Beehive Apartment Complex in Izola
Housing Complex in Slovenia is a Series of Honeycomb Modular Apartments
Location: Izola, Slovenia
Design: Ofis Arhitekti (Team:Rok Oman, Špela Videcnik with Martina Lipicer, Nejc Batistic, Neža Oman, Florian Frey, Marisa Baptista)
Design year: 2003
Construction years: 2004-06
Structural engineering: Valide d. o. o.
Mechanical engineering: Oves d. o. o.
Electrical engineering: Winky d. o. o
Client: Slovenian Housing Fund and Community of Izola
Surface area: 2,294 m²/block
Construction area: 5,452 m²
The project is a winning entry for two housing blocks in a competition convoked by the Slovenia Housing Fund, a government-run programme that is providing low-cost apartments for young families.
The proposal won for economic, rational and functional reasons, but mostly for the ratio between gross vs. saleable surface area and the flexibility of the plans. When signing the contract we were obliged to prepare construction documentation for the building cost 600€ per m² of net surface area.
The blocks are set out on a hill with a view of Izola Bay on one side and of the surrounding hills on the other. The given urban plot was 2blocks of 60x28 meters. The brief required 30 apartments of different sizes and structures, varying from studio flats to 3-bedroom apartments. The apartments are small, with minimum-sized rooms according to Slovenian standards. There are no structural elements inside the apartments, thus providing flexibility and the possibility of reorganising things. The blocks are set out on a hill with a view of Izola Bay on one side and of the surrounding hills on the other. Since the blocks are subject to a Mediterranean climate outdoor space and shade are important elements.
The project proposed a veranda for each apartment, thus providing an outdoor space that is intimate, partly connected with the interior, shady and naturally ventilated. A textile shade protects the balcony and apartment from prying eyes, yet due to its semi-transparency allows the owner to enjoy the views of the bay. Perforated side-panels allow summer breeze to ventilate the space. The strong colours create different atmospheres within the apartments. Boxes at the side of each balcony provide room for air-conditioning units.
The small rooms become visually bigger because the textile shade creates a perspective effect that connects part of the exterior with the interior.
The balcony modules are designed as an efficient system, providing shading and ventilation for the hotel apartments. Textile elements fixed on the front of the balconies block direct sunlight and accumulate an «air buffer» zone. In the summer the hot accumulated area behind the shadings is naturally ventilated through perforated side partitions of the balconies (10 cm holes). In the winter the warm air stays in the area and provides additional heating to the hotel apartments. Boxes at the side of each balcony also provide room for air-conditioning units.