15.1.2015 22:11

Wood Houses Touted as Slovenian Icon at Debate

Ljubljana, 15 January - Wood houses were touted as a Slovenian icon in a debate held in Ljubljana on Thursday, examining among other things the predominantly wooden pavilion the country is building for the Milan Expo, which gets underway in May.

Describing Slovenia as a country where wooden houses are cherished, the debate concluded that wood buildings could be labelled as an iconic product of the country. As an example, the participants highlighted the classic hayracks, kozolci.

While other countries, such as Austria, Germany and Italy, are better known globally for their wood houses, Slovenia is the only one from these countries to be building a pavilion made mostly of wood for the upcoming Expo, the secretary general of Slovenia's expo team Jerneja Lampret highlighted at debate.

Labelling the Expo as one of the biggest opportunities to promote Slovenia and its products, Lampret said that as many as 20 million people from around the world are expected to visit the event which will run through October.

In addition to focusing on energy efficiency, the pavilion structure is made mostly of wood to showcase Slovenia's expertise in the field. Lampret said the design allowed for the pavilion to be deconstructed and moved after the Expo was over.

As part of efforts to preserve the structure, a public call has been published on the country's official Expo 2015 website, www.exposlovenia.si, seeking non-binding bidders to purchase the building. "There is a lot of interest, including from abroad," said Lampret, who hopes that it will eventually land in Slovenia.

The debate also focused on successful Slovenian projects featuring wood buildings, including Dežela kozolcev, an area showcasing kozolci around the town of Šentrupert, some 35 km SE of Ljubljana.

The traditional Slovenian architectural feature, made chiefly of wood, has drawn a lot of interest from visitors from Slovenia and abroad to the town for weddings and even just for short sightseeing, said the mayor of the small town, Rupert Gole.

As part of today's event, awards were also given out for best wooden buildings in a number of categories, including wooden houses, which went to the Hiša MJ project- The Garden Village Bled was honoured for best wooden architecture project and the Tourist Information Centre in the city of Postojna for best use of wood in a city environment project.