Chimney House Makes Functional Feature the Main Event

Dekleva Gregorič Architects is the Slovenian practice whose driving concepts – ‘research by design’, and ‘design by research’ – have constantly pushed them to push the envelope, with often award-winning results. In Chimney House, the humble chimney – one of the original features of human dwellings – is enlarged into a dramatic central column, making for a majestic centrepiece in this private country residence for two.

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The views from interior are curated by square windows, varying in size, that carefully perforate the volume.

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The axially conceived linear layout meets the crossing of open space: dining becomes an outdoor experience by opening both sliding glass doors on the sides.

Located in Logatec, Slovenia, Chimney House prioritises the private and social life of the clients by bringing the multi-purpose kitchen to the centre. Whilst the oiled larch boards of the exterior is loyal to the traditional gabled roofs and wooden cladding of its neighbouring houses, the voluminous height and calculated use of variously-sized windows to let in light pulls it into dialogue with the neighbouring 16th century church.

Through this careful curation of light, the practice tells us, one can: ”discover and observe the ever-changing condition of the sky that becomes part of everyday life in the house”.

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Entering in conversation with the church.

The interior space is split across two levels, with the master bedroom raised slightly above the kitchen and living room. Both spaces are lit from above by a continuous skylight running the length of the building’s apex, and further natural light is introduced with the inhabitable cubbyholes set into the walls. The interior is tied together aesthetically through a consistent use of oiled oak, reinforced concrete, and touches of black furniture and hanging light fixings.

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The thick wrapping envelope provides small ‘inhabitable’ window niches that carefully curate incoming light and expand views to the surroundings.

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Plentiful natural light floods all the interior spaces by entering through the linear opening on the ridge of the roof.

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Windows curate natural light and expand views to the exterior. All unnecessary details such as window frames are hidden behind the cladding.

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The square windows vary in size, and carefully perforate the volume.

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The wooden gables echo the architecture of neighbouring houses.

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The cladding is composed of oiled larch boards.

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Centrally positioned kitchen with the unmistakable chimney forms the cross-section of the volume.

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Wooden boards extensively define the interior. Oak is used for flooring and the floor-to-ceiling cupboards, whereas the reinforced concrete ceiling shows the imprint of wooden panelling.

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Split level house.

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The house sits on a spacious 832m2 plot of land.

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Deliberate secondary wooden roof-cladding provides continuity for the dark wooden materiality of the facade. Custom snow-holders peek from the gaps of the roofing.

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The niches double as spacious storage areas.

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Functionality of the kitchen is the priority.

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Split level section – half a floor up, in privacy and behind the chimney, one finds the master bedroom with a view of the sky and stars.

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Hanging bulbs supplement the light that floods in through the skylight.

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The reinforced concrete roof highlights the materiality of the space.

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Oiled oak wood is omnipresent.

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The chimney element contains all the necessary house technology, and is clad with 4 mm thick metal plates.

Fact File
Subtitle: chimney as an element of typological transformation
Location: Logatec, Slovenia
Plot area: 830 m2
Built up area: 145 m2
Project dates: 2014- 2016

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Photos: Flavio Coddou

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