Lena Krušec, Tomaž Krušec
The “Rock Villas” are standing on a rocky slope, rising on the East side of the medieval city centre of Celje. The slope is dominated by a catholic monastery and was settled by civic villas in the first half of the past century. The typology of grand format construction has remained the dominant form of construction even after World War II when the settlement condensed and expanded onto flat land. Due to an exceptional gradient of the slope a central plot measuring 3300 m2 has remained vacant until present time.
The plot is now occupied by two multistorey buildings, constructed in 2006 and 2007. The basic purpose behind designing two condensed construction masses was to preserve the dominant building typology which has through decades shaped the character of the quarter known as Rock Basement.
In order to preserve views from existing single family homes behind the plot the Rock Villas are only two storeys high on the North side. On the South side the buildings cascade in terraces along the slope, reaching a height of three and four storeys. Each of the two volumes are organized into multiple separate residential units with decidedly individual characters due to varying border conditions.
The functional layout of each apartment responds in the best possible manner to varying border conditions. Apartments situated in one of the three ground floors are designed to be inseparably linked to a green garden while apartments in the upper storeys are organized around large sun terraces. The only apartment without an option for a terrace has an exterior space situated on the roof of the building. Each apartment thus benefits from an inseparable bond with an external terrace or garden with a panoramic view of the Celje skyline.
Views of Celje, its medieval castle and the surrounding hillsides also dominate the other internal spaces in the apartments. Parking for residents and guests is organized in the basement floor linking both buildings. As most of the traffic infrastructure is organized below ground, the slope has retained its verdant image.