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Alpine Hotel Celjska Koca

Celje, Slovenia
1 of 6

The building of Alpine hotel Celjska koca is situated on an exposed natural plateau at the foot of the ski run bearing the same name and replaces the mountain cabin which became obsolete and required demolishing. The panoramic view toward the valley and the rocky hilltop of Grmada represents the main attraction of the given location, thus making this feature key to the design of the new building. The described panorama serves as the guiding element both for the interior design as well as the exterior of the architectural volume. The location of the new Celjska koca carries a double meaning: on the one hand, the image of the cabin has been mentally ingrained in the minds of the Celje inhabitants as one of their favourite trips for more than a century, while on the other hand, the impression of the location reflects in the beauty of an unscathed natural surrounding and views towards the valley.

Particular attention was devoted to the tectonic design of the building. The carrying structure is limited to eight corner concrete columns which run along the middle of the building just like a spinal column and thereby support all the inter-floor armed concrete plates. The facade is completely prefabricated and constructed from wood. Even though the wooden facade is the result of the most modern construction guidelines, the structural design of the facade epitomizes the simplest principles of construction applied in building Slovene barns and hayracks. The plain Slovene builder has known for a long time that unsaturated wood is most sensitive to extreme weather conditions. That is why the homes and outhouses of common folk were always constructed using a double layer. The inner massive facade which often also represented the structural core of the building was "dressed" in an additional, transparent layer which was made out of a system of horizontal wooden laths. This allowed structural parts of the buildings to remain in the shade during the summer and provided physical protection from the cold and the snow in wintertime. The layer of air between both facade layers provided continuous airing for all wooden elements and thereby extended the durability of the wood. Furthermore, different distances between the horizontal laths also enable the creation of a typical atmosphere of the hotel interiors. The exterior facade laths become a tool with which the architect is able to design individual interior ambiences. Such dense laths prevent views of unattractive natural landscape features, while the more infrequent design directs visitors' views towards important dominating features in the landscape.

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bostjan, February 23rd, 2014
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