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Tomos Skyscraper

Koper, Slovenia
1 of 32

Tomos Skyscraper is the most recognizable building in Koper's Belvedere complex created by the architect Edo Mihevc. The building is constructed of two parts; the basement with a shop and the building's entrance while floors had two type of residential units. The small are oriented towards Nord, while the biggest ones are oriented toward South with typical balconies and its flowerpot detail. The atmosphere resembles to the Bauhaus Prellerhaus. The construction of the building is in reinforced concrete, skeletal, what enables random organization of floor plans. The monumental atmosphere is created with the clock tower, which summarize the tower hall.

The building stands on the site of the former Jesuit monastery, in the very center of the historical core of the city of Koper. The building was built in 1957 as part of the controversial urban design of architect Edo Mihevc. This envisaged the demolition of much of the historical structure of the city centre of Koper and the construction of several modernist blocks. The urban project was stopped due to public opposition; only two were realized from the envisaged set of new buildings.

Solitary Home

The building was designed as a home for Tomos factory workers. Beside the common areas on the ground floor and terrace there were 90 small flats in each of them lived two workers. Due to its excellent location, the block was very attractive to visitors. The structure of the population of the building has changed over time, while families moved into small flats. Nevertheless, it was insufficiently maintained throughout the years become danger for inhabitants. In 2007 the building was emptied.

Protection of the Modern Heritage

The building has a special protection status as a cultural heritage despite being a foreign object in the space of the historical city centre. The renovation of the building must consequently take into account the preservation of the original appearance of the facade (proportions, size of the openings, color, materials), preservation of the original system of the supporting structure with an integrated modern system of reinforcement of the structure and preservation of the original installation shafts of the building.


The building was sold to the private investor in 2018. Two offices Arhitektura 2211 and Kosi in Partnerji started the process of renovation. Due to technological improvements (energy, static and installation remediation) the concept of renovation foresaw three major interventions in the design and organization of the building.

At the southern facade of the block is planned a self-supporting, lightweight, steel structure. The construction links existing balconies into big terraces. These new outdoor spaces with the view towards the city of Koper become extension of the interior living spaces. At the same time, the new construction with integrated mobile shades ensures both the shading of the southern terraces and the facade, as well as protection from strong local wind Burja.

The original floor plan of the residential floor of the block has a central corridor with a series of small flats on each side of it. Within renovation of the seven floors the central corridor is moved along the north facade of the building. Existing windows on the facade transforms into the corridor which resembles the traditional gank. Moving of the corridor allows the design larger, better-used, double-oriented apartments. The function of the northern gank is not only a service hall but also a residence. At this site a semi-private outer space of residents is created in a form of shady terrace with direct view to the sea. Small 90 flats are converted into 37 (1-4 room) dwellings by combining housing units. The first 3 floors have an existing structure as architect designed.

The earlier introverted ground floor of the block is opened spatially and programmatically when renovated. The planned program of the Tomos Museum with a cafe will connect the parter of the building with the city of Koper.

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bostjan, July 24th, 2020
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