Salt-Pan House

The following design proposal presents a ‘house within a house’, designed inside the perimeter of the existing ruins (without any physical contact between old and new) and cantilever over them to protect the rest of the historic building. The proposal is to ‚complete’ the shape of an imaginary existing salt-pan house on the site by using a structure of CLT cut panels covered with light semi-transparent polycarbonate material to finish the vision and to extend the life of the installation, covering it more under the atmospheric influences. The installation brings such a contemporary structure from the heights to the lowest region of the country. It places it near the sea level. In the same time we articulate with the ex-nature of the ruined walls – it was once a building for another type of ‚drying’, if we can say so – the harvest of the sea salt. Inside the contemporary structure, under its roof, visitors may receive more information regarding the history and traditions of the preserved ruins and sites.

The idea is for a bright, light and airy structure floating over the ruins and reflecting into the water channel and salt pan around itself. The newly designed shelter follows the forms and the shape of the missing elements of the existing ruin completely, staying respectfully in the distance from it – the remains of the house can be fully seen, explored, touched and felt as they are at the moment. It creates a palimpsest on the site – layers of old and new, traditional and contemporary, natural and human-made. The idea for the forest-like structure of the installation comes from the traditional forms of vernacular structures within the country’s mountain regions – called kozolec. The new shape evokes the simple traditional form and beauty of the wooden structure – a distinctive construction type in Slovenia, characteristic wooden structures and buildings for drying and storing hay and sheaves of corn and other goods.