Nordic Centre wins top architecture prize
Ljubljana, 18 April - The new Nordic skiing complex at Planica has won the 2016 Plečnik Prize, Slovenia's top architectural accolade, with the jury lauding the "unique complex" as a "world-class achievement".
The award will be split between several architects who were responsible for various aspects of the Planica Nordic Centre, a EUR 40m EU-subsidised facility that was inaugurated late last year.
Located in the north-west of the country, the complex features a ski-flying hill, seven ski-jumping hills and outdoor and indoor cross-country skiing tracks.
Matej Blenkuš, Miloš Florijančič and Klemen Kobal were rewarded for designing the sports complexes, Aleš Vodopivec and Marko Smrekar for the indoors track and the servicing and heating facilities, and Ana Kučan and Luka Javornik for the landscape architecture.
An upgrade on the Planica ski-jumping centre, the complex can host top international competitions in ski jumping, ski flying, cross-country skiing and Nordic combined.
Apart from enabling the hosting of logistically complex events, the multi-functional design dedicates the same attention to the training and recreational facilities, the jury said.
The authors were praised for achieving a comprehensive architectural solution that meets top technological and constructional standards while showing sensitivity to the surrounding Alpine landscape.
The jury declared the winner on Monday, having examined 47 proposals for the prize named after Jože Plečnik (1872-1957), Slovenia's greatest architect.
Inspecting the entries, the jury found that despite difficulties with subcontractors, "it appears that compared to other countries, relatively good public buildings are still being built and good urban and landscaping solutions are being established in Slovenia".