No images found, please add some images.

Biennale Architettura Venezia

← Back to the Portfolio


Time, space, and existence are intertwined and interdependent. They act and interact, in tangible or intangible ways, forming an imprint of our presence.We are presenting the flow of certain elements–materials, typologies, shapes–and how they correspond to specific contexts and times, creating the spaces of existence.What are the crucial changes made by time? Is the progress of time irrelevant? Is everything site specific? Is architecture ever-changing or are the users? We will try to indirectly answer these questions through three of our projects, by focusing on housing, as a basic, primordial aspect of architecture.These designs were processed through the t-s-e prism, taking into consideration the genius loci, the overall architectural heritage, people’s habits and their way of life, past and future tenants, and past and future technologies. We coped to understand the habitat and its habitants, their ambiguous relations and dependencies thus mastering the matter, and reducing the arbitrary.Through these houses we study and dissect the evolution of residential architecture in a different site/heritage specific zones. The characters of these spaces are resolutely expressed and dominant, regardless of whether is it a natural elements factor or human historical/architectural heritage influence. Letting genius loci speak and listening to its rhythm, restrains the design in its creative ambition, directs it and implements sincerely, without precipitate and unjustified arbitrariness.Designing each of the three houses was a valuable process, irreplaceable experience of getting to know the diversity of heritage and culture but also sensitize, own architectural signature and ideas, on the genius loci.The conclusion of this architectural journey is that certain inherited, traditional dwellings may exist today almost unchanged. Technological improvements of construction and minimal manipulation of space purposes , are givens of the present time, the conditions of modern users but ultimately elements that do not change the primary character of spaces and buildings.The three houses shown here are made for today / 3houses4now, they reveal who and what the users are today / us now; they hope to  make a true imprint of what is house now or what a house has always been.Tipology, layout, materials, design  created by experience in natural course of housing/beeing/living evolution,  today are reinterpreted and used as equally valuable, proving their timeless character in contemporary architectural tendencies.





Arable land of Zagorje was an invaluable resource all through history so it’s no surprise that the most common type of housing is a farmers house – hiža mazanka (daubed hiža). It was designed to suit all of the farmer’s needs. Indrawn porch was used for storing carts and ploughs, while the entire attic was used for preserving food and drying meat. with walls made of carefully interlocked wooden planks daubed with a mixture of clay and blue vitriol, and a roof covered with tightly laid bundles of straw hiža was very energy efficient.The local oak which was used for the construction has such great quality, the pillars which support venice were made from it. However, over time most people moved to bigger cities, and nowadays most of these houses are devastated and in ruins.Inspiration was found in the traditional architecture of Zagorje region. Untouched nature on the site called for an unintrusive design which was found in the interpretation of  the traditional cottage, straw covered house with basic spaces. The pre-existing traditional Zagorje cottage is situated on the green slopes near Kumrovec  and was structurally and statically in poor condition. It was renovated taking into consideration the characteristics of local heritage and design. The pre-existing house form is kept, while the porch is substituted with a glass cube. To give the cottage southern exposure, the glass form is slided out of the main house volume, simultaneously forming an entrance area.  Interaction of interior and exterior spaces is enabled by opening of the glass walls.Traditional   farmers /craftsmen houses from the 1800  had been evolving thru the centuries but in the same time  retaining the  basic  layout and specific space usage. traditional residential space had to be reinterpreted to  correspond to the needs of contemporary man.The straw covering on the roof is replaced with a new one and extended over the facade, while the gables are newly wood-lined. The entrance walkway is made of tree stumps. The existing stone piedestal is kept, while the newly designed terrace is layed with a wooden floor from where it opens up to an impressive Zagorje landscape. As such the cottage becomes ‘organic’, easily renovated from locally available resources and workmanship, it breathes and changes with time, creating a healthy living environment.

The innovative usage of straw,  an archaic and forgotten material, on both roof and walls makes this modest house a subtle hommage  to the wealth of culture and heritage of the Zagorje region.



Issa grotto / hill house emerges as  questioning of the site boundary context, on a ”empty”, plain lot that looks like a  a tabula rasa, a blank slate.” empty ” is a deception, that context is non existent or irrelevant.  the essence of this area is not literal cadastral boundary. the genius loci must seeked and found in not just geographical, but also cultural zone. although deprived of human presence, this is not the space without own ‘juice’ ”. his genius loci so includes not only the plot, but the entire island and the dalmatian archipelago, as part of mediterranean civilization and ecosystems.Genius loci includes not only the plot, the island , but the whole Dalmatian archipelago as part of Mediterranean civilization circle and ecosystem.


