The project involves an extension of a 19th-century villa located in a beautiful Alpine resort next to Lake Bled. Both the old villa and the landscape were strictly regulated by the National Heritage people. The client’s chief request was for the main living area to be twice the size of the old existing villa. On top of that, most of the spaces had to face the lake. The client invited several architects to come up with ideas.
The main task was how to incorporate the new 700-m2 addition while respecting all the restrictions the villa and the surrounding landscape were subject to.
Our proposal placed new spaces beneath the ground floor of the existing villa.
The extension forms a rounded base around the house – a pillow covered by the landscape. Looking from the other side of the lake, the pillow blurs with the surrounding landscape. The elevation under the pillow is glazed and overlooks the lake. The floor is organised in levels according to the outside landscape (± 50 cm). They were used as a locator and divider of the opened ground level. The top of the pillow becomes a terrace and garden on the upper floor, where the children’s area is located.
The main living spaces (the ancillary kitchen, dining area, TV space, a space with a fireplace for listening to music by, a library and work space) are placed in the new extension.
Everyday services such as wardrobes, the main kitchen and guest bathroom are behind the walls of the old villa cellar. Garages and storage/workshop spaces are hidden in this volume. The old villa becomes a private rest area with the children’s space on the first floor and the parent’s on the top.
The main entrance is from the courtyard and is displaced from the house’s central axis; one enters the side volume of the old villa cellar of the new part. Then one crosses the curved ramp and passes beneath the staircase. Here, a three-storey hall opens up to form the heart of the old villa, while the visual axis of the lake conducts you to the new living area.
The curved stairs define things, connect the old and the new, and play the part of the main communications core in the house. All rooms and open spaces give onto the staircase and communicate with the main lobby.