OFIS Architects is an architectural practice established in 1996 by Rok Oman (b. 1970) and Spela Videcnik (b. 1971), both graduates from the Ljubljana School of Architecture (graduated October 1998) and London's Architectural Association (MA January 2000). Since its creation, the practice has received several prestigious awards and was invited to Architecture Biennials in Venice and Beijing. OFIS works and communicates at an international level, taking part in competitions and holding lectures all over the world. The practice has recently completed construction of a student residence with 185 units in Paris after winning the respective competition in 2008, followed by the second large international project, the Football Stadium for BATE Borissov, Belarus, that opened in 2013. The international team is based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Paris, France, and has partner firm agreements in London and Moscow.
The beginnings of OFIS' activities date back to the nineties, an exciting yet difficult period for the former Yugoslavian republics that were undergoing intense self-re-evaluation and reinvention from scratch, economically as well as culturally. In terms of architecture this meant that most of the larger architectural offices had to be scaled down or went bankrupt, creating an empty space for younger groups or individuals to participate in architectural competitions. Back then, OFIS managed to impress the jurors with original thinking and clear concepts.
OFIS's work encompasses architecture, urbanism, art and stage design. It ranges from new buildings to interventions within old structures; scales from stadiums down to a small farewell chapel; programs from social housing, luxurious villas and residences, sport facilities, cultural and office programs. Over the past ten years they have been dealing with various national and international clients from the private sector to the commercial sector and also state institutions.
The firm has won several national and international competitions. Many projects have been nominated for a Mies van der Rohe award, in 2009 they received a Silver IOC/IAKS medal for football stadium, in 2006 they received the European Grand Prix for Innovation Award, in 2005 their Villa under-extension received an honorable mention at the Miami Bienal, in 2004 they were awarded high commendation for their City Museum renovation and extension by the UK Architectural Review's annual AR+D awards, and in 2000 they won the 'Young architect of the year' award in London, UK.
They won a large business complex in Venice Marghera, Italy and a residential complex in Graz, Austria. However, it was by winning 180 apartments in Petit Pont, Paris, their first large scale development abroad, which led them to open a branch office in France, 2007. This has been followed by a second large scale development with the construction of a football stadium for FC BATE in Borisov, Belarus, due for completion in 2012. They also have partner firm agreements in London, Paris and Moscow.
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