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Jurckova Housing

Ljubljana, Slovenia
1 of 7

Two buildings with fifty residential units are located directly on the Jurckova Street in Ljubljana. In accordance with the urban planning regulations, the apartments are arranged in two tracts parallel with the road, and are three and four floors high. Both buildings, planned by the spatial planning documents, are situated in the neighborhood of predominantly single-family houses and, due to their size, stand out significantly from the sizes of the surrounding structures. In order to come closer to the size of the neighborhood units, each tract is divided into four smaller volumes which are not aligned and which, additionally, also vary in color tone. In an effort to assure more consistent approach to the spatial criteria and in order to attain the greatest possible sense of privacy for residents, each of these smaller volumes also in term of inner organization functions as a separate unit.

Entry into all separate residential volumes is from the inner courtyard, situated between the two tracts. Each volume has its own communication core, which supplies only a small number of apartments. Due to excessive proximity of two tracts, all apartments with a garden window opening have double-sided orientation. Apartment layout plans are made in an open manner thus the number of rooms can be changed according to the needs of the residents; at the same time a living area or a sleeping area can be either south or north oriented.Basic design element of residential units in the Jurckova Street is prefabricated concrete frame of the window openings. A design element that formally unifies separated units again is a direct result of the need to enable more privacy to the residents. Applying numerous loggias and window frames on buildings that narrows the space between the two already very close tracts seems fairly confusing at first sight. However, closed sides prevent side views between the individual apartment units and, despite even smaller distance between the buildings, provide greater privacy to the residents.

Concrete is colored before the production of prefabricated concrete elements and is additionally chemically treated thus weather resistant and requires no additional mechanical protection. Conical shape of the loggias and window frames is conditioned by the production technique, enabling to pull heavy prefabricated elements from the mould. Slightly rough effect of the concrete loggias is adjusted to the street criteria. Looking at the units from afar, loggias seem playful and light, while strong enough to override any form of intervention and decorative accessorizing by the residents. According to the original project, the inside of the loggias was to be laid with wood paneling, which was unfortunately never realized. Such cladding that feels nicer to the touch and is friendlier by human criteria should have enclosed all elements that are now visibly attached to the walls of the loggias. An outdoor air conditioner unit, a light, built into a perforated pattern, a handy cabinet and a roll-up sun protection are some of the items that were to find place in the unrealized cladding.

As the investor decided not to realize all elements planned, though needed by the residents, residents are now mounting these elements themselves. Even though the slightly aggressive loggias were actually an answer to the expected residents 'design upgrades', their role is even more important now. It is interesting to observe that, regardless to the changes and additions made, the layout of the building remains clear and recognizable.

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bostjan, March 3rd, 2014
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