The Bled Rowing Center in Bled, Slovenia, designed by architects Sandra Banfi Škrbec, Iztok Lemajič, Miha Kajzelj and Iztok Kavčič, seeks to render as minimal an impact on the landscape as possible. Using the camouflaged set of structural interventions and treatments of exterior walls, the structure is able to float above the wooded landscape, appearing only as a collection of horizontal lines amid a cluster of irregular tree trunks. Here, the ‘tree trunks’ act as the structure for the building: a set of irregularly articulated columns that serve to both support the building while simultaneously fooling the eye when seen from afar. The trompe l’oeil of the structure is taken further: the walls of the Rowing Center are of a clear, non-reflective glass, dematerializing against the backdrop of temperate foliage.
Though conceived in traditionally-minded design approaches, the structure is unique for this very treatment of site and material, utilizing a carefully articulated set of structural supports to make a minimal impact on the site. A simple, but elegant and asymmetrical arrangement of floors and structure help to further cloak the Rowing Center in a shroud of organic geometries while remaining orthogonal in both plan and section. This project exemplifies a formal manipulation of solid and void, as well as structure and landscape, in an attempt to render a building fleeting and transparent against an compelling natural setting.
To commemorate the 2013 Skyscraper Competition, eVolo published a collector’s edition of its highly acclaimed book “eVolo Skyscrapers”. The book is a two-volume, 1300-page set with the best 300 projects received during the last years. Only 150 copies are available worldwide.