Nordic Ski Centre Planica

investor: Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of education, science and sport
client: Institute for Sport RS Planica
design team: studio abiro, Studio AKKA, StVAR
design: 2009 - 2015
construction: 2010 – 2015
area: 22 ha

ski jumps and bridges: Matej Blenkuš PhD, Miloš Florijančič, Klemen Kobal (studio abiro)
service and performance buildings: Aleš Vodopivec, Marko Smrekar (StVAR)
landscape, including the lay-out of infrastructure and cross country lanes: Ana Kučan PhD, Luka Javornik (Studio AKKA, design team: Gaja Trbižan, Miha Slekovec, Maj Plemenitaš, Ana Tepina, Mojca Kumer)

engineering consultants:
ski jumps: Klemen Kobal (Olympic ski jumps), Janez Gorišek (flying hill ski jump)
cross-country: Uroš Ponikvar
sports logistic and technology: Gabrijel Gros,
international competition and FIS logistics: Primož Finžgar,
structural engineering: Vojko Kilar PhD, Dušan Remic, Uroš Žvan
geotechnical engineering: Janko Logar PhD, Jože Janež
electric engineering: Eldata, d.o.o., ElAri, d.o.o.
mechanical engineering: Eso projekt, d.o.o., ISP, d.o.o.
hydraulics: KSB Slovenija, d.o.o., Riko Group, d.d.
storm water flow control: Janko Černivec, Apus, d.o.o.

photos: Miran Kambič and Studio AKKA archives

Planica is hosting the ski jump contests from the early thirties and has gradually become a world-known centre for the World Cup Sky Flying Final. After the years of use the ski jumps needed a renovation and modernization and in 2009 the decision has been made to create a Nordic Ski Centre on the site. The main aspect of design is based on a profound relation between construction, the constructed site and its natural setting. The precise design of topography, the systematic selection and reduction of material, bold shapes and clear geometrical forms, all line itself with the exciting silhouette of the mountains and the calmness of the spruce and beech forest. The project works on many levels and relations: solid versus soft, resistant versus ephemeral, cold versus warm, monumental versus intimate. The seasonal changes span from the cold and sharp image of the mountains referring to the simple geometry of the topography and the concrete structures to the colourful abundance of the late summer, when the perception of the wooden details and green slopes is exposed.

Entrance to the Triglav National park

As Planica is set at the forefoot of the largest protected area in Slovenia and forms one of the most exciting entryways to the Triglav National Park, large sport facilities take their own, although a restrained stand. Planica is already symbolically charged which renders all excessive design redundant. The alpine setting of this precise sport ritual is unique and recognizable. The refinement of the image is thus added on other levels, mainly on those of use and orientation. Design follows technical and organizational requirements of a large sport facility by which it clearly reveals the new character of the space. It stands in contrast to the natural dynamics of the surrounding mountainous landscape and creates an organized, functional and technically flawless counterpart to the magnificent Alpine frame, perfected by the logic of engineering. The ski jumps that fan across the landscape introduce a spatial order that unites all elements into a non-hierarchical whole.

Ski jumps are usually designed to facilitate large-scale events with extensive infrastructure and demanding logistics. When more than 30,000 people come to this fragile valley, the form of the architecture gives way to its operational function, while on the everyday level, when a handful of young ski jumpers would come to train in solitude, its simplicity and robustness re-awaken and monumentally yet respectfully stand at the entrance into the valley. All service buildings, including the Daily visitor’s Centre, were pushed to the edges to free the bottom of the valley for long vistas.


Nordic Centre Planica

Design is based on the profound relation between architecture, the constructed site and the natural setting. As Planica is set at the forefoot of the largest protected area in Slovenia and forms one of the most exciting entryways to the Triglav National Park, large sport facilities take their own stand. The precise design of topography, […]