OFIS arhitekti - 650 apartments

As a winning entry on an invitation-only competition for developing four apartment blocks from 125 to 140 meters in length, the client chose the proposal for the economy offered with more marketable floor space on the predefined urban set-up. The scheduled time for preparing plans and resolving the building work was very tight: a 650 apartment project in less than eighteen months meant literally building one apartment a day. The budget was also extremely limited: the aim was to build low-cost apartments and to bring the final production cost in at around 500 €/m2. Bathrooms, windows and façade panels were designed as prefabricated units to simplify both planning and construction. Each building is divided into four identical modules, each with its own vertical communications core and each module contains all types of apartments from the brief.

There are 42 apartments in each module, varying from small 30 sqm (323 sqft) studios to 60 sqm (646 sqft) 1.5-bedroom apartments on four identical floors, and larger duplex apartments from 85 sqm (915 sqft) to 105 sqm (1,130 sqft) on the top two floors. The module is repeated four times with slight variations at the far ends of the building. The façade is designed in two layers, the inner façade and outdoor space being formed by items such as glazed loggias, balconies and terraces. A second skin is constructed with precast wooden panels, glass and metal rails. Each apartment owns at least one balcony and loggia connecting the outdoor and indoor space. Like the modules, the façade layer is also repeated four times, but given the geometry of the different elements of the repetition, it passes virtually unnoticed. There are two parking levels beneath the site. The landscape provides a contrast to the geometrical façade through the use of gently curving rails and completely organic features. It breaks up the sight lines through the complex, creating a difference between public and private space.

OFIS arhitekti / architects (Vimeo)