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Laška seč, shepherd’s mountain lodge

The Laška seč mountain pasture lies above the Tolminka valley and west of the Church of the Holy Ghost on Javorca at an altitude of 1000m. Laška seč got its name from the ‘Lahi’ – people from the 17th century who chopped down wood. A clearing was created which the farmers used for summer pasture grounds and where, over time, they erected barns and the lodge. The lodge retained its traditional design that was typical for the pastures of Tolmin up to the start of the 20th century. The lodge settlement comprises five barns for animals and shepherds to sleep in, as well as a dairy. The buildings are made out of brick and covered with a steep gable roof. The lodge is a one-storey building divided into two parts. The larger part has a low fireplace with a hood and a spindle for the boiler and additional equipment. The smaller part has a cellar for storing dairy products.

About the renovation

The renovation of the buildings that took place during 2012–2014, performed by GDN-Kavčič Metod s.p. from Zatolmin, under the supervision of the head conservationist from the Nova Gorica IPCHS Regional Unit, helped preserve the authenticity of the mountain pasture. All the good elements were kept, while all the worn out elements were replaced with similar ones – taking into consideration the use of traditional materials. The renovation of the barns consisted of reinforcing worn out walls, removing tin roofing and re-covering with steel roofing that is suited to mountain conditions. By installing a new window in the gabled wall of the barns we improved the living conditions. The repair of the outside plaster façade and wooden parts followed. The fixtures and fittings in the barns were replaced, and renovated in the lodge. The black kitchen’s chimney was also repaired

The project to renovate the mountain pasture was put up for the Constructive Alps 2015 international award, which was organised by the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein. The projects competing were all about sustainable renovation and constructing buildings within the area of the Alpine arc. An expert panel chose 12 of the best projects from the 350 competing and, on October 30th 2015 in Bern, awarded three prizes and nine commendations for the projects that, due to their innovativeness and realisation of the principles of sustainable construction, earned a special commendation. Among these was also Laška seč. The renovation project was also shown in Hochparterre, the Swiss architecture magazine, and in a travelling exhibition that will visit all the Alpine countries in the next two years.

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