One of Slovenia’s most outstanding natural and cultural landmarks is the Stud Farm Lipica. The planned pastures and meadows in the cultivated karst landscape are surrounded by oak groves, tree lanes, and distinguishing white protective fences.
project Hotel Maestoso
status built 2021
size 7.785 m2
site 9.970 m2
footprint 3.440 m2
cost 11.500.000 EUR
client Holding Kobilarna Lipica
location Lipica, Slovenia
coordinate 45°40’07.1″N 13°52’57.1″E
project team Dean Lah, Milan Tomac, Polona Ruparčič, Nuša Završnik Šilec, Jurij Ličen, Carlos Cuenca Solana, Eva Tomac, Urška Malič, Jakob Kajzer, Sara Mežik, Peter Sovinc, Eva Javornik, Peter Karba, Sara Ambruš, Goran Djokić
collaborators Ivan Ramšak (structural engineering), Nom biro (mechanical services and electrical installations), Bruto (landscape architecture)
photo Miran Kambič
In the first half of the 17th century, Lipica’s historic center began to resemble a seamless whole. As a result of Stud Farm Lipica’s exceptionality, it continued to flourish over the ages until substantial tourist accommodations were constructed in the 1970s.
Hotel Maestoso is Lipica’s main accommodation building and the tourists’ first point of contact with the stud farm surroundings. Before renovation it has a relatively aggressive appearance – due to the use of architectural elements of a certain period – and poses a strong, even distracting contrast with the smoothness of the access paths used to access the complex as a whole. The characteristic line of white fences that undulate among the green tree lanes and the remainder of the well-kept natural environment with the grazing herds of the famed white horses ends somewhat rudely at the car park with the overpowering presence of the existing hotel structure.
The primary goal in designing the hotel’s renovation and extension was to minimize the building’s presence in the space. The attempt to dematerialize the built masses became the main consideration. The suggested intervention would remove all unnecessary architectural components from the hotel’s exterior and unify the structure’s appearance by constructing a new, light load-bearing structure of the balconies. The new structural membrane that encircles the whole hotel creates a sort of intermediate space between the buildings and the landscape. The interplay of light and shadow disintegrates the imposing architectural masses and, along with the planned regreening of the existing volume with climbing plants, dematerializes the structure as far as is physically feasible while giving it a unique and recognizable character.
The interior spaces of the newly restored hotel are intended to be a contemporary interpretation of the internal spaces of horse stables. As a result, the public program is meant to be a very adaptable space, with sliding partition walls that may be used to adapt to specific needs. The old structures are stripped down to their basic concrete framework, which remains visible and serves as a suitable frame for the few further interventions required to provide a warm expression of the interior space. The use of materials that visitors identify with the materials used in the stables, along with carefully designed lighting and modest, moveable pieces of furniture and décor, creates a comfortable atmosphere that complements the complex’s distinctive program and location.