Wood: a tribute to the surrounding forests
Maria Giulia Zunino
Kitchen Pobles doo - Architecture Maja Bavdek m.i.a
Logatec is a town about forty kilometres from Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, home to a historic university whose tradition of learning has established the country as the most important in the Balkans in the field of modern and contemporary architecture. The founder of the country’s architectural tradition was Joe Plečnik, a pioneer of modern architecture whose groundbreaking work in the 1920s drew inspiration from historical references. After him there was a long hiatus until the fifties and sixties, when Tito banned the Russian real socialism advocated by Stalin and gave young architects an official role in building the new nation. Since then, progress has continued uninterruptedly.
Today Slovenia is a country of great opportunities whose architects are becoming increasingly established at an international level, recognised in particular for their profound sense of cultural responsibility.
Examples include the political statement denouncing lost opportunities that underpinned last year’s installation at the Venice Architecture Biennale, and the capacity to critically interpret history in the Biennale of two years earlier, when the houses in the space designed by Herman Potočnik Noordung in 1928 were used as a platform to discuss the use of technology in today’s homes.
The layout of the large kitchen built by Pobles — the heart of the villa designed by architect Maja Bavdek — is based on a research project that aims to contextualise the intervention while optimising the use of technology and choice of materials.
Given the location at the heart of the largest forested area in Slovenia, it is only natural that wood should become the leitmotif of the project, a discreet but important presence that permeates the atmosphere and furnishings and shows off its variety of colours.
Directly referencing the logs and stove/fireplace, the natural solid oak used for the top of the long dining table was sourced from nearby oak trees and meticulously bevelled. It coordinates harmoniously with the metal supports — almost stylised branches — and the dynamic design of the lamp.
Its colour warms the floor planks, chosen in shades reminiscent of northern trees: silver fir, birch, beech and maple. Except that in this case it is not actually wood but the finish from the Travel collection chosen in the Northwhite version from Ceramiche Supergres, a company that has always been strongly focused on residential applications.
It is a high-quality product created by a company with a strong belief in the value of Italian tradition, an ethical code that respects workers, health and the environment. The company was set up in 1961 by partners and workers in the Sassuolo ceramic area and over the years expanded worldwide, joining the Concorde Group in 1996. Suitable for both floors and walls, these porcelain tiles are inspired by traditional timbers. By combining technology and natural appeal, they bring together aesthetic qualities with hygiene and ease of maintenance, durability and water and stain resistance.
In the dark colour of smoked oak, wood is reprised in the doors and kitchen units, artfully punctuating the white of the walls.
Ceramiche Supergres, Travel
14,7x120 - 29,7X120 - 19,.7x120 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <0.5
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UB
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <=175
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): R>=35
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant