A small prefabricated house in nature as an example of good practice to follow

At the regional competition for a small prefabricated house in nature, which was announced by the gradnja.rs portal in April this year, the project of a team of young architects from Rijeka was rated the best. Architects Mateja ...

In the regional competition for a small prefabricated house in nature, which announced the portal in April this year gradnja.rs, the project of a team of young architects from Rijeka was rated the best.

Architects Mateja Bonifacic, Ivana Slavnic i Mara Uroda they devised a skilful and successful combination of a traditional Mediterranean house, and in a large competition of as many as 130 works from Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro won first place in this competition.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected our attitude towards work and housing in many unexpected ways. Life - and even work - in nature and in solitude is becoming a new norm, so the demand for prefabricated houses of small square meters has recorded an extraordinary growth. Solutions that can be built quickly and easily are especially sought after.

In the mass production of currently available typical solutions, these are most often houses of modest design, whose ecological standard, energy efficiency and longevity are questionable, and their architectural value is reduced to a minimum. The new generation of users is in demand for elegant units that are architecturally harmoniously designed, functional, impeccably organized and advanced technologically equipped, and of high ecological rank.

On the user side, the house is designed for digital nomads.

The aim of the competition "Small prefabricated houses in nature powered by Alumil" was to come up with the best ideas for small prefabricated houses in nature, promote these solutions as examples of good practice to follow, and ultimately improve existing construction methods, supply and expectations.

A small Mediterranean house designed by young architects from Rijeka is located on the island of Krk. The characteristics of life on the island have been translated into a simple prefabricated house concept in which the sun, sea, sky and local landscape play a major role. A combination of traditional and new materials was used in the design of the building.

The foundations of the gabion walls evoke the Krk thunderbolts which have been an inevitable island building block for centuries. Laminated wood construction is a modern application of traditional material - wood, and contributes to the environmental component of the project. Local materials were also used for the interior finishes - a layer of olive veneer and sheep wool for modular pillows. The building measures 10 x 4 m, and the building consists of 4 modules. Each module is delivered by truck to the location and installed and completed there.

This concept envisages 2 modules in which the main functional spaces and the night part are located, and 2 empty modules that form the central living space intended for spending most of the time of future users of the facility. It is this flexible central part that allows users to organize a custom made space adapted to their current needs, so that - for example - the workspace is transformed into a home cinema, space for entertainment, socializing, dining or a terrace in a few seconds by moving modular furniture elements.

Throughout Croatia, we have inherited the care and preservation of old architectural pearls for civil, military and sacral purposes, which we are rightly proud of. But looking at what is being built today, the question arises: are we thinking enough about what we will leave in the architectural heritage to future generations? Will it be lasting, beautiful, in keeping with nature and the real needs of man?

The answer could be devastating. This makes such green visions more cheerful, practical and pleasing to the eye, living with the environment, instead of imposing itself on it, while providing everything we really need. Because, when the architecture is good, it is not something that will be recognized only by the architects, but by all those who use the building.

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