The Stud Farm Lipica is one of the most remarkable natural and cultural monuments in Slovenia. The area of cultivated karst landscape comprises laid out pastures and meadow areas featuring protective fences, oak groves, and tree lanes. The historic built core of Lipica gained the appearance of a congruous whole in the early decades of the 17th century. Through the ages, it had continued to develop until large tourist accommodation buildings were built in the 1970s, as the exceptionality of Stud Farm Lipica piqued the interest of visitors from across the world.
Maestoso Hotel & Spa is the largest of all accommodation buildings in Lipica and it is the visitors' primary contact with the stud farm environment. Its relatively aggressive appearance - due to the use of architectural elements of a certain period - poses a strong, even distracting contrast with the smoothness of the access paths used by the visitors to access the complex as a whole. The distinctive line of white fences which undulate among the green tree lanes and the rest of the upkept natural landscape with the grazing herds of the celebrated white horses terminates rather ungraciously at the car park with the overbearing presence of the existing hotel building.
The fundamental guideline in designing the renovation and expansion of the hotel was to find a way to tone down the building's presence in the space. The main consideration became the attempt at dematerialising the built masses. The proposed intervention proposes purging the hotel's facade of all added architectural elements and unifying the structure's expression by establishing a new, light load-bearing structure of the balconies. The new structural membrane enveloping the entire hotel and swimming pool area establishes a sort of an intermediate space between the buildings and the landscape. Latticed structural system made of cross-laminated wooden beams, painted white, conceptually references the long lines of the white fences which the visitors had already encountered at the entrance to the complex. The interplay of light and shade breaks down the monolithic built masses and, together with the envisaged greening of the existing volume with climbing plants, dematerialises the building to the greatest extent possible and endows it with a distinctive and recognisable character. The swimming pool building, which doesn't feature balconies and where the large glass surfaces represent the key element of the existing facade, sees the timber-structure enclosure augmented with reflective glazing, which further dematerialises the volume.
The interiors of the renovated hotel and pool section are designed as a modern interpretation of the horse-stable interior spaces. As such, the public programme is designed as a particularly flexible space, which may be adapted depending on a given need using the folding partition walls. The existing buildings are stripped to the raw concrete structure, which remains visible and acts as a suitable frame for the minimal additional interventions ensuring a warm expression of the interior space. The use of materials which the visitors associate with the materials used in the stables combined with carefully designed lighting and small, movable pieces of furniture and decoration form a warm space, which becomes a logical enhancement to the complex's unique programme and location.
Enota was founded in 1998 with the ambition to create contemporary and critical architectural practice of an open type based on collective approach to development of architectural and urban solutions. Constant changes and new complex situations in the world around us drive us to think about new architectural and urban solutions. In order to be able to produce answers to those new questions we believe it’s time to surpass the boundaries of conventional discipline set mainly by our cultural backgrounds. Enota’s team of architects focuses on research driven design of the environment where study of contemporary social organizations and use of new technologies are interwoven to produce innovative and effective solutions. Enota’s solutions are strongly influenced by research, reinterpretation and development of social, organizational and design algorithms that derive from nature. The result is always a strong binding of the buildings with the environment that surrounds them.