House Suha

This single-family house is built in a village in the suburbs of a famous medieval town, Škofja Loka in Slovenia. The house was built as a replacement structure on the site of a former farm building, which formed the eastern side of a farm courtyard.

Due to cultural heritage regulations, the new building has a gabled roof and adheres to the maximum allowed building dimensions of the demolished structure.

The investor into the new building is the farm owner’s son, who is academically educated and therefore has very urban requirements with regard to the house located in a traditional rural area. The house is situated on the edge of the Sora River slope, facing the river in the south and west, affording a beautiful panoramic view of the medieval castle built high over the town of Škofja Loka. The building has a basement, a ground floor and first floor. It is positioned perpendicular to the river slope. Therefore the basement opens towards the lower river terrace, while the ground floor opens up – with a wide glass surface – towards the farm courtyard.

The first floor with the sleeping rooms faces east. Public access to the building is from the south side, offering both access on foot and access by car to the garages located in the basement. Along the longer, east side, an external staircase leads to the main entrance. The west side of the building is immersed into the existing grassy slope, where the Japanese-style garden stairs lead to the grassy area in front of the living room on the ground floor. Thus the building is well-integrated into the site. The position of the building presents an urban image and emphasises the roundedness of the farm courtyard which is surrounded, like a large atrium, by the owner’s buildings and the new houses belonging to his children. The cross-section of the building is in the shape of the letter ‘Z’, with the ground floor completely open towards the courtyard on the west side of the building, while the first floor faces the east side of the building. The division of the building into floors is simple and logical. The basement level comprises a large garage, a storage room, a fitness room, sauna, a boiler room and a utility room.

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From here, stairs lead to the ground floor and on to the first floor. The ground floor has a long, rectangular shape. On its narrower, north side, there are a staircase and the main entrance, along with a toilet. The remaining large and unified space is dedicated to the kitchen, dining room and living room. This space opens up through a 12-meter-wide unsupported window to the ‘atrium’ of the house, with picturesque views towards the river and the old town. This is actually a ‘balcony’ room with a view. From the ground floor, the staircase leads to the first floor and into a longitudinal corridor along the west side, featuring a long, panoramic window with views of the town panorama. The east side of the corridor is dotted with the sleeping and ‘working’ rooms for children and parents, with corresponding bathrooms. The entire eastern side of the corridor is lined with wardrobes. The parents’ bedroom has a separate bathroom and a south-facing panoramic window, affording views of the surroundings from the bed. The building structure is made of reinforced concrete, the partition walls are brick and the roofing is made of wood. The external load-bearing walls have 25cm-thick insulation with white plaster. The zinc roof is light grey in colour. A glass projecting roof protrudes over the building’s main entrance. The green ‘terrace’ in front of the living room features a wide walking surface made of teak wood.

The heating is a combination of under-floor heating, heat recovery, a heat pump and two geothermal bore holes. The low-energy house has minimal electric energy consumption. In the interests of low energy consumption, the house has openings only where they are needed, or where they open up additional views of the surroundings.

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