The design of a small compact stony house corresponds to the needs of the young family and simultaneously follows current technological principles and the tradition of small, compact, stony and almost windowless houses. The proto-house concept gains clarity in monolithic mono-material volume, with two inserted wooden proto-houses connected with the shared open gallery. The project opens up the question about the characteristics of the anonymous traditionally built architecture, from which it originates, and simultaneously establishes the relationship between contemporary interpretation and the traditionally conditional domain of synthesis.
The region of the Karst was once covered with Oak trees that Venetians extensively used to build up the City on water. They left the wind to peel off the earth revealing limestone ground. In this landscape, the tradition of small, compact, stony and almost windowless houses developed and has remained until today.
Following this tradition determined the design of a small compact stony house, corresponding to the needs of the young family and current technological principles. The redefinition of a traditional stony Karst house led to the concept of the proto-house as a compact, stony, pitched roof volume for contemporary countryside living in this region. The house is conceived as a monolithic volume with two inserted wooden volumes connected with an interim landing.
The ground floor operates mostly as a public or semi-public space with multiple grand landscape views, whereas on the other hand the upper floor stands very private, with sky views only. The space is divided with two inserted wooden volumes which contain a kitchen with dining or bathroom on the ground floor, and a master bedroom and children’s room on the upper floor. The house in a house concept allows each bedroom to perform as a primarily wooden pitched house, where one literally feels like sleeping in his own (symbolic) house and not a room. The bridge connecting both houses acts as playroom. The house has three large square windows which look out on views towards a hilltop church in Italy to the west, forest to the south and entrance platform to the east.
The redefinition of a traditional stony Karst roof, with its texture, colour, material and its steep inclination is executed as a contemporary concrete interpretation, with intense technological ingenuity. A materially inseparable connection between the facade and the roof is a key allusion to the image of the traditional Karst village. The stone, set into the concrete during the casting process, gives the walls the appearance of having a solid masonry construction – this “low tech” technique previously employed by Aljoša’s architect father in the late 1970 s in the Karst region. It is a 15 centimetre thick facade layer where the builder first lays down a row of stones, with the more or less flat side of the stone against the framework, and then pours concrete behind the row of stones. When the framework is removed, after one or two days, the builder would eventually remove excessive amounts of concrete to open the surface of the stone. The ceiling is the concrete slab of the roof construction – the formwork was done out of wooden planks. All interior dry walls are made of three layer spruce plywood panels, oiled with transparent oil. The horizontal slab is spruce Cross Laminated Timber.
Contemporary and tradition
The design of the house addresses the relationship between the contemporary and tradition, it opens up the question about the characteristics of the anonymous traditionally built architecture from which it originates and simultaneously establishes the relationship between contemporary interpretation and the traditionally conditional domain of synthesis.