Groleger Arhitekti completes remarkable new residential addition to Slovenia's coastline
Portoroz is the leading sea-side tourist centre in Slovenia, with many hotels, villas and residential areas. The whole territory is a gently rising hillside facing the south and the sea. Until WWII the area was known as a health resort characterised by Mediterranean vegetation and a few hotels but post-war a general urbanisation was undertaken, predominantly with individual housing. Unfortunately, no urban strategy was available at the time and the characteristic local typology was seldom respected. For the last 10 years the density of the whole area has been radically increasing.
Located at the top of the hill ‘Beli Kriz’, the site is surrounded by private residences characterised by a diversity of architectural styles and colours. In contrast, this specific housing complex designed by Groleger Arhitekti consists of individual terrain hugging living units. The site naturally falls steeply away from the street towards the sea; responding to the natural fall of the property, the main entrance is from street level and leads into an open plan kitchen, dining and living space while stairs lead down to the more private sleeping area which opens onto a grassy courtyard with olive trees planted native to the Mediterranean coastal region. Large sliding windows offer panoramic views over the Piran Bay.
The appearance of the street façade is bastion-like, protecting the privacy of the homes behind. The uniform stone cladding helps to unite the separate buildings into a recognisable whole, interrupted only by openings allowing glimpses into the garden and bay. Repeating the stone cladding on the western side of each unit provides a clear visual division between the single dwellings. By shaping the buildings on the principle ‘less is more’ the architect has achieved a simple modern language that is able to bond and coexist with the natural Mediterranean surrounding.