Compact Karst House
This small, compact stony house’s design suits the needs of the young family while also following contemporary technological principles and the tradition of these local, almost windowless structures. The proto-house concept is a monolithic mono-material volume inserted with two wooden proto-houses connected within the shared, open gallery.
Sited on a slope, the location affords views of neighbouring forests and the traditional stone village of Monrupino. On the upper slope of the site a wall, part of the architects’ design, increases in height as it winds its way down the hill, where it culminates in steps leading to the entrance of the house.
The design of the small compact stony house corresponds to the needs of the young family and simultaneously follows current technological principles and the tradition of small, compact, stony and almost windowless houses of the Karst region. Redefinition of traditional stone Karst house led to the concept of proto-house as compact, mono material, pitched roof volume for contemporary countryside living in this region.
The house is conceived as a monolithic volume with two inserted wooden volumes connected with interim landing, which acts as playroom. The wooden volumes, which contain the master bedroom, kid’s bedroom and bathroom, provide intimacy, while the rest of the space operates as public open space spreading out to the landscape through three large square windows. House in a house concept allow each bedroom to perform as primarily wooden pitched house, where one literally feels like sleeping in his own (symbolic) house and not a room.
The local limestone, set into the concrete during the casting process, gives the walls the appearance of having a solid masonry construction. The ceiling is the concrete slab of the roof construction – the formwork was done out of wooden planks. All interior dry walls are made of three layer spruce plywood panels, oiled with transparent oil. The horizontal slab is spruce Cross Laminated Timber.
Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti:
The region of the Karst was once covered with Oak trees that Venetians extensively used to build up the City on water. They left the wind to peel off the earth revealing limestone ground. In this landscape, the tradition of small, compact, stony and almost windowless houses developed and has remained until today.
Following this tradition determined the design of a small compact stony house, corresponding to the needs of the young family and current technological principles. The redefinition of a traditional stony Karst house led to the concept of the proto-house as a compact, stony, pitched roof volume for contemporary countryside living in this region. The house is conceived as a monolithic volume with two inserted wooden volumes connected with an interim landing.
The ground floor operates mostly as a public or semi-public space with multiple grand landscape views, whereas on the other hand the upper floor stands very private, with sky views only. The space is divided with two inserted wooden volumes which contain a kitchen with dining or bathroom on the ground floor, and a master bedroom and children’s room on the upper floor.
The house in a house concept allows each bedroom to perform as a primarily wooden pitched house, where one literally feels like sleeping in his own (symbolic) house and not a room. The bridge connecting both houses acts as playroom. The house has three large square windows which look out on views towards a hilltop church in Italy to the west, forest to the south and entrance platform to the east.
The redefinition of a traditional stony Karst roof, with its texture, colour, material and its steep inclination is executed as a contemporary concrete interpretation, with intense technological ingenuity. A materially inseparable connection between the facade and the roof is a key allusion to the image of the traditional Karst village.
The design of the house addresses the relationship between the contemporary and tradition, it opens up the question about the characteristics of the anonymous traditionally built architecture from which it originates and simultaneously establishes the relationship between contemporary interpretation and the traditionally conditional domain of synthesis.
Project name: Compact Karst House
Location: Vrhovlje 9, 6221 Dutovlje, Slovenia
Coordinates: 45.726149, 13.823938
- Type By Characteristic: Barn House, Green & Sustainable House
- Type By Site: Countryside / Suburb House, Hill House
- Type By Size: Small House – (51 sqm – 200 sqm)
- Type By Materials: Stone House
Project Area: 92 sqm
Site Area: 336 sqm
Project Year: 2011–2012
Completion Year: 2014
Client / Owner / Developer: Borut Pertot
Architects: Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti – dalmatinova ulica 11, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Project Team: Aljoša Dekleva, Tina Gregorič, Lea Kovič, Vid Zabel
Text Description: © Courtesy of Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti,
Images: © Dekleva Gregoric Arhitekti, Janez Marolt