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Hospic building is a centre for palliative care. As a home for persons in their final stage of life, Hospic bears witness to the more serious aspects of life, failing health and the departure. That’s why it’s crucial that the building offers a safe haven, a place with the possibility of identifying with one’s environment, a place that one can treat as home. The design of the building focuses on characteristics that offer positive ambient and psychological effects. The materials are warm, the colours are pleasant and the shapes are easy to understand. We wanted the building to be easily recognisable, so we created a building with strong characteristic features. It reminds us of a large rustic bread baking oven. The design of the facade is inspired by the chessboard pattern with light- and dark-coloured ceramic squares and evenly distributed window openings, whose transparent glass railing is printed with a pattern borrowed from an ex-libris by Jože Plečnik. The facade with multiple layers or the »coat« embodies the ideas of tradition, life cycles and fragility and transience of human life. The ground-floor entrance canopy is made of rough concrete in the shape of ‘Casa piccola’ and it adheres to the street line. The inscription on the entrance canopy signals public function of the building, but at the same time the canopy protects the entrance from view, keeping a certain level of privacy and secretiveness. The interior with almost square floor plan creates a home like ambiance through use of warm materials such as wood and careful use of natural light. A monumental staircase connecting public realms of the building winds around the central vertical core and opens different wiews in the surroundings.

Location: Hradeckega 20, Ljubljana

Client: Municipality of Ljubljana

Project: 2004

Built: 2010

Photo: Damjan Svarc, Archive

Award: Plečnik Award nomination 2010

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