Special Projects

Wooden Interventions

Koper, Slovenia

Approaching the wetlands 1 | Approaching the wetlands
Building in a fragile nature reserve requires a careful handling of to the location – the wooden interventions allow visitors to approach it.
Design: The Nature Reserve Škocjan is a valuable brackish water inlet of the Adriatic Sea. Located between transport axes and the city of Koper, it is home to many hooved animals and over 245 species of birds. The interventions are supposed to preserve the identity of the place while realizing architectural landmarks. 14 buildings, mostly placed along an educational trail in the eastern part of the reserve, mainly serve as a means of nature observation. They are used as stable or observation platforms. The three-storey main building is the entrance to the trail with an information center for the nature reserve.

Wood: All buildings were built with sustainable and recyclable materials. Wood was used for the structural system, the facades, the interior finishing, and more purposes. Its visible structural system makes the main building seem like a bird’s nest in the reeds. This analogy was intentional in order to place the building visually inside the environment. All materials, design, colors, and textures were chosen as a continuation and careful extension of a landscape worthy of protection.
Spiral ramp in the observation tower 2 | Spiral ramp in the observation tower
Observation tower 3 | Observation tower
Observation platform 4 | Observation platform
Visitors’ center 5 | Visitors’ center
Sitting accommodation 6 | Sitting accommodation
Basic information
Year of Completion |  2016
Investor |  Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning Slovenia (SI)
Architecture |  Ravnikar Potokar arhitekturni biro d.o.o., Ljubljana (SI); landscape Architecture: Urša Komac, Canberra (AU)
Structural Engineering |  Vilko Šuligoj, Nova Gorica (SI)
Construction Time |  24 months
Gross floor area |  810 m²
Construction Costs (netto) |  1 700 €/m² (main building)
Awards |  i.a. National Prize for the Best Wooden Building 2016 (Category Public Buildings); Best Wood Award 2017 (Category Tourist Architecture)

Technical aspects
Concept |  Timber frame construction, timber panels and solid timber logs
Woodworking |  CI-produkt d.o.o., Komenda (SI); General contractor: Adriaing d.o.o., Koper (SI);
Origin of Timber, Certification |  Slovenia (SI), Austria (AT)
Forestry Value Chain |  Wood was processed by local company
Energy Systems |  Comfort ventilation with heat recovery, air-to-water heat pump
Energy Consumption  |  78 kWh/m²a (heating energy demand of the main building)
U-Value Wall | Roof | Floor | Windows (W/(m²K)) |  average 0,37

Circular Economy Energy Efficiency

Site Plan of the 14 Interventions Site Plan of the 14 Interventions