Špela Videčnik established OFIS arhitekti in 1996 with Rok Oman, both graduates from the Ljubljana School of Architecture and London’s Architectural Association. Since its creation, the practice has received several prestigious awards and were also invited to the Architecture Biennial in Venice, Moscow and Beijing. OFIS works and communicates at an international level, taking part in competition and architectural lectures. The practice has recently completed construction of a student residence of 185 housing units in Paris and Football Stadium Bate arena in Belarus. The team is based in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Paris, France.
The beginnings of OFIS’ activities date back to the nineties, a particularly exciting yet difficult period for the former Yugoslavian republics that were undergoing intense self-re-evaluation and reinvention from scratch, economically and culturally. In terms of architecture this meant that most of the larger architectural offices had to be scaled down or went bankrupt, creating an empty space for younger groups or individuals to participate in architectural competitions. Back then, OFIS managed to impress with original thinking and clear concepts. Over the past ten years they have been dealing with various national and international clients from the private sector, the commercial sector, and state institutions.
In their work OFIS tries to find an issue with the brief, client, material, structural constrains or the site. In this way limitations become inspiration for difference and create identity – something that makes their work different from the rest – by using the tactics of not surpassing, confronting, ignoring or disobeying the rules or limitations.
By Rok Oman, David Rubin and Spela Videcnik