Portorož is the leading sea-side tourist center in Slovenia, with many hotels, villas and residential areas. The whole territory is a gently rising hillside facing the south and the sea. Until the 2nd world war the place was known as a health resort characterized by Mediterranean vegetation and a few hotels. After the 2nd world war a general urbanization started, predominantly with individual housing. Unfortunately, no urban strategy was available at the time and the characteristic local typology was seldom respected. For the last 10 years the density of the whole area has been radically increasing.
Located almost at the top of the hill »Beli Križ«, the site is surrounded by existing private residences characterized by a diversity of architectural styles and colors. Contrasting this inherited mixture the architects proposed a housing complex consisting of individual terrain hugging living units.
The site naturally falls steeply away from the street towards the sea therefore the houses have been designed to respond to the natural fall of the property: the main entrance is from street level and leads into an open plan kitchen, dining and living space while stairs lead down to the more private sleeping area which opens onto a grassy courtyard. Large sliding windows offer enticing views over the adjacent sea. Olive trees are planted as a reminiscence of the native vegetation reviving the local Mediterranean spirit.
The appearance of the street façade is like a bastion protecting the privacy of the homes behind. the uniform artificial stone cladding of the street façade helps to unite the separate buildings into a recognizable whole, interrupted only by vertical and horizontal openings allowing glimpses into the garden. Repeating the artificial stone cladding on the western side of each unit provides a clear visual division between the single dwellings.
By shaping the buildings on the principle “less is more” and focusing on the landscape keeping its natural qualities, the architect intended to achieve a simple modern language that could be able to bond and coexist with the natural surrounding.