Open Valley, Klecovaca tourist center ©2015
Status: International Competition
Design: Monolab, team: J.W. van Kuilenburg with S. Kounaki, L. Larrauri, A. Mrden, V. Pitta, A. Sygazc, P.V. Hermano


…project zoning


Most mountain resorts have standard lay-outs and a shortage of added values. We designed a lay-out with improved integration, higher efficiency and higher potentials for landscape, programming and architecture.


Through parameters like sunlight, shadowing and scenic views, the best part of the given territory can be found on the South oriented slope in the North part. We reserve this part for accommodation, commercial, dining and hospitality facilities. In this way the valley is kept available for all outdoor and sporting programs.


We designed a kind of ‘coastline’, a dense ribbon, that overlooks the valley with ‘islands’ and the skiing plateau on the other side. The ribbon is a spine, a connector between the tourist houses and the climatic health resort higher up the slope and the lower valley with green islands for sporting and health facilities.


A series of interconnected parallel zones have emerged. From north to south:
1. tourist houses and climatic health resort, higher up the slope, 2. ribbon: accommodation and facilities with pedestrian paradise on top of a logistic parking level, 3. golf courses, 4. local & regional programs markets with products, culture and crafts, 5. fruit gardens mixed with a playful stream and water activities, 6. golf courses, 7. camp sites with starting points for hiking trails into the mountains. 8. skiing plateau with parking, facilities and two gondola stations to the valley.


The zones are strongly interconnected through an efficient logistical system; 1. entry road system with split to north and south part of the valley, 2. an electric minibus system, 3. a golf cart system, 4. two gondola systems, 5. service vehicle roads, 6. valley paths for a. shortcuts b. leisure, c. walking & cycling d. horse riding. 7. The park surrounding the Climatic Health Resort has two types of paths: a. an organic system of paths that trace the slopes of the terrain and b. a formal system of open axes between the trees. The entry road from the East into the valley splits North to ribbon, tourist houses and climatic health resort and South to parking and skiing plateau. Crossing the valley are walk able distances of around 650-m and also two gondola systems are planned from skiing plateau to tourist houses and climatic health resort. The ribbon has a service level with service road below. The tourist houses have a series of friendly streets, parallel to the slope with spread small parking lots. Five pedestrian shortcut paths cross the complete valley from the tourist houses and climatic health resort.


The ribbon and holiday housing are developed in three phases from east to west. The valley is developed as one territory during all phases with spread programs. The skiing plateau parking is developed in one, the facilities at the center as phase one and the two outer parts in phases two and three. The climatic health resort is developed in two phases, the first is in and behind the ribbon, the second is higher up the slope. The gondola systems are developed in two phases, the second phase is depending on the construction of the golf hotel.


The slope with detached tourist houses is multi terraced, so each house has privacy with several terraces around, in-between the parallel roads. The terraces are planted with trees and offer scenic views over the valley and skiing plateau towards the southern light. Seen from the valley the slope looks natural because the tourist houses are hidden among the trees. All houses have different designs, are oriented individually and consist of a stone plinth with wooden structure on top. All houses are accessible by car and have private a car park. Part of car parking is also situated in the ribbon and spread collective parkings. The gondola system has a station in the heart of the housing area. Five walking paths descend in-between the houses to the other side of the valley.


The resort has its foyer in the ribbon and three islands with open public wellness facilities in front of the valley. The foyer in the ribbon is a glass pavilion inside a ‘hortus conclusus’, a walled garden with healing herbs and plants on terraces. The products of the garden are for enjoyment and for sale.
A path from the valley leads through the foyer into the resort. The resort itself is embedded in the forest by six open spaces with plateaus. In these open spots we placed dedicated, organic pavilions. Each pavilion has an internal patio with specific plants with healing qualities. All pavilions are floating one level above reception, health and sporting facilities. The center pavilion is elaborated, it is split in two parts with an underground connection and two patios at outer ends. The park surrounding the pavilions has two types of paths: an organic system of paths that trace the slopes of the terrain and a formal system of open axes between the trees. The formal axes deliver visual lines over the valley that
connect components of the project, for example from the skiing plateau to the foyer and main building of the climatic health resort.


The ribbon is the most dense and urban part of the project. It is built on a long plateau which is excavated from the slope. The surplus of soil coming from the plateau is used nearby for the landscaping of the golf courses in the valley in a closed soil depot. The ribbon is made of buildings with atriums that offer a string of different fine-tuned public spaces. The ribbon has a service level for transit traffic, public transport, logistics, delivery, storage, HVAC plants, piping, cables, sewage, etc. On top of this service level is a public deck, a pedestrian boulevard finished in five colors, with a series of blocks that are perforated with public programs. Five specific blocks make connections between paths from the tourist houses to the pedestrian boulevard and the valley through ‘antennas’ that reach into the valley. The paths run through the atriums of the buildings, offering opportunities for retail and cultural amenities. The five antennas from west to east are: cultural center, night clubs, golf club, casino club and church. The ribbon has a long public balcony in full sunlight with stairs, overlooking the valley. The wall, the vertical building at the North side of the ribbon, is programmed with retails, apartments, penthouses, terraces and crossings of public paths on top.


The valley is made as an archipelago of small islands with a variety of sporting, leisure, nature and cultural facilities. Golf fairways make the edge of the valley. Different types of paths for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riding make connections between the islands. Five dedicated paths are connecting the tourist houses, the ribbon and the climatic health resort with the other side of the valley and the skiing plateau. The valley has several clusters for local products, fruit gardens, golf & sporting and campsites with starting points for hiking trails into the mountains.


The skiing plateau is on top of the 2-layer parking facility which can be constructed above current ground level. A small part that will have to be excavated delivers soil to merge the superstructure inside the morphology of the mountain slopes. Parallel to the parking and below the skiing plateau is the road system with entries and exits. A delivery ramp for large vehicles connects from the main entry road to the edge of the skiing plateau. The parking facility has clear walking paths for people with ski and snow gear. A central zone has heated storage lockers for ski equipment. At the valley side of the parking is a commercial zone with two stages, terraces, and catering. Between parking and strip is a zone for natural ventilation and evacuation. Along this zone are logistic spaces of the commercial strip for vans and small trucks that can enter the parking as it has 3,5 m high clearance. Walking bridges are connecting parking and facilities. The commercial facilities are designed as pavilions on pedestrian decks below a scaped roof which fits the mountainous sky line. The center has the two gondola stations to the tourist houses and the health resort and a ski slope with stairs and path into the valley.


The ribbon will not have heat island effects because it is narrow and well ventilated through the little streets between the building blocks. Grass from the valley enters the ribbon in some place. There will be hanging gardens along the wall from the slope with the tourist houses. The sewer, waste and cleaning system are all connected through the energy cleaning plant at the start of the ribbon. The water stream in the center of the valley has helophyte filters for natural water cleansing in the summer.