Office SK Law
by Mertelj Vrabič Arhitekti

Office SK Law consists of the renovation of an office space located in the Metalka office building in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Built in 1962 on Dalmatin Street, the building was designed by Slovene architect Edo Mihevc according to the principles of the pioneering modernist skyscraper Seagram, designed by Mies van der Rohe.

Since the existing condition of the building completely denied the architects’ original design idea, Mertelj Vrabič Arhitekti decided to clean the floor to the load-bearing structure, consisting of concrete facade pillars and a core in the middle.

The design of the building follows other modernist principles, such as the open floor plan and the curtain wall. However, the architects recount that free floor plans were never actually realised. On the contrary, floors were divided into many smaller offices by numerous partition walls and dark corridors.

The new intervention is based on one key element: cabinets that articulate space and divide volume into individual offices. The cabinets encompass all existing construction elements and integrate all necessary installations, printers, kitchen, wardrobe and archive.

Following the same principle, cabinets placed in the shape of a cross divide both ends of the lobby, in this way establish additional spaces. Sliding doors hidden inside cross cabinets allow transition from completely public to semi-public and private spaces.

– a kitchenette, rooms for trainees, a small meeting room and a living room area.

In general, the materiality aims at establishing the sense of seriousness and professionalism that a law firm needs, while avoiding the use of ubiquitous materials that one typically encounters in offices.

Ribbed glass that separates offices from the entrance hall lets light into the interior and abstractly blurs images from offices as well as the existing facade division. Materiality of the interior is further defined by terrazzo tiles and veneered cabinets.

A special piece of furniture is a six-meter reception desk made of anodised aluminum.

It was a special technological challenge due to its large formats and thickness. The contractor had to adapt the tools for production and completely redefine the existing anodising process, they recount.

For the authors, the aim of this renovation was to redefine a paradigm of interior design and critically question the strict division between architecture and interior.

Author Mertelj Vrabič Arhitekti
Project team Maša Mertelj, Matic Vrabič, Eva Gusel, Elvis Jerkič, Tamara Nemeth
Location Ljubljana, Slovenia
Year 2020
Surface 500 sqm
Cost 400.000€
Photography Klemen Ilovar

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a project powered by Itinerant Office

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