Dubrovnik Student Dormitory Architectural Solution Declared Most Successful Project

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It has been my accommodation discovery of the year, as I wrote in Dubrovnik Cocktails at 35 Kuna?!? Meet Akademis “Academia”. But the new student campus in Dubrovnik is also getting rave reviews for very different reasons. 

As Dubrovacki Dnevnik writes, the Croatian Chamber of Architects has selected the student dormitory project for the most successful architectural creation in 2020.

“We’re the best! The Viktor Kovacic Award is now in the hands of our designers,” read the post on Facebook written by the director of the Student Centre Dubrovnik, Marko Potrebica, who is also the leader of the project team for the construction of the dorm.

“Congratulations to the authors, our designers, Associate Professor Tin Franic, Associate Professor Vanja Rister and Ana Martincic Varesko, B.Sc,” wrote Potrebica.

The student dormitory provides accommodation for 503 students, and in addition to that, there is a library, a main restaurant boasting 627 seats, a modern kitchen with storage and refrigerators, a fast food restaurant and restaurant for both citizens and visitors, a fitness centre, a student club, classrooms, a multipurpose hall, a kitchenette and even an underground garage for as many as 179 cars.

The total value of the project stands at 201 million kuna, of which 151 million kuna came in the form of a grant. It is an investment in which 85 percent was financed by European Union (EU) funds and is also the largest project financed through the “Competitiveness and Cohesion” Operational Programme.

This is what the Croatian Association of Architects had to say about the project:

In one of the most famous fortified cities in the world, the authors built a city within a city, inexplicitly mimetically repeating the forms of the original historic Dubrovnik fortification on the outside and transforming the cloister square into a rhombus on the inside. The newly created typology is a bold step forward in a heritage-defined city, but in this place and at this time – successful. The city inside consists of three strong volumes laid on a common base that make up three connected residential “neighborhoods” with streets facing three inner courtyards surrounded by rooms. The intimacy of the courtyard is emphasized by introverted design, but also by the choice of wood as the main material of the courtyard facade, which offers us another modern interpretation of coastal wooden shutters. The simultaneous distance and interactivity of the façade with its gentle absorbent color made this house unobtrusive to the surrounding urban space of uneven morphology. Regardless of the fragmented surrounding urban landscape, the “house” has found a way to successfully communicate with the environment and at the same time stabilize it. New walking routes are being introduced through the plot, which includes the home in the network of city flows and everyday life. All decisions are strong and clear, whether it is about shaping large accommodation volumes or the emptiness of the park park in front. The connecting glass membrane of the ground floor in some parts denies a clear difference between the interior and exterior of the building, and emphasizes the democratic and communal character of the home as a space intended for all Dubrovnik students, but also for all citizens and travelers. Everything in this house is contemporary, and everything is at the same time deeply archaic and intuitive. Each space evokes the memory of familiar Mediterranean ambiences, but spoken in a new language. The City has been given a house by which it undoubtedly communicates to the outside its own ambition: young, hardworking and smart are needed by this City.

You can learn more about Dubrovnik in the TC Dubrovnik in a Page guide.


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