© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

Histria Aromatica Homestead // MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

Bale, Croatia

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Text description provided by the architects.

This project is the “Histria Aromatica” Homestead in Bale, Croatia.The “Histria Aromatica” homestead is the center of a unique agricultural-tourist complex planted with indigenous, medicinal, and aromatic plants and herbs. The complex is located on a formerly neglected hill in the municipality of Pizanovac Bale in Istria. At its highest point lies a unique micro location which offers uninterrupted panoramic views of the Istrian coast, from the historic town of Rovinj to the National park of the Brijuni archipelago.

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

The homestead consists of three programmatic units — a residence, a restaurant, and a museum with educational facilities. Along with the exterior of the square, these spaces are designed for a range of scenarios: permanent housing, day trips to the complex, educational programs, workshops, sales of self-made products, and preparation and service of produce grown on the property.

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

‘Curving’ the programs around the square surface has created a clearly defined space; a place for various gatherings and events. The spatial accent of this cascade square is a two-story residential part of the complex. The fountain — as its counterpoint — actually hides the accumulation of rainwater for the watering of the plants.

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

The contemporary architectural vocabulary and palette of materials (with an emphasis on local stone excavated onsite), provide a contemporary interpretation of the local architectural and urban motifs: stone walls, kažun (little stone huts), narrow passages, streets, and squares. Moreover, the use of the stone from the site is primarily the result of a rational decision to build with available materials, as an actual contribution to sustainability.

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

The openings are precisely positioned and dimensioned to frame the landscape, providing vistas from inside, but also allowing the indirect visual contact of the square with the surrounding landscape, thus emphasizing the strong connection of the architecture with its own environment. The circumstances that affected the formation of the architecture significantly changed during the seven-year process, from general economic and social impacts, to a series of arbitrary and uncontrolled decisions during the construction.

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

However, it seems that the concept and the basic settings have not lost their validity and relevance.Photography: Ivan Dorotić.

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

© MVA / Mikelić Vreš Arhitekti

Histria Aromatica Homestead Gallery

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