metal recycling plant

future: recycling a building on site

location: Pivka, Slovenia
project date: 2005 – 2007
completion date: 2008
area: 140 + 140 + 1.440 m2
type: industrial plant
source: commission
client: Andrej Dolenc, Odpad d.o.o
photos: Matevž Paternoster, Miran Kambič

project team: Aljoša Dekleva, Tina Gregorič,
Lea Kovič


  • Plečnik’s Medal 2008
  • Golden Pencil 2009 from ZAPS
  • International Architecture Awards 2009,
    The Chicago Athenaeum
  • European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture: Mies van der Rohe Award 2009, nominated + shortlisted
  • contractworld.award 2010, shortlisted

  • What is long-lasting and what is recycle friendly was one of the key questions we were able to follow in the project for a metal recycle plant, where they first accumulate and then separate different waste metals and prepare them for reuse. The project consists of an immense production plateau and two small buildings on the edge of it.

    We clearly divided the generic concrete volume, flexible for multiple-use; and the very specific, non-flexible metal volume, therefore ephemeral and recycle friendly by its activity. In these terms the huge concrete plateau with a definition wall and attached concrete service building define the core of the current production area, however they easily allow for a change of program within the industrial zone. This huge part of the project required careful placing of the plateau in an environment which ensures the least earth works and the lowest concrete wall possible.

    On the other hand, the small 100% metal office building works as a very specific control deck, supervising the weighing of incoming waste and out-going metals. Since this specificity means non-adaptability we had to allow for easy and clear on-site recycling when this building is not needed anymore. In contrast to the very rough production that goes on at the site, we have embedded some abstract or we like to think “poetic” content in the project. The two buildings are of the same volume, but materially very different: one is made entirely out of concrete, whereas the other is all steel – from structure to cladding. Thus the two buildings speak about the context of the material separation process at the metal recycle plant.

    Odpad, Pivka for “Small and Smart – Expressions of Contemporary Slovenian Architecture in Film”
    Organization: Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO), Curator: Jeff Bickert (ARK), Production: Matjaž Ivanišin and Damjan Kozole, Vertigo Emotionfilm