The "Salt house" competition, published by Outsider magazine, experienced a great response among teams from all over the world. As many as 890 teams of authors registered, and 252 of them submitted their essays on time, of which 80 percent were foreign. Among them was the proposal of Oliver Thomas from the architecture office PIXEL.
Oliver Thomas from the company PIXEL presented an essay for the "Salt Chapel" at the competition. He found inspiration in the natural process of salt crystallization. The chapel is a tribute to the heritage and process of traditional salt harvesting in Sečovlje. With the design of the wooden pavilion, the architect wanted to create a sculpture that preserves, restores and revives the memory and heritage of salt harvesting and the salt house itself.
The chapel is said to have been built from square wooden slats, which represent the evaporation process of sea water. A process that cannot be seen with the naked eye, Thomas depicted with a structure made of light wood in a wavy shape.
The square slats of wood are the lining for the basic structure, which represents the salt crystal as seen under a microscope.
The external shape of the chapel imitates the silhouette of the ruins of the house, and the light wooden structure that surrounds it watches over the ruins like a ghost. The construction allows for the play of light that passes through it, creating a fascinating play of shadows.
Inside, there is a sculpture that represents the traditional process of extracting and drying salt, which is usually found in a salt house. The sculpture inside is intended for the public, while also nurturing the memory and heritage of the area.
The aim of the proposal is restore the traditional shape of the saltworks house using CLT panels (cross-laminated timber) and traditional wood materials. The goal of the project is not only to create the entire form of a traditional salt house, but also to inspire the construction and living in wooden buildings both in Slovenia and around the world.
The building was designed to take advantage of digital fabrication and construction with CLT panels. The construction is pre-made and ready, so that it only needs to be finally assembled on site. All building elements are pragmatically designed and enable a minimal investment of time on the construction site.
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