A shopping centre in Slovenia

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A shopping centre’s roof has been taken over by an apartment complex in Bohinjska Bistrica, an alpine village in the Triglav National Park of Slovenia.

Designed by Ljubljana-based practice Ofis, the apartment block combines larch, a wood native to Slovenia, and Eternit, a low-cost panelling material made of fibre and cement, both traditional building materials of the region.

The unusual project was the result of a collaboration between Slovenian supermarket chain Mercator and construction firm Gradis Skupina, which was given the rights to build apartments on the roof and sell them on in exchange for building the upermarket for free.

Comprising 46 apartments, the building follows an L-shaped plan, which opens onto a communal roof garden. “We had to slant the roof so that the residents could preserve their full view of the Alps, especially of Mount Triglav, which is Slovenia’s highest mountain,” says Ofis co-founder Spela Videcnik.

The village is dotted with traditional alpine houses, and has almost no high-rise buildings. “There are very strict urban regulations in Slovenia, so it is very hard to be creative or free with a space,” says Videcnik. Ofis also had to take account of the region’s harsh weather conditions while working on a low budget. “Because of all of these restrictions, we try to make our projects more distinctive from other buildings by playing with the skin of the facade,” says Videcnik. The Eternit roof shingles weave into the facade providing protection from the snow and winds from the east and west.

images Tomaz Gregoric

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