(March 2011) This report reads like a fairytale about two cottages in Croatia: once upon a time there were two friends. Each wanted to build a cottage for himself and his family. The soon found a suitable plot of land near Bratovici. Bratovici is a town situated in the Istrian peninsula on the Adriatic coast. Because local farmers never attained fame or wealth, they built simple houses: four stone walls with windows and a door, no more.
This is the place in every fairytale where the antagonist makes his entrance – a wicked mother-in-law perhaps or an evil wizard, or perhaps the protagonists would be chased from their plot of land. But since all goes well in our story, Zagreb-based architects Arhitektri come into the story from the Croatian capital.
They value ancient local building styles, including circular houses comparable to Italian’s Trulli. There on the Balkan, these stone houses are called Kazun.
At the end of our tale two houses stand at right angles, each one story high, plain as barns. On the outside, typical stone facades in the regional limestone Benkovac worked by local craftsmen. Even the roofing is traditional in stone.
On the inside, the houses are state of the art and even have a swimming pool in the back yard behind a picturesque terrace. Of course the outer walls are well protected from the elements with a 10 cm layer of insulating material.
The title of the story? – just „Dvije Kuce“ („Two houses“). Somehow the title stands to this very day… and they lived happily ever after.
Photos: Miljenko Bernfest, Aleksandar Markovic