Half Dose #34: Panoramic Garden of CCIS

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia in Ljubljana, completed in 1999, was a very important project for the Slovenian architects Jurij Sadar and Bostjan Vuga, who started Sadar Vuga Arhitekti after winning the design competition for the office building in 1996. The project was a finalist for the 2001 Mies van der Rohe Awards.


In 2003 the client asked the architects to modify their design, to add a VIP room for receptions, award ceremonies, and special meetings of the managment board. The renovated roof space is apparent in the building's upper-left corner in the bottom (after) image above.


The architects noticed that since completion employees had brought in plants for their desks, eventually the green finding its way to the corridors and the front of the building. Coupled with the total lack of green in their initial design, the architects used the new-found lushness as an inspiration for the renovation, deciding on a Panoramic Garden as a concept for the space.


The glazing of the VIP room juts above the existing frame, and draws inspiration from the cross section of a plant leaf, rather than the architects' previous building design. A further break from the existing building is achieved via a continuous ribbon which "wraps and leaps through the space to define different microatmospheres related to the different activities taking place," according to the architects. Pots sit inside the ribbon, their overgrowth eventually obscuring the ribbon and making a "green belt" running through the space.


While the term "green" is thrown around a lot these days, usually referring to a concern for sustainability, here the architects see it as a vehicle for the permanent change of the space, in terms of how the plants grow, what types are added or subtracted over time, their maintenance, and so on. They responded to the employees reaction to the space and provided the upper echelon with a uniquely-designed space that might just lead to another level of employee customization down the road.


:: Sadar Vuga Arhitekti
:: Mies van der Rohe Award


  1. Client: I want something modern, trendy, cool.
    Architect: Check!
    Client: It should be swoopy, but not just any swoopy, arbitrary swoopy. You know, Zaha Hadid-y.
    Architect: Check!
    Client: And, you know, we care about the environment.
    Architect: This is good.
    Client: So, yeah, we want to bring the outdoors in and be sensitive to to the materials we use.
    Architect: This is good.
    Client: Something organic...
    Architect: Oh, like FLLW?
    Client: No, no, no. Something swoopy, arbitrary, Hadid-y...
    Architect: Check!

  2. i don't know about all that green snake oil, but it is really beautiful.

  3. hmmmm, am I the only one with the feeling that these guys are seriously at odds with their original project?

  4. seier+seier - No, you're not the only one. It's intentional, according to the architects who saw that they could approach the design by 1) extending the existing vocubulary, 2) going with something completely alien, or 3) combining 1 and 2. Apparently #2 won. If it's successful...well, I think it looks like a great space on the inside but is a bit too alien on the exterior

  5. going with something completely alien hardly amounts to a design strategy...I am reminded of an adolf loos satire in which the architect is embarrased by his own work of three years earlier...


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