slovenian practice OFIS has completed ‘step level house’, a residential property on the outskirts of ljubljana’s city center. as there is a 2.5 meter (8ft) difference in height between the front of the plot and the rear, the building is divided into terraced ‘steps’ that include plants on each floor. the resulting volume is wrapped in a perforated brick skin that provides privacy, while the more secluded rear of the dwelling, with its stepped back elevation, is glazed to ensure external views and sightlines.

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center
all images by tomaz gregoric

 

 

the client, a bilingual family, tasked OFIS with designing a home that accommodated two different living rooms areas: one to serve as a reception space accessed at street level, and another for daily family life, which includes the kitchen and lounge at the lower level. the first floor contains the family’s sleeping quarters, while the uppermost storey has been designed as a penthouse for guests. each level has its own terrace.

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center

 

 

the duality of the home’s functions is also clearly expressed in the sections. ‘on the one hand there is a typical aggregation of floors in a single family house, while on the other, the voids for the garage and the terraces hollow the building in two parts while visually connecting the gardens in the back, the different terraces of the house, and the main entrance from the street,’ explains the design team.

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center

 

 

furthermore, a number of solutions geared towards making the house more sustainable have been incorporated. these include a heat recovery ventilation system, a geothermal heat pump, and a ceiling cooling system installed in the concrete slabs. meanwhile, double layer thermal insulation and triple glazed windows enure that a maximum amount of heat is retained. see other projects by OFIS, including an adaptable living unit and a house featured on TV show black mirror, on designboom here.

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center

OFIS completes 'step level house' on the outskirts of ljubljana's city center

 

 

project info:

 

name: step level house
location: ljubljana, slovenia
status: project 2016; construction start 2017; completion 2019
program: house
client: private

area: 385 sqm / 4,144 sqf
architect: OFIS
project team: rok oman, spela videcnik, andrej gregoric, janez martincic
, josé navarrete jiménez, barbora kubíčková, filomena zegarelli, mariangela fabbri, sara carciotti, yelizaveta smalonskaya, katharina felix, viktoria dimitrova, ana skobe, roberta gravina, laura martínez vega
structural engineering: projecta d.o.o
mechanical engineering: vavtar enginering d.o.o
electrical engineering: eldata d.o.o.
photography: tomaz gregoric