The competition area is located on the south-eastern outer edge of the settlement of Ljubljana-Brod. This area is dominated by a small residential buildings, surrounded by agricultural land and meadows on all sides. The authors of the competition proposed the opinion that the rural character of the surroundings is a quality that is worth to preserve. Due to this fact, the proposed solution is implemented in such a way that it respects the pavilion character of the existing school.
DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE NATURAL AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Withdrawed into the embrace of trees, the object does not compete with the existing natural features, but maintains the qualities of the surrounding nature. With its placement, it creates a clear dual character in the space. The disadvantage of the existing school is that it does not have an unequivocally defined school yard. By creating a new volume, the paved surface in the north is shaped and the open green area in the south is opened.
DIALOGUE BETWEEN OLD AND NEW
A special concern about positioning a new building was dedicated to contact between the new facility and the existing one. The new gym has been withdrawn from the school facility so as to preserve the dignity of the existing building and to respect its pavilion character. The proposed solution is designed to intervene to a minimum in the existing state of the school and to preserve the existing spatial qualities. Moreover, at the most sensitive site hall creates a new green atrium, which provides the exposed classroom with an intimate atmosphere.
HEIGHT OF THE BUILDING
The competition area is located in the area dominated by small residental buildings. Because of the special features of the program, the exceptional height (10 + 2m) is proposed so the construction solution should be carried out by the building as low as possible. Placement of a gym at the area of the deepened sports ground reduces the necessary excavation and damages as little ground as possible. Therefore, the proposed solution respects the horizontal character of the area to which it is located.
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN OF THE NEW BUILDING
The new gym is designed as a separate building volume, which is connected to the existing school via connecting corridor. Due to the required height the level of the playing area of the hall is buried by 3.7 m. The built-in gym allows direct connection of the existing school with the entrance lobby and the gallery above a large training area. The existing elementary school has a clear ground plan, developed along a long, wide corridor, on which the individual programs of the school are cross-linked. A clear, transparent design, which allows the extension of the longitudinal axis, continues in the form of a ground plan of the new gym. The splitting of the building, the simple, legible façade and the use of wood as the primary building material make the new gym best fit into the green, suburban environment.
INTERNAL STRUCTURE AND THE APPEARANCE
The appearance of the new gym is a direct reflection of the construction, which continues the appearance of the existing elementary school. The gym consists of a buried concrete shell, a rhythm of wooden pillars and beams and a wooden facade envelope. The latter as a veil protects the supporting structure and clearly shows the relationship between the carrying and wearing.
Special attention was dedicated to natural lighting. The most dramatic and most recognizable architectural element of the interior of the new hall is the light on both sides of the playing area. The skylights are arranged in such a way that the ceiling of the central hall levitates weightless over the large play area. On the northern side of the gym, natural light illuminates a sloping wall that disperses light evenly across the hall, creating a soft pace of construction. On the south side of the playing area, the skylight is located directly above the gallery in front of the multipurpose hall. In this way, the light cuts the large volume of the hall into a two smaller exercise area. The hallway, wardrobes and pedagogical cabinets are illuminated through the double height space of the lobby.
The required height of the central hall (10m) allows three different programs to align along the longitudinal side. The ground floor, as the most accessible and public floor, is intended primarily for outdoor visitors and viewers. The sports surfaces are located above and below the public floor, which enables uninterrupted supply and use of all halls simultaneously, without crossing the path of users.
At the level of the ground floor, which is the most public, the entrance hall is connected with the existing school and the gallery, from which it can be accessed on fixed and pull-out tribunes throughout its length. A separate volume of sanitary facilities for visitors and a club room with an additional, separate entrance are inserted into the open space of the gallery. Spaces between individual volumes establish a visual connection between the gym and outdoor sports surfaces.
The lower floor consists of three separate wardrobes for the central gymnasium, cabinets for teachers of class and subject teaching of sports education, and warehouses and technical rooms (engine room, space for the janitor). Access to the large gym is possible from the lobby with a lift or stairs, through a dirty corridor, wardrobe and a clean corridor. The dirty corridor, changing rooms and cabinets are illuminated by natural light through the two-story room. A large work area can be divided into three smaller gym and access to the clean corridor is possible until all three. The entry of sporting and other equipment is provided at the level of the truck parter with the ramp on the southwest side of the building. Full walls on the shorter sides of a large training area allow for the possible installation of a climbing wall.