Varaždin, a historic city in northern part of Croatia, is known for its well-preserved Baroque architecture. The narrow streets, squares and parks, facades with its ornaments contribute to the identity of the city. The house is within walking distance of downtown. One-story house with the longer side of the façade along the street, is the most popular building type in this district since the 18th Century. Such houses met the needs of the residents and were in relation to city size. Adaptations and additions can often be more inspiring than new constructions, as the limitations they impose may lead to unexpected results. Adaptations have also become a constituent element of architectural projects. The family house in Varaždin is the result of the reconstruction of two old houses, all due to the family growth and their functional
needs. The reconstruction has been going on through three phases. The most recent one is a garden pavillion from 2013., before that the two old houses were reconstructed, in 2007, and the first intervention was a tropical garden in 2004. A two-storey pavilion comprizes gym on the lower level and an apartment above it. The load-bearing steel structure is dressed in sheet metal plates with thermal insulation. There are contemporary accents on either side of the gable of the old house, and different building materials reflect different time periods. Even since the first reconstruction, the theme of the relations between the house and the nature are crucial, showing how function and approach depend on the purpose of the space, the time of setting up as well as the position on the site itself. The position of the pavillion allows cinemasc
ope screen facing the green as well as allowing the neccessary intimacy. In the reconstruction in 2007., even though in one house only the cellar has been preserved, it has completely determined the internal structure of the new house. Due to the cellar, the living room is split into two half storeys, and the vertical circulation is defined through a flight of stairs positioned along the facade. The idea of lateral circulation is inherent in the architectural tradition of Pannonian Croatia. The new house and the old renovated one have become part of a new functional whole. The new house is the extension of the old one as well as an autonomous visual unit. It consists of the ground floor with a living room and a greenhouse, and the first floor with an en-suite bedroom and a dressing room. In terms of typology and morphology, the new house relies on the tradition of the Varaždin region, where the street facade typically features accentuated openings framed by plaster mouldings and different appliqués. In this project, the theme is reinterpreted through two long horizontal windows framed by very pronounced exterior trims in patinated copper, which serve as a contemporary version of traditional ornament. The large entrance and garage doors are reminiscent of the gates that almost every house in the area used to have. The dynamics of the street facade stems from the juxtaposition of the tradition and the modern, figuration and abstraction. Even though the contours suggest a traditional building, the volume divided into a brick base and a sheet metal and glass roof creates an entirely contemporary configuration that reinterprets the archetypal idea and the iconic representation of a house. This recognizable image is here deconstructed and questioned, indicating the possibilities and potentials in designing elementary geometric forms. The interior is formulated as a continuous elongated space that can easily be divided into zones. Depending on the position and size of individual functions, and the direction of natural light, one can create the impression of luxury and intimacy. Small modifications produce special ambiances . The interplay of the proportions in the interior is complemented by a variation of the theme of linear succession of spaces. Light is fully controlled, as if introduced through a funnel, in order to accentuate individual sequences, as well as emphasise the sculptural character of spatial organization.
Curriculum studio / partecipante DVA Arhitekta - Tomislav Curkovic and Zoran Zidaric are chief architects and owners of Architecture Office "DVA ARHITEKTA".
Tomislav Curkovic was born in Zagreb, Croatia, in 1961. Graduated from Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb, in 1988. After graduation works at Architecture Office “Interinzenjering” in Zagreb.
In 1992. founds "DVA ARHITEKTA" together with Mr. Zoran Zidaric.
In 2009. appointed head of Croatian Chamber of Architects.
Zoran Zidaric was born in Sibenik in 1962. Graduated from Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb, in 1987. Until 1991. worked as freelance architect, after what he forms an office with Mr. Tomislav Curkovic.
Three annual awards “Bernardo Bernardi” for the best interior design, from the Croatian Architects’ Association,
Annual award “Drago Galic” for the best housing project in 2011, from the Croatian Architects’ Association,
Four nominations for annual award “Drago Galic” for the best housing project, from the Croatian Architects’ Association,
Special award for interior design "Zagreb salon".
Special mention - “Wienerberger brick awards ‘12”.
Cemex awards in both local and international competition.
Numerous publications in architectural magazines and sites.
Exhibitions and book publications.
DVA Arhitekta - Tomislav Curkovic and Zoran Zidaric are chief architects and owners of Architecture Office "DVA ARHITEKTA".