Preska Primary School

Open Anonymous Architectural Competition for a new 27-unit primary school in Preska, Medvode, 2019

Increased Honorable Mention


Three stepped descending volumes, each with its own central hall - 'white space' cascading diagonally for informal learning and interaction.

The location sits on the southern edge of the Preska village, extending over the edge of the Sava terrace with an elevation drop of 8 m. To the east there are beautiful views of Šmarna gora and Grmada and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps in the northeast. The quality of the space is thus represented by views to the east and southeast. The location has a pronounced landscape character. The boundary of the building plot is jagged, with a pronounced east-west direction. The orientation of the classrooms to the south is thus countered by the falling terrain to the east.

The plot size itself does not comply with the Elementary School Building Guidelines. Consequently, it is necessary to find a way to maximize the use of the plot in order to provide as much outdoor living space for the pupils. Three stacked volumes were designed, descending down the terrain, creating a building mass which is merely four meters high, viewing from the direction of the village, retaining beautiful views towards the nearby hills.


Classrooms normally appear as a closed, strictly defined modules with optimal southern illumination. Design thinking has led us to divide space into a defined (‘black’) and undefined (‘white’) space. The volumes were formed by placing black spaces at the perimeter and a ‘white space’ in the central void. Along the perimeter, there are rooms for group work - classrooms with flexible partitions that allow changing of space to accommodate various needs, special classrooms, cabinets, services, etc. In this way, the central space is freed up to allow for the creation of a covered, naturally lit lobby where undefined – ‘white program’ can be located. The white space flows through all levels and binds the entire school into one whole. Each triad has its own central space. On the western side, through the entrance of the 3rd triad, we go past the submerged gym diagonally under the library to the level of the 2nd triad, where the gym and the dining room are located, further diagonally down to the lowest triad.


The building is designed in three levels. At the highest level the 3rd triad, special classrooms with teachers’ offices, lockers for the 3rd triad and a library are located. From here you can access the sports roof - which has a running track, a mid-level roof and the terrain. The middle level holds the 2nd triad, most of the service areas, the dining room with the kitchen and the gym. Access from the terrain is also organized at this level. The first triad is located at the lowest level, which has direct access to the terrain on the south and southwest sides of the building and is connected to the outdoor school garden, outdoor classrooms and playground. The school administration is also located at this level.



An essential feature of the landscape design is that spaces for traffic and services are separated and hidden with the use of hedge plantings from the users of sports and children's playgrounds and park. The rooftops of all three volumes have outdoor areas for students. Tartan pavements allow for multipurpose use, with the placement of playgrounds and urban furnishings, increasing the areas of the outdoor living space while providing unspoiled east and south views.


Location: Preska, Medvode, Slovenia

Project date: 2019

Site area: 14. 394 m2

Building area: 2. 038 m2

Total floor area: 7. 035 m2

Type: educational

Client: Medvode Municipality

Award: Increased honorable mention

Project team: SVET VMES, d.o.o.: Jure Hrovat, mia, Ana Kreč, mia, Anastazija Stejpanović, Urša Rot, Marko Kavčič

Landscape architecture: doc. Darja Matjašec, udika

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