Ring House / OFIS Architects

Text description provided by the architects. In one of the areas of former Ljubljana suburbs, where bourgeois houses were built during the interwar period, stands an unusual hybrid. The original house with its cubic volume, typical of the early modernism of the 1930s, with semicircle fringes and scanty details stretches towards the garden with its modern addition – a light floating pavilion. The pavilion uses the original volumes’ curvatures as a formal starting point, but we can tell by its expression the unmistakable continuity of works from Ljubljana architectural studio Ofis. When clients and architects met for the first time the house was far from its former glory.

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An adaptation in the 1980s crowned the originally flat roof with a classic slanted roof and deprived the building of a large part of its former elegance. The first part of the renovation was to return the original qualities of the house. The roof was removed and a smaller terrace floor was added, which organically finishes the existing volume. The central architectural challenge of the renovation was the connection of the house with its extensive garden which is more than twice the area of the footprint of the building.

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Ring House / OFIS Architects - Interior Photography

The original house was not functionally connected to the garden due to its raised and relatively closed ground floor without a direct exit to the garden. In response to this, the architects reached much further from the usual solutions and designed a columnar loop, which is an extension of living rooms and at the same time a garden pavilion. The addition is a kind of cruciform corridor, which borders the garden into the inner “Zen” atrium, but at the same time with a gradual descent connects the interior of the villa with the open garden on the southern part of the property.

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The extension uses and reinterprets some classic modernist themes such as an architectural promenade, ramp, transparency, and free floor plan. The newly created circular route is widened into two spaces with two different ambiances. In the glazed part of the colonnade, in the visual axis north-south, which crosses the whole floor plan between access and garden and thus connects the old and the new, is located in a slightly raised living room. Just above the lawn, facing south is a completely open garden pavilion, enclosed only by pillars and a curtain.

Ring House / OFIS Architects - Interior Photography, Column
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Through the challenging, eight-year-long process the house became an example of lucid and witty dialogue of two architectural languages – of the two eras, which the architects have connected in a coherent architectural composition with a keen sense of the hidden qualities of the existing building.

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