Presented architectural design of an apartment building originated in a competition by invitation. It rises from the investors local program and limitations of the locality, utility lines and regulations of the urban plan. Locality of this new building is the Severná street in the city of Banská Bystrica. It is a small residential area formed mostly by prefabricated apartment buildings from 70s. This area is covered by the sun from the south, in direction from the city center. The disadvantage of this site is limited time of insulation in the winter time, which is caused by the steep Kremnické mountains near the area on the west side. In the terms of the urban plan a new building can have five storeys with one recessed floor and should form one solid block . . .

This apartment house is designed according to the few factors that we found and according to the assignment from the investor. They were particularly; (1) the rectangular shape of the site and its orientation, (2) the closeness of high apartment buildings near the north side of the site, (3) the path of gas line that has to be dislocated, (4) the orientation of views in the higher floors towards the old town center, (5) the regulation of insulation, (6) the investment optimization by using a simple and economical structure.

Considering pros and cons we designed a building with a strongly rectangular shape which longer side is oriented to the south. New building is fulfilling the urban plan regulations in its height and number of parking lots on the site. The shape of the building is very simple. It is placed on the site to avoid the protective zone of dislocating the gas line and that applies as well to the parking places. Cars are placed in the semi – underground level for aesthetic, secure, covering (weather) and other reasons. This floor will have a non-closed wall structure that allows natural ventilation, what will lower the costs of the realization and traffic in use. Placing the parking lots underground will allow us to use the site as a green park, on which the owners of flats will have a nice view.

The rectangular shape of the floor plan enables living rooms of the flats to be oriented on the south. That will secure enough privacy, mostly from the apartment buildings on the north side. Facades of the building, except the south one, are very simple and structural not difficult. Bigger part of the investment should focus on the south facade, especially on the interface between interior and exterior of flats and its purposeful parametric shaping.

By designing the shape of the building we have worked with software method of parametric projecting. The shape of the facade follows a purpose of quality insulation and the same time balconies are simultaneously shielding each other agains various factors. It was very important to us to create a visual privacy for each flat. While designing a parametric facade we considered the necessity of fire protective stripes and an aesthetic attractiveness of our solution. In this design we have incorporated the south facade used as wall to wall-glass windows, which with the possibility of vertical vegetation garden creates an experience of a very attractive and modern way of living.

The south side of the site is planned as closed, controlled park. The entrance to the building is from the secured lobby space which is in the middle portion of the building. Closed park will provide multiple advantages. Quality of the view from the south facade can be easily controlled, trees will be protected from vandals and will create an important barrier between the busy street and our building. Park will divide the building from the busy surrounding and will allow families to live surrounded by the exterior and enjoy it to the fullest. The possibility of letting kids play outside where big trees create a save haven. Park will be lit even at night which will be attractive to residents or just to a trespasser. Concept of the lights is counting not only with the direct lighting from the facades, but as well with illumination of trees and bushes on the south side. In conclusion we just want add that our ambition was not to put in the building as many small flats as possible for a rental gain investment. We designed an apartment building dedicated to full enjoyment of the family living.

Authors: Braňo Hovorka, Martin Paulíny, Marek Peťovský, Jakub Havlík
Location: Banská Bystrica, Severná ulica
Design: 2018