Designed by local architectural practice Abiro, it sits amid a disparate collection of industrial buildings at the Vič commercial zone. This “unpromising” site extends towards the Ljubljana marshes on the south of the Slovenian capital where, in response to the underlying geology, buildings are generally founded on piles.  

“The building is technologically, technically and materially simpler than any other building built by us,” says Abiro. “It is the cheapest building developed by us as it was built on the outskirts of the city, in an unattractive environment at the time of a global and particularly Slovenian economic crisis.” 

Designed to respond to the ever-changing marshes, and built by specialist contractor Armat, the building’s facade looks anything but cheap: it features panels of colofer® (prepainted steel from voestalpine), in three bespoke shades of gold. 

The Pflaum FI invisibly fixed mineral wool sandwich panels, in a variety of colours - including RAL Gold Perla 11B5 and RAL Champagne 1733, feature an insulation core made of non-flammable mineral fibre strands bonded transversely to the cover shells. 

Inside, the Imparo building comprises five levels of modern and functional spaces. The basement is almost entirely dedicated to parking space, while the ground floor accommodates storage-retail spaces and a bar. 

All of the larger business units on the first and second floors as well as the smaller ones that are oriented toward the inner atrium, have their own loggia, overlooking a central open atrium, which connects to a kitchenette. Each business unit, regardless of its size, boasts a meeting room, management office, computer server room, and varying amounts of open-plan office space. 

The building’s large roof terrace, which is ideal for receptions and banquets, offers a high level of privacy, and impressive views over the Ljubljana marsh and Kamnik Alps. 

With energy efficiency now being one of the most important factors upon which companies decide on buying or renting office space, the Imparo building’s green credentials are impressive: a 19 cm-thick layer of thermal insulation means heat transfer efficiency is more than twice the prescribed value. 

The commercial units are oriented either to the east or to the west, ensuring that the building is evenly lit and allowing natural to penetrate deep into the office spaces. These spaces also receive natural light and ventilation from the central atrium which, during the summer months, provides a pleasant microclimate, allowing for good natural ventilation with a flow of cold air coming from the atrium and going out through the main facade. 

The large display windows of the ground-floor shops are inset deeply into the building to prevent summer overheating and solar glare, while heating and cooling is provided by means of a four-pipe system of centrally heated warm and cold water. The central boiler room is much more efficient than the local systems, says Armat, which also helps reduce energy consumption.

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