Slovenian house creates a private world for its human and feline residents
OFIS Architects has shaped a new Slovenian house in the Ljubljana suburbs for a family, with special attention paid to the needs of their pets. The 195 sq m structure consists of two timber-clad boxes, unified by vertical wooden cladding of varying density to allow light in and views out of the structure.
Catwalk: a new Slovenian house by OFIS Architects
The street frontage is defined by a double garage, above which is a courtyard garden, screened off from the road by the timber façade. A covered walkway leads back to the main house beyond, a simple two storey-structure with a kitchen diner at one end and a living room at the other, with two sides flanked by a terrace.
Upstairs, there are three bedrooms, as well as a bathroom, separate sauna and study. All bedrooms open on to the upper terrace, which links to the courtyard garden by a slender footbridge. This ‘catwalk’ was designed specifically to give the owners’ cats a private indoor/outdoor realm of their own without having to venture down onto the street.
With the catwalk doubling up as the cover from carport to entrance, the house is self-contained and enclosed, providing privacy in its suburban context with elements like the existing tree incorporated into the heart of the project. The 195m2 floorplan is carefully arranged to maximise the full length of the 30m plot, with storage and bike racks placed in the garage area and all services pushed to the edges of the plan on the ground floor, apart from a central utility core.
The architects used a pre-fabricated wooden building system for the main structure, using large panels of cross-laminated wood and a timber substructure to contain the insulation and facade cladding. Walls and ceilings are therefore made of factory-built 16cm thick panels containing insultation, with a mix of clay plaster and wood panelling as surface finishes. The wooden façade is clad in a layer of larch slats, with a charred finish that adds patina and enhances the weatherproofing.
Rok Oman and Špela Videcnik’s studio OFIS arhitekti was set up in 2000 after both had studied at the Ljubljana School of Architecture and London’s Architectural Association. The studio has won multiple nominations in the Mies van der Rohe Awards, among many other accolades, and has also exhibited in Paris, London and Venice.