both sides.
The next challenge was to combine the form with the structural material - this was accomplished by working with top wood engineering experts with contemporary wood high-tech knowledge. The building construction is made of reinforced concrete in the basement and a combination of timber frames and cross-laminated timber above.
The decision to use wood as the structural material was because of the speed and cleanliness of construction as well as sustainable reasons - Slovenia is rich with woods and living in a wooden house is pleasant. The north and south facades have large windows towards beautiful views. They are clad with wood and speak about the structural material of the house. Facades on the east and west are as closed as possible, the material (corrugated fibre-cement sheets) is the same as the roof and it protects from the neighboring houses.
And last but not least, such architecturally and structurally outstanding design requires consistant colaboration with the conductor and the building constructor, from beginning to the end.