House Vrhe

The housing of actively employed people working in the city has until recently been closely tied to urban areas. Nowadays, these living environments are moving to the city periphery, the former countryside. The countryside is becoming a dispersed micro urban system which offers quality, economic and sustainable living.

The Vrhe House is the cultural and landscape heritage of a former Koroška region farm, which lies on the ridge of the foothills of the eastern Karavanke mountain range. The Vrhe mountain range is a hilly area between the Meža and Meslinje valleys, lying between the slopes of Pohorje, the Uršlja Mountain and Peca, which is characterized by dispersed construction of autonomous farms on mountain ridges, without any special structural characteristics.

There once stood a one and a half century old farm on Vrhe, inside which only a typical Koroška region barn was still preserved. A typical Slovenian hayrack construction, with very carefully treated structural details, connectives and oak nails, it presented an ideal starting point for a new house at almost the same location. Architects David Mišič, Sašo Žolek and co-authors convinced the investor to revitalize this old, abandoned barn on a newly built, landscape coordinated base.

The framework of the barn preserves its structural and expressive elements to the last detail. It is situated with an adjusted orientation on a half semi-basement base and its terraces and supporting walls softly interweave into the landscape of the south slope of the meadow.

The new house is a skillful and completely hidden modern architectural implant of a »pavilion in a hayrack«. The expression of landscape, which can be experienced through membranes in all directions, and through the framework of the vernacular heritage, awakens the consciousness of the inner spirit between the outer and inner, safe and exposed.

From the outside, the building respectfully handles all the essential legalities of the vernacular architecture of Slovenian country architecture. From the inside, the new house displays a modern living environment. An architectural masterpiece, which connects the cultural landscape with the environment, the building heritage with a modern living culture, has significant potential, which contributes to the preservation of the cultural heritage of the Slovene countryside.