Architecture in Tune with Space

The tree observatory in the Celje City Forest and the Bohinj cycling route form paths and vistas in tune with space, opening up new aspects of dwelling in harmony with nature.

Photo: Miran Kambič

Our everyday movements through space are usually completely subjugated to transferring from one point to another. Focused on our final destination, we tend to forget alpinist Nejc Zaplotnik’s well-known statement that the path is always more important to the traveller than the goal. Our destination orientation naturally impoverishes our perception of the paths and spaces through which we move. Alienated from our own environment, especially from the natural environment, we slowly and subconsciously slip into a state in which we no longer comprehend the cultural, spatial, social, natural, temporal and perhaps other contexts that impact on our lives. The inability to focus on the experience of being rooted in the continuity of time and space could even be considered as a certain kind of architectural autism, resulting in a loss of the sensual, materialised essence of architecture. We have an intrinsic spiritual need to be aware of our correlation with the world, with the manmade and natural environment, and it is the task of architecture to enable this experience. Architecture tames boundless space, it enables us to dwell in it, it tames endless time and enables us to live in its continuity.

Photo: Miran Kambič


The Bohinj cycling route links Zgornja Dolina (Upper Valley) and Spodnja Dolina (Lower Valley) between Bohinjska Bistrica and Lake Bohinj. Instead of leading the route alongside the existing road, the architects sought paths across fields and other side paths that were carefully laid in the space by the ancient dwellers of Bohinj, bringing these paths together into a coherent whole. The route leads from Bohinjska Bistrica along the Sava Bohinjka River, past the village of Brod, and then down to Ribčev Laz, where a view of the lake opens up.

Photo: Aleksander S. Ostan

Observation Tree House, Celje, Slovenia
Architectural Office: Atelje Ostan Pavlin
architects: Aleksander S. Ostan (project architect), Nataša Pavlin
co-authors: Dušan Moll, udia, Saša Malenšek
collaborator: Andreja Pikelj
location: Mestni gozd Celje, Slovenija
client: Municipality of Celje, Slovenia Forest Service – Regional unit Celje
area: 59 m²
completion: 2015

Bicycle trail Bohinj, Slovenia
architectural office: Atelje Ostan Pavlin
architect: Aleksander S. Ostan (project architect)
co-authors: Nataša Pavlin, Tomaž Dobravc, Saša Malenšek
collaborators: Lea Prezelj, Sanja Simić, Urška Špeh
graphic design: Žiga Okorn (akademski slikar)
location: Bohinj, Slovenija
completion: 2007-2011
bicycle trail length: 11.5 km

The complete article is published in Winter 2016 issue of Piranesi No. 37/Vol. 23.
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