Suburban Signifier

architects Vanja Gregorc, Aleš Vrhovec
project Villa in Šmarca, Slovenia
written by Uroš Lobnik


The villa as a building type is making a comeback in Slovenia. From the urban villa to the suburban villa. Villas shape and reshape the inhabited space. Quality – below quality = cultivated – barbaric. Prestige houses are inevitably becoming significant elements in the establishment of the contemporary cultural landscape. It was exactly because of the lack of any villa typology or because high quality examples were so rare that it has made so little impact on the wider spatial context.


The contemporary Slovenian villa and its form quite consciously stand out against the socialist-realist transformation that once transformed the region into a new kind of space for contemporary urban living. The essence of the change lies in the search for new appearances and not new spatial qualities.