- known as the terraced blocks of Koseze
- urban planning: Viktor Pust
- architedture: Viktor Pust
- duration of the project from 1968 to 1974 (first phase) to 1978 (second phase).
- approximately 3000 inhabitants
The neighbourhood is based on the concept of the winning project of the urban and architectural competition in 1967 for two settlements, Koseze and Draveljska gmajna, conceived by architect Viktor Pust. The competition solution envisaged 850 apartments in neighbourhood Koseze, but because of the economic and political pressures, later the project was changed, and there are 1600 apartments in the same area today.
The straight lines of the five-storey buildings define the organisation of the neighbourhood into a regular grid of green belts and pathways which lead to the block entrances. The centre of the residential neighbourhood is the connecting avenue with the public program. Premises of various service activities are located there, such as a bank, a post office, a pharmacy, a small shop etc. The other program, which permits the autonomous operation of a certain area (school, kindergarten, market, recreation area ..) is located on the periphery of the residential district, but within the boundaries of the neighbourhood. Motor traffic and parking are limited to the below-grade level, which links the individual segments of the neighbourhood, and to the perimeter streets. The interior of the neighbourhood is green and traffic-free.
For the buildings, which are sited into space very densely, Viktor Pust used a pyramid-shaped rising typology of a set-back terraced block which combines the advantages of an apartment block and a single-family home. This makes the neighbourhood’s scale more human and more pleasant while simultaneously achieving high lot coverage. The blocks are characterised by a rational floor-plan organisation of a double-oriented building with central corridors. There are different apartment of various typologies, and all feature large open spaces: the living rooms of every apartment extend onto a terrace with a wide planter parapet, or garden spaces on the ground floor, which form part of the green public belts along the footpaths. Horizontally and vertically structured facades feature Brutalist design. The entire complex of terraced blocks is registered as 20th-century secular built heritage.
Assesment of the current condition:
The neighbourhood has a dire lack of parking spaces because of higher density of inhabitants than were called for by the original plans. In addition, today’s need for car parks is much greater than when the neighbourhood was being built. The residents are thus driven to makeshift parking solutions on lawns, emergency accesses, etc.
Individual (facade) interventions on what owners saw as “their property” including replacements of exterior fittings with new and more energy efficient ones (mostly deviating from the original in material, window frame colour and opening style), setting up winter gardens or even carrying out classical construction on terraces and gardens, awning modifications, ect.
The (energy efficiency) refurbishments, executed primarily in terms of heat insulation and the renovation of the buildings’ external envelopes, almost as a rule with a new choice of vivid facade colours or even sheet metal facade linings, which disregard the original colour scheme and design characteristic of the existing architecture.
Did you know?
In 2018, the Royal Gold Medal by RIBA, the UK’s highest honour for architecture, was granted to British architect Neave Brown in recognition of a lifetime’s work. The Modernist architect, who devoted all his work to social-housing projects, humane structures for everyday life, is best known for his visionary 1970s Alexandra Road estate in London, with its stepped concrete terraces and spacious flats, very similar to terrace blocks in Koseze.
In his last interview for the ICON magazine architect emphasized that “a housing program should be set up to take into account the maintenance and the life of the building. Buildings last, and if they are properly maintained, they can be used as equity for use in the future.”