The assignment was to envision a house for a temporary family retreat on a site without infrastructure while at the same time satisfying the needs of the user .
The Issa Megaron project is dealing with questions regarding the context of the site boundary, envisioned on the plot that is read as a ‘’void ‘’, blank space- deception is that context is non -existent. The assignment was to design a house for a temporary family retreat on a site without infrastructure, at the same time completely satisfying the needs of the user . Given that the "genius loci" is not only the plot an island of Vis but actually Mediterranean, we conceive the house by the system of the Megaron, reinterpreting the ancient stone drywalls and creating a new rural man-made topography using simple construction technologies. The complete lack of infrastructure and general inaccessibility imply that self-sustainability is prerogative – natural cooling and ventilation, rainwater exploitation, solar panels, and other elaborate ways of exploiting natural resources, enabling the facility to function as a place for life and work.
The house is envisioned as a dug in volume, a residential pocket between the stretches of space forming walls, an artificial grotto, a memory of a primitive shelter. It consists of two levels - sleeping quarters/lounge on the first floor and downstairs open space dining/kitchen/lounge area opened to the covered and uncovered terraces and pool deck. All the bearing elements are made of reinforced concrete. Stone from the site was used for the facade cladding . The design that emerges from such conditions is unobtrusive, subtly, creates a symbiosis with the new/old stonewall topography. Sustainable design has shown to be the only solution for the completion of the project, that encompasses the plausibility of the project, minimal costs, satisfaction of all user needs, local government and urban plans as well as the architectural expression.
All the bearing elements are made of reinforced concrete, which in the interior are also a finished look. Stone from the site was used for the cladding of the facade, terrace and new bearing walls on the site – from the remains of the site excavation and stone from the old stone walls that have lost their structural integrity. Wood for the pool terrace, floors and shutters for sun protection are from local origin.
The newly built structure is both man-made / handmade, unobtrusive in intent, material and ultimate appearance.
The project makes minimal alterations to the terrain, and what it takes it replenishes (keeping the indigenous species of the island) and the terrain that is taken from the excavation zones is put back on the roof of the building as a green roof.
The shape of the house is a reinvented Socrates Megaron, the traditional dry stonewall (suhozid) is reinterpreted as various types of composite walls and the materials from the site are used in new ways...
Innovation in architectural design in the sense of reinventing simple traditional construction technologies typical of the Mediterranean, something that is in times of hi-tech architecture, forgotten and abandoned, while it actually completely satisfies the needs of the modern man.
In this way a specific example is given of sustainable construction and production in locations that are abandoned, unpopulated, not only in Croatia but also in the Mediterranean as a whole.
Easily available and renewable materials used from the site or extended location, ensure a lower cost of transportation and work. Wood is used on the deck on the south terrace because the wood has extremely low heat conduction, making it a pleasant pool deck surface use during the summer months.
This house boasts with its 100% energetic autonomy:
–CSP system is used with dug in heat containers (stones from the site) for hot water supply
-Photovoltaic cells for getting the needed electricity
-Low energy use due to the bio climate oriented design-passive ventilation and cooling, south exposed during the winter, protected during the summer
-Recycling of rain water for the irrigation of olive and house use–systems of natural filters (on the principles of gravity–use of the terrain slope)
-Materials used are compatible to the local area and weather conditions and as such ensure the longevity of the structure and minimal maintenance.
Proarh is an architectural office founded in 1992 in Zagreb. Under the management of its founder and principal architect Davor Matekovic, the firm has evolved into a multidisciplinary workshop, creating projects of various functions, typologies, as well as programmatic and spatial dimensions. Architecture is approached as a diversely complex topic, where all its individual elements are formative and the design process is all encompassing. Proarh’s innovative approach, creativity, as well as dedicated work and acquired experience through relentless market conditions, have created a great number of successful projects and finished work of a wide spectrum. Its signature architectural work and progressive ideas have been recognized outside the local architectural scene. Proarh’s works have been nominated and awarded with a wide variety of international architectural prizes, presented in many exhibitions and published in renown domestic and international profession related publications.
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