How does one combine the old with the new, the existing with what could possibly exist? Is there a line that informs this decision or do they fade into one another seamlessly? Is it distinguished through materiality, program, form? Is it replaced, adapted, destroyed? But then again, why worry about dealing with the old, when we can build something entirely new instead?
By examining the existing urban conditions within Ljubljana and combing that with it’s cultural heritage, Studio Kalamar was able to develop a concept that utilizes a previously alienated building and renovate it into a more useable public and retail space. The current building houses a pharmacy on the ground floor with administrative health care programs taking place at the back and upper floors. The renovation sets up a department store within the principle volume, and an expansion for apartments on the roof, where the entrance and public areas are at the back of building.
The main volume was renovated with respects to its façade and its vertical structural elements within, honoring the existing building and merely refreshing it. The addition on the roof introduces a modern dynamic volume, deviating from the surrounding formal design decisions in the rest of the site to bring new life to the area, separating itself from the already established atmosphere on the ground.
Here we see the new appropriately being separated from the old through the use of materiality and form to distinguish the different program of the space above, from that below. This allows the integrity of the existing structure to remain predominate while demonstrating the necessity of change and reformation within buildings in order to obtain the most out of the architecture, acknowledging the tastes of newer generations and adapting to the growing environment.
© Studio Kalamar