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Refurbishment of the Salt Works Building

Competition project

Where Slovenia, Sečovlje
Year 2019
«Time and course of the river do not wait for a person».

The main idea of this project is to bridge the relations between time and the state of the object. Time is a form of physical processes to indicate possible changes and the measure of the objects’ lifetime, as well as characteristics of the successive change of their states and development.

The concept is based on the fact that ruins can be treated as a trace of human activity in a given territory. If we consider ruins in the context of temporary development, their current state comes to be only a specific point in a certain life process.
early XXth

At the beginning of the last century, the area was used for its intended purpose, during the whole period of salt extraction. It was used as the place for the workers' living, working and trading.

late XXth

In the course of the century, salt production showed the tendency to curtail. Many of the houses were abandoned and the territory of the salt-works fell into disrepair condition. This became the starting point of a new process - the process of its transformation into the territory of history and memory.


Changing of the area status caused the changes of the model used: the territory of salt extraction was replaced by the territory of national park. At the same time their arose a need to make the territory attractive for visitors, as well as preserve its historical value. Thus, for the first time throughout its history, the area faced the need to be reconstructed.

In future we see the development of the remaining ruins, located in the territory. The main thesis of our proposal is that each of the destroyed house requires special attention. Thus, in the future a new type of space might be constructed on the site of former saltwork areas. It can be considered to be the space of historical human activity, which used to be very rather dynamic.

The area of residential houses for saltworkers demonstrates exceptional functionality, enough to live and work. Made of stone, with a gable tiled wooden roof, the houses are rectangular in the plan. This is the key space, bearing its significant function.

Changing of the functional content of the building commonly leads to its ruining. Demounting of the roof structure can obviously lead to the quick destruction of the house walls.

Restoring is aimed at the preservation of the original image of the houses, made of wooden CLT panels, including roofs and openings. The image exists exclusively in the orthogonal projections of the house facades, and the extended slopes of the roof are to protect the house.
In the future this design serves to make the area attractive for the visitors, being the territory of the natural park, that retain memories of the historical times of salt production.

The time, when the walls of the renovated old houses will completely dissolve in space.
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