A sensitive response

by NICHOLE L REBER on May 13, 2011 in Architecture
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It’s officially known as the Copova Devetka, but Ljubljana has already dubbed this upcoming mixed-use development with the more affectionate moniker ‘Shopping Pillow Terraces’

Forego the glass box. Disregard science fiction symmetry and geometry. What results in some of today’s best architecture is the interpretation of organicism and its manifestion. One fine example is the Shopping Pillow Terraces, more officially known as the Copova Devetka, by Ljubljana-based firm Ofis Arhitekti in Slovenia.

It’s hard enough in today’s architectural design, which is often interpreted absolutely as either hideous or gorgeous. Add to that the challenge of favourably placing a mixed-use seven-storey building contextually into a historical district. For Ofis Arhitekti’s recently unveiled plans, however, the anticipation of the firm’s successfully rising to the challenge with its contextually and organically sensitive response is almost palpable. One might hypothesise even now, while the building’s under construction before its slated 2012 completion date, that the Copova Devetka will bare an esoteric sense of place. Consider its curvilinear facçades, its method of gracefully transporting the public through various topographic levels, its modest height, and its inclusion of a spectrum of private and public spaces.

Amorphous bands of glass, metal, and greenery will wrap around the seven-storey building like garland around a tree, silver bracelets around a wrist, glass rings around a carnival bottle. They aren’t merely pretty little elements thrust upon an otherwise thoughtless, dreary design, no. The terraces are created by curving back each storey in an organic fashion to create patios and decks for shoppers, a cafe, and residential patios on the top levels. The organic mesh wraps the edges of each level,” say the architects.