House – Route Home – The client wants to move his residence from the lively city to nature, under the Pohorje mountain range in Slovenia. He wants to have a view on mountain and a house permeated with nature on all levels, from the construction to the choice of materials. To the customer, even the wind is important, in which direction it blows, the course of the sun in summer (shading) and in winter as much sun as possible. Ensuring privacy is important. The modern lifestyle of the client who works in the city requires that the client can rest in the embrace of nature and gives him the elan for new ventures. At the Superform office, we listened to the wishes of the client and transformed them into a modern “alpine house”.
Architizer chatted with Anton Zizek, principle architect and co-owner at Superform, to learn more about this project.
Architizer: What inspired the initial concept for your design?
Anton Zizek: The basic idea of the house comes from its unique location, i.e. the foot of the beautiful mountain Pohorje. The next impulse in the design is the lifestyle of the client and their needs. The client is a passionate climber. We designed an “alpine house” that creates the atmosphere of an overhanging climbing wall inside. The tent-shaped gable roof creates a meandering volume of the house divided into programmatic segments. Between the segments there are glass openings that offer panoramic views of the Pohorje mountain through the water features. The result is a building that, with its roof design, mimicry of the hilly area covered with vines. On the other hand, it creates a dialogue with the spine-shaped form of Pohorje.
What do you believe is the most unique or ‘standout’ component of the project?
The house “Route home” is not just a “house”. It is first and foremost a unique experience of the mountains. It is a shelter where the client stays and plans to wander the hills and nature. The mountain experience permeates the entire design, from the design to the choice of materials, such as a monolithic carved rock in the living room with a built-in fireplace.
What was the greatest design challenge you faced during the project, and how did you navigate it?
In our architectural office, we were looking for a solution that would combine functional requirements and spatial experience with a unified design approach. The challenge was how to sensibly organize a diverse program under the “same roof” in the form of a tent. We devoted time to the sequences of experiencing and using the space: from the entrance hall, living room, kitchen with dining room, library, bedroom. The challenge was how to create a house without corridors. The challenge was also how to create a space that offers shelter and a sense of security at the same time and is open to nature and the sky. The challenge was to take into account cosmic influences, such as where to have your head when sleeping, etc.
How did the context of your project — environmental, social or cultural — influence your design?
The house “Route Home” is not a separate entity from the far and nearby surroundings. The house is in harmony with the natural and social surroundings. A house is not just matter. The spirit of the house is imbued with the spirit of hills, forests, sun and also living tradition.
What drove the selection of materials used in the project?
I believe that the choice of materials is important when designing a house. The selected materials for the design of the “Route Home” villa, such as local stone from the Pohorje mountain range, wood, glass, metal, are materials that create the spirit of “alpine house”. Texture – stone processing gives the feeling of a stone wall in nature. The roof surfaces on the inside are lined with coniferous wood that comes from Pohorje.
What is your favorite detail in the project and why?
If I were to define the “Route Home” house in one sentence, I would say: The house is the roof. The roof in general and also in this project dominates and creates the spirit of the house. It is a basic architectural and design element. Roof is the primal element, it is the first and fundamental entity that enables living.
We designed a roof that rests and at the same time floats above the ground. At the junctions of individual segments, there are “cracks” that offer a view on the Pohorje. The texture in the form of vertical lines creates a mimicry that matches the lines of the vines on the hill in the background of the house.
How important was sustainability as a design criteria as you worked on this project?
Sustainability is not only the energy aspect and the choice of materials. It also dictates a way of use that is truly co-natural, not just natural on paper. Sun, wind, humidity, etc. affect the use of space. At Superform, we do not create closed, airtight cocoons that are completely independent of nature and climatic conditions. We create sensitive spaces that bring nature closer to man and man to man in the most authentic way possible. Sustainability is achieved primarily by understanding processes in nature and natural logic in the use of materials that are primarily as natural as possible, unprocessed.
In what ways did you collaborate with others, and how did that add value to the project?
Superform is a creative team of architects. Only through teamwork can we achieve superior architecture. Teamwork is characteristic from the very beginning, from the first brainstorming to the implementation of the idea in a spatial model, the choice of colors and materials, etc.
How do you believe this project represents you or your firm as a whole?
The “Route home” project is a valuable experience for the Superform office, where, as with every project, we started with the question: What is a house? Are these just the walls and the roof put together in a modern graphic puzzle? I think not at all. A house is a living organism that breathes, cooperates, supports the client, connects him with society, nature, and the cosmos. It is important to have a holistic experience, with the senses and the whole body, with your mind in the form of memories, imagination, dreams.
“FORM FOLLOWS EXPERIENCE” is the slogan we follow and with this project we fully realized it.
Superform: Marjan Poboljsaj (principle architect), Anton Zizek (principle architect), Spela Gliha (architect), Marcel Znidaric (architect)
Goran Djokic (visualisation)
Products / Materials
Wood, stone, titanium zinc
For more on House – Route Home, please visit the in-depth project page on Architizer.
House – Route Home Gallery
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