Can I make an argument that when things get more serious we humans want to be reassured of at least one thing? At least one thing. I’m sure it is different from person to person- maybe knowledge of loved ones or perhaps that one’s baseball card collection is safe at home while one is in immediate peril of expiration, cuing in line at the local planning office. But one must have a list of things to choose from. One possibility might be the local planning office itself? What if the building itself somehow spoke to you, reassuring you of its competence? The voice would be the friendly yet serious vocalism of the Computer onboard Enterprise NCC-1701 D. And it would console you while you are moving inch by inch closer to the front of the cue ‘Don’t worry citizen, we’ve lost your building application for the proper amount of time and have now had a chance to look it over and deny it.’
Corten screens set the Ministry of Public Administration in Jesenice, Slovenia, aloof yet present. Openings that run down the facade in a sort of pulsing rhythm, can be opened and shut individually, spanning within to without. And this is particularly interesting, I feel. That the building does not sit passively behind its shroud, but instead is interactive in a way. The civil servant wanting fresh air is not all to dissimilar in character to the man throwing open a shop door. They want the same thing.
The Corten screen is strongly referential to the city’s history and major industry, steel. Jesenice is home to Acroni, Slovenia’s largest steel company. Many buildings in the town have a rusty-red colour, in fact one is peaking through in one of the pictures. In addition to paying homage, the screen also mitigates light and acts together with quality windows systems and a high degree of thermal insulation to create an ‘inert energy system’, keeping costs to a minimum (and setting a good example). The architect’s theory is that comfortable visitors and employees makes for an overall better environment. Groundbreaking.
Courtesy of Studio Kalamar