Basic demands. Stripping of  unnecessary.Living areas are formed as artificial grotto , hollowed space, recollection  of primal dwelling/shelter.

socrates megaron 

Essential passive house design- opens towards the south making full use of the solar light and heat during winter, while the long terrace and terrace/roof cantilever  protect the interior from the hot summer sun.Hill acts as a barrier for the cold N winds.


Croatian – suho/dry + zid/wall, is a wall/building type made of natural stone without any binder, such as mortar. It is ancient lot divider,terrace forming wall for creating usable horizontal agricultural space, typical for south Mediterranean.

useful spaces forming

Strokes of dry-stone wall form functional zones SLEEP / WORK / LEISURE. Very steep  hill makes plot almost unsable. By using dry-stone walls as  formers of flat zones , the hill is transferred into useful agricultural land or overall usable zones .Living spaces are formed as artificial grotto, carved-in memory of  shelter, primitive bivouac.newly created structure is both manmade / handmade, non-intrusive in its purpose, material and final appearance.One such intact biotope with clear traditional architectural heritage, imposed bioclimatic oriented design with a focus on evaluation of the architectural heritage.Since the ‘loci’ is in fact mediterranean,  house is designed by  system of socrates megaron, reinerpreting dry-wall and creating new rural manmade topography, using simple construction technology. Complete absence of infrastructure and general inaccessibility, impose that the sustainability  and self-sustaining is  primar -passive cooling and ventilation, use of rainwater, solar panels, and other elaborate methods of exploitation of natural resources, enable  functioning of the house as a place to live and work. 

rainwater use

Elevated terrain and mild rainy seasons give opportunity to easily exploit rainwater for four different purposes:

1) water filtered and heated by concentrated solar power (house heating, sanitary units that require heated water)

2) filtered drinking water and water for appliances

3) filtered pool water

4) filtered water for irrigation system 

passive cooling and ventilation

Due to desire for preservation of existing vegetation, referment to local terrace agriculture and economic gain, olive grove was planted.Thick tree shade creates cool air which ascends to house by negative pressure. Besides passive cooling, there is natural ventilation. Sliding glass doors allow entrance of sea breeze from south and exit of used hot air on north.

heating and electricity

Solar panels are used as a source of electricity, considering that the land is on elevated terrain facing south. CSP system is intended to be used as a heater of line pipe containing filtered rainwater passing through the focal line of concave solar panel. The heat is preserved in thermal storage container from where it is used when necessary.PV panels are converters of solar radiation into direct current electricity. dc is then converted into alternating current electricity which can be measured by pv generation meter and defused to electrical devices in the house. 

Recycled heritage and upcycled  site coexist in the idea, intertwine  and symbioticly interconnect in to the result.



To achieve the desired affirmative ‘silence’  as  a  contrast to the existing ‘noise’, everything that is unnecessary is striped off  and  basic architectural principles are reclaimed  and articulated:firmitas / utilitas / venustas. This existing chaos, cramped, narrow plot, limited construction laws and program assignment,, make this a complex postulation but also a metaphorical ” noise ” of context. In such ‘noise’ the architectural language has to become quieter and create a concise expression. Is this expression then ”to fit in”or”not to fit in”, and is it possible to become positively ambivalent, where such ambivalence would mean avoiding the derogatory fitting in but also avoiding a forced standing out , due to author’s ambition? With all the givens, the idea of the traditional disposition of space and indigenous materials, was perfcetly fitting in . Traditionally, the dalmatian house consisted of ćemer-half digged in cellar with storage, upstairs kitchen and sleeping rooms. Small footprint allowance made this traditional layout justified and perfectly functional .The basic floor plan is given by offsetting the boundaries of the site, opening up to the sea and detachment from the neighbors – avoiding the arbitrary to the maximum. Thus obtained indented polygonal floor plan, dictated the need for a minimalist volume and overall avoidance of unnecessary decorative form.The roof of the traditional Dalmatian stone house is covered with stone slabs , which were removed from the special  small quarries and used on wooden roofs as they were without any binding material . Later they became more processed and uniformed in size and shape for easier stacking and bined with lime. At this house  the stone was installed in a new way , precisly,meticulously  as one continuous surface , because the new technologies allow it. But essentially  the stone cladding is what it should be- affordable, authentic  and functional coating.House is completed as a compact, closed polyhedron, solid volume coated on all sides with  the same , authentic  material :stone .

Reinterpreted architectural heritage is an hommage to the tradition, a proof that  ascetic space can be rich and lively ,  at this time when architectural ambition forgets that less is more .



  • Filed under: Exhibition