The beauty of design lies in finding expression in restriction. When Slovenian firm Ofis Arhitekti was commissioned to design a holiday home for their client but tasked with doing so without exceeding the pre-approved 6×11 meter footprint, the design team did exactly that. The result is an inspired and deceivingly spacious, sustainable reinterpretation of an Alpine classic.
The modern chalet is located high up in the Slovenian Alps in a picturesque village called Stara Fuzina, which is part of Triglav national park and thus has very strict rules of construction and architectural design. The client had originally purchased the site with an existing permit to build a traditional Slovenian Alpine hut but desired something more modern and sustainable to match his family’s needs and preferences. By designing within the dimensions, roof pitch, and material requirements, Ofis was able to avoid obtaining a new construction permit.
Large corner windows were positioned toward the sun allowing the chalet to soak up the solar heat on sunny winter days, to the point that heating is no longer needed. Thermal isolation placed between the exterior and interior wood cladding absorbs heat form the sun and emits warmth through the walls. The upper floor hangs over the lower floor creating a sun shield during the summer. Rainwater from the roof is collected during the summer.
The home is constructed from stone, wooden columns, and facade patterns take cues from the local vernacular. Three bedrooms and a sauna are located downstairs, while the downstairs houses a combined kitchen, dining, living area. The stairs wrap around a large fireplace that heats both the upstairs and downstairs.