Vilharia Sustainable Working Hub

Ljubljana/ Slovenia

Size/ 39,000 m² above ground in 6 levels + 18,000 m² below ground in 2 levels
Competition/ 2019, International restricted competition
Status/ Ongoing
Client/ Corwin
Local Partner/ Elea iC
Engineers/ Elea iC, Thornton Tomasetti, Biro ES, Fojkarfire, Salvis
Sustainability/ Pre-certified LEED Platinum
Visuals/ Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects + Willbe Studio

Nestled in the heart of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Vilharia will be a sustainable working hub and meeting place for the capital city. The 57,000 square-metre mixed-use development will include a shopping street, an urban plaza, green roof terraces, and flexible office space. Prioritising well-being, outdoor space, and adaptability, Vilharia aims to be the greenest office building in Ljubljana.

Vilharia is located in the northern part of central Ljubljana, an eco-friendly European capital with abundant green space. Vilharia is positioned along the central railway and directly adjacent to Slovenia’s largest public transportation hub. Stretching more than 200 metres along Vilharjeva Street, the extensive development will draw in and generate city life.

The building is a long rectangular volume with an urban plaza cutting through from the northern side. On the southern side, terraces and outdoor spaces cut away small and large pixels from the volume. The result is a pragmatic form with a rigid and rectangular northern side and a wavy and porous mountain-like structure on the southern side.

A simple and elegant façade grid creates an open and transparent structure that is welcoming and democratic. The grid structure and outdoor spaces create an urban shelf that unfolds city life and lets in the city.

The grid-like façade is clad in natural limestone with anodised, bronze-coloured aluminium window frames that slightly protrude, contrasting the heavier matte stone grid. The north façade's glass panels are placed at different depths to create a dynamic and playful exterior, establishing strong visual motion along Vilharjeva street.

Floor-to-ceiling windows maximise views and daylight in an effort to improve workplace well-being. Operable wood-clad panels between the window frames enable natural ventilation and minimise direct sunlight. This design choice reduces the building's energy consumption and allows tenants to regulate the amount of natural air intake.

Vilharia prioritises future flexibility and building longevity through a robust modular design concept. Combined with an efficient plan layout, the design enables maximum adaptability and tenant flexibility, offering vertical and horizontal occupancy opportunities. The façade grid can suit different office divisions, giving tenants the freedom to modify the inner walls and customise the space.

Outdoor spaces are scattered throughout the building, providing views of greenery with the option to work outdoors on sunny days. Patios, terraces, balconies, and a large roof terrace provide private and social spaces to meet and work. The use of natural materials such as wood, metal, glass, and local foliage fosters welcoming outdoor spaces that support biophilia and sustainable building. South-facing rooftop terraces are adorned with lush plant boxes, creating green pockets along the roof’s edge.

The project targets LEED Platinum and will set the bar for future office buildings across the region.

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