Barje house


Project: Atrium House on Barje
Location: Ljubljana Barje
Client: Private
Year: 2021-
Area: 160 sqm
Authors: BAAM architects
Typology: Single-family house
Photo/Viz: BAAM arhitekti


The inspiration for construction on marshland hails from thousands of years ago when the pile-dwelling settlements started to appear on the Ljubljana Marshland about 4500 years ago. At first glance, the simple dwellings of wooden houses on stilts, covered with weathered straw, complied with both environmental and technical guidelines for building on marshland soil. Today, typical builders on the marshland raise the terrain to avoid flooding, thereby slowly raising the overall water level during floods. This elevation of the water level subsequently causes problems for neighboring houses and later for themselves.

Similarly to the pile dwellers, we have raised the house off the ground using piles. As such, there will be no fear of water during floods, and this is followed by raised paths on the non-buildable part of the plot, which we have designed as a park with local vegetation. The owners are art collectors, primarily of sculptures, so the path through the park deviates, exploiting these deviations to display sculptures. With the anticipated intensive colonization of the marshland in the future, we expect new construction on both sides of the house. We achieved privacy by orienting the window surfaces towards the atriums. Consequently, the majority of the views from the rooms are directed through the atriums towards the unbuilt part of our plot.

As with the pile-dwelling house, our architecture is marked by simple details. The visible wooden roof structure, concrete load-bearing piles, and natural plaster reinterpret pile-dwelling architecture adapted to modern living guidelines. A respectful upgrade to the dwelling from 4500 years ago.