Rok Oman
Photo: Tomaž Gregorič , Text: Tinkara Kern

Oman Rok

Rok Oman is a Slovenian architect who won several major architectural competitions in collaboration with architect Špela Videčnik while they were both still students. They later established the Ofis arhitekti company, which still exists today. He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana in 1997 and, three years later, from the Architectural Association in London.

Over the years, the projects created at Ofis have brought the team more than 30 awards and prizes at home and abroad. They regularly take part in international exhibitions and lecture at faculties, academies and conferences all over the world. Rok Oman is a regular visitor to Harvard GSD in Boston, where he passes on his knowledge and experience to future architects.

One of the best-known Ofis projects of recent years is “La Casa del Desierto”, or “House in the Desert”, which arose in collaboration with the American company Guardian Glass. The building was placed in the middle of the Gorafe Desert in Spain and, aside from being visually striking, is extremely energy-efficient, showing that, by using the right materials (in this case, special types of glass), you can make an object of perfect comfort and practicality wherever you build. The building is part of Ofis’s ongoing study of how to live in extreme environments, which has also included the creation of two bivouacs on the Skuta and Kanin peaks in Slovenia. Two further award-winning international projects are a student dormitory in Paris and a football pitch in the city of Barysaw in Belarus.

Ofis’s best known projects in Slovenia include the renovation and extension of the City Museum of Ljubljana (2003), the Tetris multi-apartment building in Ljubljana (2007), the Krašnja farewell chapel (2009) and the Krisperjeva Hiša apartment building on Mestni Trg, Ljubljana (2012). Both the City Museum and Krisperjeva Hiša feature an interesting contrast between the historic design of the original buildings and contemporary styling. The concept employed for the Tetris building enabled the construction of architecturally distinguished apartments affordable to young families, while the farewell chapel is a fully contemporary building in the midst of nature whose form mimics the elements of its surroundings.