Architecture firm SADAR + VUGA finally completed construction on Ljubljana's new Air Traffic Control Center, a multi-million euro project considered the one of the most modern in the area. The 116,000 square-foot building was built to direct the growing number of aircraft flown over the country - which are expected to double by 2020. Wrapped in a bone white sculptural shell, the new Air Traffic Control Center is covered with bronze reflective glass that mirrors the surrounding snow-capped mountains.
Though SADAR + VUGA first designed the project in 2006, construction was prolonged due to complex safety and security requirements. Located at the middle of the site for safety reasons, the Air Traffic Control Center is bordered by parking to the north and a vegetative buffer to the south. Five different security zones are built into the building, with the highest-security area located near the heart of the building.
Built to operate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, the building’s compact design helps to enhance the operational efficiency with clear and easy circulation. With a shape reminiscent of an airplane in plan view, the Air Traffic Control Center is comprised of a pentagonal head connected to two divergent wings by a central, vertical hall. The flat roof rises and falls in a series of terraces to create a diversity of views.
The compact shape also boasts high energy efficiency and is powered by the renewable, geothermal energy sources. Careful building orientation and glazing helps mitigate solar heat gain. Reflective bronze glass windows mirror the surrounding mountains and visually reinforce the themes of security and protection.