This stunning seaside structure bursts free from the all-too-frequently stale stock of public housing projects with its dynamic array of brightly shaded cells. Taking its cues from the modular honeycomb clusters of a beehive, the complex was constructed as a low-income residence for young families and couples in the industrial district of Izola on the Slovenian coast. The striking development boasts beautiful views and makes smart use of solar shading and natural ventilation to regulate its interiors all year-round.
At first glance, one can’t help but be taken in by the building’s beautiful staggered balconies. Designed to mimic the rhythmic structure of honeycomb, the layout creates “dynamic elevations and offers privacy to the neighboring owners.” We’re also impressed by the collaborative effort behind the project which at its core was comprised of a 9-person design team including Rok Oman, Špela Videčnik, Martina Lipicer, Neža Oman, Nejc Batistič, Florian Frey, Marisa Baptista, and špela uršič.
Each of the balcony modules is topped with a colorful textile shade that provides for efficient solar shading and ventilation: “Textile elements fixed on the front of the balconies block direct sunlight and accumulate ‘air buffer’ zone. In the summer, hot air accumulated in the area behind the shadings is naturally ventilated through (10 cm holes) perforated side partitions of the balconies. In the winter the warm air stays in the area and provides additional heating to the apartments.”