Urban Mountain

Residential and business complex

Code name:

Urban Mountain

Program:

Housing

Type:

Competition by invite

Year:

2009

Status:

Idea

Client:

Private

Location:

Kranj, Slovenia

Area:

XL

Architects:

Superform: Marjan Poboljšaj, Anton Žižek, Meta Žebre

Landscape:

Andreja Zapušek, Damjan Černe (AD Krajine)

URBAN DESIGN
The neighbourhood Urban Mountain is located on the southeast side of the city of Kranj in the area of a former dairy facility. The starting point of the urban design is a merger of the two already existing typologies of construction. The plot is located between these two extremely different building types, skyscrapers, on the north side, and residential housing on the south side of the plot.
The new neighbourhood creates a natural passage and fusion of rural construction – houses and urban construction – skyscrapers. The main urban features of the surroundings of the city of Kranj are hills and mountains, near and far. The urban design follows this feature with an installation of a hill as a consequence of covering up a garage. This new hill is covers the plot from southeast to northwest. On the hill are residential lamellas. Why a hill? A hill offers a view from its peak as well as a better privacy, which are basic advantages of a green hill in the new “Urban Mountain” neighbourhood. The horizontal residential lamellas plant the green hill, while the urban design, with its smaller hills, gives the resident a sense of living on an “Urban Mountain”.
On the west side of the plot there is a shopping mall Qlandia. The influences of the neighbouring public programe are reflected by a public square. The business lamella, which runs along the street, curves slightly and creates a square – an urban clearing. The square is defined by two vertical residential skyscrapers, as a landmark, which can be recognized on the silhouette of the city, from afar. The third residential skyscraper marks the public square – a green clearing beside the green area on the west side of the plot and curves the lamella, in which a kindergarten is located.
Both business lamellas, with its skyscrapers, have an effect of a bracket that marks the green pasture. The green and the urban clearing, with its shape and function, represent the public good.
ARCHITECTURE
The basic principle of a home is providing a comfort living. The archetype of comfort is represented by warm materials, which is wood in the Gorenjska region. The archetype of the Gorenjska region construction is a wooden hut in the mountains. The Urban Mountain offers living in an urban hut. Why an Urban hut? The Urban hut offers a break in the nature, the smell of wood, privacy, views and natural light. The resident of the neighbourhood gets a feeling of the Urban hut with the before mentioned urban design, as well as with the architecture: the introduction of a living loggia and roofed patio, which offers an added value (light, shadow, privacy, the warmth of a material, green garden).
The element of a “hut”, or a wooden box, becomes a basic design element that takes and adds to the basic volume. As such, the element of a “hut” transforms into a loggia, a patio, a penthouse and a green trough for the trees.
With the urban and architectural design a feeling of snowy peaks is created that surround the “mountain and the hut”.

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