DVA Arhitekta have completed a contemporary stone house in Bijaca, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The approach of the proposal was to develop a residential complex in strong connection to the context. Located in a remote, poorly inhabitated part of West Herzegovina canton, the site stretches over 35 000 square meters of wild landscape, bounded by strong stone walls. The ambient relies on tradition, where places like this provided social contact and events. All three units, six buildings alltogether, are carefully placed to gain views according to the client’s wishes.
Guarding the entrance, the steward house and auxilliary facility are located. Further along, the terrain climbs steeply towards the highest point where the main unit is found. The location offers control of the whole site as well as exceptional views of the surrounding mountains. Towards the sports facilities the terrain descends in number of terraces planted with olive trees and grape vines.The football and basketball court together with dressing rooms form third unit.
The main unit contains the house for the owner, guest house and summer house with vine cellar and place for barbecueing. The interrelation between the houses creates fine outside spaces, protected from the wind, suitable for enjoying time spent in fresh air. Houses are mainly two- storeyed, with daily life happening on the ground level, having contact with the outdoor. Houses are focused both on outside and inside, due to climate conditions, harsh winters and hot summers.
Architectural language is pure and elementar, adjusted to the hand of local builders. Concrete construction is cladded in stone from the local quarry. Stone frames around the openings in facade, also traditional elements, are here made in plaster and emphasized to achieve the playfulness of basic stone element.
Connections between units are paved in same local stone. Houses are heated by heat pumps using air and very well isolated which makes them low energy. This project is trying to set a positive example to build in remote areas using what nature has given us and respecting local conditions.