Lacaton & Vassal

tourist centre . Klekovaca

Lacaton & Vassal

An exceptional natural site
A huge plain, a vast meadow surrounded by a dense dark green forest, down a mountain.
Its scale, its radical contrasts and the strength of its natural elements make it very impressive.

An ecological challenge to take up
In this landscape, the Tourist Centre project becomes a challenge. How can we approach this large-scale project, while dealing with the desire of preserving a powerful but fragile natural area ?
It raises a fundamental question.
Can we built new infrastructures of this scale in a natural and almost untouched site with such rare qualities, which yet remains a unique opportunity for tourism development in the region ?
This question makes us wonder and inspires some reservations : is such a project reasonable, relevant, ecologically compatible, when the consciousness of the fragility and the preciosity of natural res- sources, draws attention on the matter, as well as precaution and discernment ?
Ecology does not necessarily imply doing nothing, congealing areas, or giving up any human activity. It is a matter of acting with extreme precaution, delicacy, responsibility, knowing where are the limits, the thresholds not to overpass, deploying a permanent care and vigilance throughout the whole project to preciously maintain its natural values, strengthen them in the long term and enable human activity without deteriorating nor damaging the site.
A discrete and tightened project, making sparing use of the ter- ritory, to minimise the impact on the site, maintain and integrate its strong pre-existent qualities.
Our intention is to propose a project that does not go against a place with such a strong and unique natural character. We want to design a project that includes the program without damaging the site, that beneits from its incredible landscape and that offers living of great quality.
Building a new link between habitat and natural environments.

The terms are the following :
1-To maintain the plain vacant, untouched and unbuilt in the core of the site.
The project does not built anything in the plain and settles on the edges of the site.
Plain area : 152 ha wich is 39,7 % of the site

2-To use the natural topography' shelters to blend into the site
and make the project as invisible as can be.
The project settles in the foothills of the site, in the wooded areas that surround the plain, down the mountain.
lt beneits from the natural features of the topography and landscape, and its in the protected spaces offering a shelter where to hide : between the reliefs, behind hills, in glades, or under the forest trees. The project thus preserves the whole central plain of the valley.
lt is located in three sites with precise and strictly deined outlines : the irst one at the bottom of the southern road, where the topography of a wooded hill folds, the two others in the lower mountainside inside the forest, next to the northern road.
The wooded areas are preserved and strengthened.
The wooded areas are preserved and strengthened to create a great natural parc. As a matter of principle, each tree is kept, and the pro- ject is designed to avoid cutting any of them.

3- To limit the project footprint, to keep the natural ground and not to modify the topography. To generate density instead of spreading.
The design of the project and of the building process was made ac- cording to the following principles :
. a minimal impact on the ground : the urbanized and serviced buil-
dings' footprint is extremely compact and reduced.
. no digging, modifying, or damaging of the ground, but, on the contrary, working according to the existing topography.
. laying on the existing ground instead of taking root : the project creates its own ground over and in addition of the existing one, itting in the site vegetation.

built area (built and urban spaces) : 6% unbuilt area : 94%

4- To settle close to the existing roads on the edges of the site to avoid building new roads on the land.
The three project sites are located on the border of the existing roads, to eliminate traic on the site and avoid the creation of new road in- frastructures. The roads bypasses the site but never go through it.
Only few access paths to the various site locations are created, for functional and rescue needs, in the shape of forest path.
Car access to each of the project sites and their surrounding spaces are direct and short.

The compactness and the density of the sites aims to avoid car use inside the site, limited only to service of collective transportations. They beneit slow modes of transportation or collective transporta- tions : pedestrian ways, cycle-lanes or buses.

5- To create an exceptional, simple, comfortable and generous way of inhabiting : each apartment, hotel room or villa equally beneits views, nature, facilities and services offered by the site and the Tourist Centre.
Being dense, compact and vertical offers an optimal quality of living. The « village » concept often called for holidays places, is recreated in a vertical coniguration, that offers the same quality of living, of comfort, of enjoyment, the same facilities offered by a villa. This coni- guration increases the space capacity, multiplies the service possibili- ties, reduces the maintenance costs and increases proximity, without consuming the ground.

Density and freedom
Proposing a dense project enables to limit the footprint and to pre- serve the natural ground by avoiding spreading.
The density is not, in any circumstances, contradictory with the fee- ling of freedom and of individuality of each and every one.
On the contrary, it enables the creation of spaces offering a quality of living for all the users :
- generous and warm spaces.
- views of the landscape, with open outlook.
Gaining height enables to open the view on the existing landscape : the skiable area and the Klekovaca mountain, and in the North part, the plain.

Verticality for a comfort of use
The vertical organization of the program enables a true comfort of use for the visitors thanks to the gathering of the various facilities in the same building. This proximity reduces the distances between one function and the other and participates to the improvement of the visitors' life comfort on a daily basis.

Density and economy
Compactness and density are economical factors.
The building process is optimized and rationalized, the network efi- ciency is maximum, the maintenance if easier and rationalized, the quantity of material used is optimized and reduced, the management of the project site if more fexible and eficient.

Klekovaca tourist centre
lieu / location: Bosnie-Herzégovine
année / year: 2014
catégorie / type: etudes urbaines/urban planning
état / status: competition, unbuilt / concours, non réalisé
surface / size: 660 947m2
client: GB IMMO d.o.o

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