NZS Headquarters and VIP Lounge

One of the most important issues when making a project is the question: how is the building connected to the ground? How it fits into the landscape?

The NZS Headquarters building and the VIP lounge were built for the National Football Association in the cultural protected landscape park at Brdo pri Kranju, near the renaissance Brdo castle.

In this protected historical park we wanted to leave the nature as intact as possible by designing the buildings as completely autonomous volumes. The green grows directly to the house with the nature literally enveloping the houses. With their white concrete walls the buildings are like crystals in the landscape. Like they are a piece of nature.

The NZS Headquarters building duly respects the site of the building that stood in it's place before. The new building is placed on location as an autonomous volume whose whiteness clearly draws the boundaries between the centuries old work of nature and the creation of the human hands.

Both floor plans are U-shaped, pivoted in relation to one another in a way so that the ground floor opens towards the existing hay-rack and football fields, while the first floor directs the views towards the silhouette of Kamniško Savinjske Alps. The centre of rotation is represented in a round glass atrium, dominated by three fruit trees.

For the VIP lounge and it's accompanying programs the image of the existing hippodrome with it's green mound became the leading motif for the design. The complex series of programs of changing rooms, fitness, wellness, are designed below the level of the green mound. The only visible building in the landscape is the white box of the VIP lounge that seems to float above it.

The VIP pavilion is designed as a transparent frame which frames the surrounding nature. The nature moves seamlessly through the volume of the building.

The façade membrane is inserted between the horizontal geometry of the concrete slabs and the emphasized aluminium verticals. The latter are a clear reflection of the structural design, most clearly seen on the south wing facade which incorporates the shape of a three-meter high Vierendel carrier. Structural axes that are reflected on the façade along with the locations of window openings correspond to the organization of offices. Together they form a seemingly random composition of the façade cladding that mimics the rhythm of trunk verticals in the nearby forest.

White concrete was used to connect the buildings to the green landscape by means of making a contrast. On the other hand, the white concrete in winter makes the buildings disappear in the snow covered landscape. The other reason for using white concrete has to do with shadows cast by the sun, creating a poetic atmospehere in the interior.