Today, it’s essential for a contemporary building to be both sustainable and fit in with its surroundings. Thanks to recyclable materials and modern technologies, wherever we build, we can create a perfect harmony with nature. For this reason, architectural firms have made it their mission to avoid the use of concrete and minimize the ecological footprint of buildings. One of the best examples is the brand new Center for Environmental Protection in the Municipality of Krapinske Toplice in northwest Croatia.
The facility, which also houses offices and service rooms for the Voluntary Fire Brigade, was designed by Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti. The center, with its varied design, consists of two parts: a tall tower, which is open at the bottom and is used for training firefighters, and a two-story office block with a garage and storage room. The various cladding materials both separate and connect the different parts of the center. Applying white metal panels is a simple yet practical solution, as they have good thermal insulation properties. The soaring tower is not only a sight to behold but also a kind of landmark in the desolate landscape. Its steel structure, visible through the metal mesh “curtain”, has both utilitarian and aesthetic functions, and its bright red color makes the long flights of steps visible and easy to spot.