Our design proposal, 'ELEVATE', is a response that encompasses the factors of the socio-geographic context of the Starigrad coastline and its adjoining steep topography. The structure of each villa is founded in the intention of bridging the binary of natural and man-made. This spatial harmony is achieved by rooting the plot strongly within the site conditions of Starigrad. How can a design be implemented without severely negatively interfering with the natural beauty of the Croatia coastline?
The composition of elevated planes and geometric subtractions of volume characterizes the villa and embodies a focal design. Its unification with the organic biophilic elements simultaneously isolate inhabitants from the mundane and connect them with an almost mystical, innate sense of peace and freedom.
The proposal is a creative attempt at resolving a unique design while accounting for the requirements listed in the client brief. These include but are not limited to the accomodation of a single storey, structural elevations using piles, an outdoor pool, area and room quantities.
Each villa contributes to an overall macro façade distributed along the coastline, achieving a visual harmony for those inhabiting the other residences of the village resort.
The intent is to create inhabitations where guests can experience nature in close, tangible proximity. The exterior zones connect the inner core of each villa to the natural world. Generous terraces, decks, and a sit-out area wrap the entire structure, and pergolas and glazing strike a balance between open and private spaces. The biophilic height disparities further provide each residence with a wide and panaromic south-west view.
Keeping with the prioritisation of community over individuality, the project primarily targets native and other European families who are looking to engage in leisurely activities, remote work or an experience of a superior standard of living. The villas have a ramp of 1:12 slope to provide access for wheelchair mobility.
The paradox of the limitlessness brought by the Adriatic sea's horizon and that of completion by the sunsets, renew an innate hope in all inhabitants.
Each villa is constructed from pre-fabricated materials enabling the project's execution to be time-efficient and of a conscious ecological footprint. It is a minimal yet bold combination of wooden decks and pavers, limestone walls, dry stone façades, and glass openings. This interplay of materials works in unison with the landscaping towards the expression of a coastal context.
The landscaping of our design embraces the principle of varying planar elements. The arrangement of the flora is focused on the boundaries as a means of both aesthetic and physical mass balance. It subtly segregates villas while maintaining communicative fluidity, providing natural visual and auditory privacy to each villa's inhabitants. The thoughtful choice of local plants such as cyprus trees, black locust trees, rhododendron bushes and daisy flower beds hones an eloquent interface between human and nature.
A crucial element contributing to the planar and biophilic characteristic of our design lies in the green roof. It decreases stormwater runoff rate, hence, improving the drainage system. It cools the roof surface by more than 30% while reducing the heat flux to the building. It acts as an air purifier and regulates the indoor temperature, reducing energy consumption.
Additionally, the pre-established requirement to avoid interference directly with the land was the usage of piles. Our choice of material of this fundamental structural element is glued laminated (glulam) timber in an effort to minimize the use of concrete. Made from species like douglas-fir, spruce-pine-fir and western hemlock, glulam possesses excessive load-bearing capabilities along with moisture-resistant and fire-resistant qualities after treatment with high-resistance, industrial adhesives like Melamine and Polyurethene resin. Furthermore, its high dimensional stability ranging till a length of 50m serves ideal for constructing on the steep landscape of the Starigrad. The project positions these piles at uniform distances, especially under the load-bearing walls of the villa structure. Each individual, sustainable, eco-friendly pile will be embedded into the bedrock using a minimal precast concrete plinth and a subsequent 300mm high steel shoe.
ZONE 5, private one storey villas