The building was designed by four Slovenian architectural firms who took their inspiration from the first geostationary space station, or to be more precise, the habitation wheel space station, a program aiming to accommodate man to space, conceived by Slovenian rocket engineer Herman Potočnik Noordung in 1929.
The project is located in the home town of Herman Potočnik, a small mountain village in Slovenia called Vitanje dominated by 18th-century chapels, traditional architecture and well preserved 13th century frescoes.
“The concept design for the building of the KSEVT derives from the habitation wheel of the first geostationary space station described in Noordung’s 1929 book.”
“It will have a public significance and generate social, cultural, and scientific activities, with fixed and temporary exhibitions, conferences and club/study activities.”
The ensemble is composed of two rings placed on top of each other in different angles, generating a circular shape. The bottom one is slightly larger and is angled so that it rises from North to South, while the upper one is smaller and angled in the opposite direction, joining the first on the south while rising from the North. The entrance was placed in the intermediate space between the ground level and the first cillinder, its inclination generating this space; a glazed wall appears to support it giving the impression that the entire structure is hovering. The buildings shape is very onest, it doesn’t hide its characteristics and better yet it allows itself to be fully perceived by any visitor, the two cillinders that generate its form are fully exposed and make the process of understanding the structure much easier. The monolithic concrete structure is covered with various types of aluminium.
The first and most noticeable thing about this project is the dynamic effect it produces. First of all there is its round shape which is able to induce a much more fluential movement than a rectangle; second of all, the two layers of the building are not placed on the same axis, accentuating the motion effect.
More details from the architects:
„The main entrance covers the overhanging part of the larger cylinder. Through this “tight” space, past the circular vestibule with a reception, we enter the interior of the hall. The vestibule can be separated from the activities in the hall by a curtain. The entrance glazing can be completely opened and can connect the activities in the hall with the square. The circular hall for 300 people is surrounded on both sides by a semicircular ramp. This marks the beginning of the exhibition area, which continues from here to the interior of the overhanging part of the larger cylinder. On the west side, along the ramp, there are smaller office areas. Ascending on this ramp also represents a transition from the bright space of the hall to the dark exhibition area. The separated vertical connection with a staircase and a large elevator connects the exhibition area directly to the vestibule of the hall. The exhibition space continues through the landing between the elevator and the staircase to the smaller cylinder, the multi-purpose hall, an auditorium which is raised like a terrace above the hall. From here there is a vertical view of what is happening below. The smaller cylinder is concluded at the highest, northernmost part with the club area – the library, the most intimate part of the entire building.”
The esthetics of the building suggets a very intriguing project that very very carefully adapted to the function and purpose of the structure. The metal facades point to the materiality of space station and the building’s shape suggest the same type of object. The architects have done a really great job adapting their design to its meaning and symbolistic.
photo courtesy to: tomaz gregoric
drawings courtesy to the architects
awards:-European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture (nominated):
Mies van der Rohe Award 2013
-Trend award 2012
location: cesta na vasi, vitanje, slovenia
project start: 2009
construction start: 2009
program: exhibition spaces, library, offices, multi-purpose hall, auditorium
type: space technology community centre
client: ksevt, vitanje community and ministry of culture, slovenia
site area: 33,305 m2
total floor area: 2.450 m2
materials: concrete, glass, aluminium
architecture offices: bevk perovic arhitekti, dekleva gregoric arhitekti, ofis arhitekti, sadar vuga arhitekti
bevk perović project team: matija bevk . vasa perovic . gerrit neumann . andreja pikelj . gonzalo piqueras . josef kalcik
dekleva gregoric project team: aljosa dekleva . tina gregoric . daniel schwartz
ofis architects project team: rok oman, špela videcnik, andrej gregoric, janez martincic, christian gheorghe rastislav udzan
kiki marien, janja del linz
sadar+vuga project team: jurij sadar, bostjan vuga, vanja gortnar, sven kalim, siim johan alexander
overall building geometry realization & project execution: josip konstantinovic
façade details execution: rok gerbec
structural engineering: sector inzeniring d.o.o.
mechanical engineering: i.s.p. kamnik d.o.o.
electrical engineering: jelen &zavasnik bambi d.n.o.
traffic engineering: tega d.o.o.
acoustic engineering: sasa galonja
noordung space technologies center concept & producer: dragan zivadinov, miha tursic
graphic design: atelje balant