University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade, Serbia
Urban Design and Landscape
Nature has created its dominant architecture in the form of the Paklenica National Park, which forms the hinterland and represents a natural fortification… more
Cristiano Luchetti is an architect, researcher, and educator with more than 25 years of experience… more
Hello Ana, and congratulations on your submission. It is a large-scale project with a high level of complexity, primarily due to its complicated site conditions. Open views seem to be an essential component of the design approach; I wonder why choosing an introverted typology for the villas. Maybe pools could work better if placed in front of the villas? Also, does a very valuable frontage near the water look too solid? Maybe there was a way to increase functional porosity by adding some F&B functions by the water promenade?
Nature has created its dominant architecture in the form of the Paklenica National Park, which forms the hinterland and represents a natural fortification element on the east-west stretch. The foot of the mountain range indicates a significant drop in the terrain, which is unavoidable considering the visual and physical identity of the location. The additional quality of the environment creates an unusually beautiful landscape permeated with greenery, which visually dives into the sea as the terrain gradually declines. The close connection between the mountain and the sea provides an attractive position for the development of a tourist settlement, which will further improve the current situation and influence the further development of tourism.
The goal of the project is to create a settlement that will not know the limitations of the changing seasons but will live throughout the year. It strives to eliminate the shortcomings of the surrounding settlements and Starigrad itself as a whole, emphasizing the recognizable form and good transport connections. The idea of researching an open plan in fortification architecture is born, whereby we approach the reinterpretation of the basic meaning of the term fortification, creating a new vision of it.
The main advantage and disadvantage of this location is the slope of the terrain. While the advantage is the clear visibility of the landscape, the flaw is in the quality of the soil and the possibility of landslides. We solve this problem, by installing appropriate soil erosion prevention, by strengthening potential excavations. We use the slope of the terrain as a basis for designing the future settlement. The mentioned natural fortification elements, mountain and sea, get a new look in the form of spatial points placed according to the hierarchy of aesthetic and functional quality. We form the architecture based on the analyses of established cities on the Adriatic, as well as the character of our location.
We turn the concept of an open plan in fortification architecture into a volumetric expression of the project. We develop the form of the building in relation to natural elements, the slope of the terrain and greenery. Green corridors form gaps in the model and control the merging of the built into closed tracts. Also, we interpret the greenery as a new natural fortification element, which does not represent a significant visual obstacle, while it contributes to controlling the coastal climate, represented in the location, as well as preserving the identity of the landscape. By cascading the content, we adjust the volume to nature, and the heights of the objects determine the successful perception of the environment from all places of the location in question.
The functional hierarchy begins with a promenade with a pier and accompanying commercial content. That content is buried in the terrain and gives a new visual value to the environment. Further, we can see the area as steep or terraced from the sea to the northeast.
Private villas are characterized by an atrium space shared by two villas. In order to keep the original concept, the villa's volume gives the impression of something solid and turned inward. In a contrast to the exterior, we give the flow of the interior accompanied by dominant glass surfaces. The height difference between the villas, as well as the positioning of the sleeping areas allows for additional privacy.
In order to further explain the functional division, it is essential to draw attention to the traffic infrastructure. The roads are formed in the east-west direction and divide the project into functional units.
An integral part is the commercial center of this settlement. Here we find all the functions that are missing in the surroundings. Squares and green areas surround the building. While on the higher floors, we find apartment-type accommodation, on the lower floors we have facilities that provide services necessary for the normal functioning of the residents throughout the year. The construction of a larger market, an elementary school and a kindergarten are planned.
The highest point on the site is occupied by residential buildings, while the most dominant position is occupied by a hotel with accompanying facilities. In designing the hotel, we also keep the initial concept and realize the gradual formation of its content. At the foot of the hotel, on the far west side of the site, we have a camp, which gives the project additional tourist potential.
The materialization of the volumetrics was mostly inspired by the historical appearance of a classical seaside house, with stone used as its primary building material. The goal of the project is to use modern methods to restore the rustic appearance of the settlement without forgetting the current content and contemporary elements. After visiting the location, we concluded that the representation of vegetation is significant. Inevitably, the development of the project would result in the disappearance of a large amount of vegetation. Moving characteristic trees gives the project a specific character. By incorporating the natural into the newly created, artificial, a connection between the past and the present is formed. The materialization of the construction was chosen in order to reduce the impact on the environment during the entire construction process. At the same time, effective afforestation improves the integration of buildings into the environment. The solid structure of the buildings will help in the additional prevention of erosion. It will also affect the insulation and longevity of the buildings.
The coastal zone with the pier will have a special character, where segments of lighter floating structures will be branching out of the solid masses. They will visually have an identical character to the rest of the area, but will not be treated with solid materials due to the depth of the sea. The emphasis is on durable materials supported by systems that allow the transfer of large weights. They will be connected with elastic couplings, so to reduce the influence of tide to the least possible level. Also, it is inevitable to mention the stone beaches that will be formed in the bays of the coastal zone, restoring the vision of the land flowing into the sea.