Sitting on the coastal road to Rijeka, only around one and a half kilometres northeast of Opatija, the village of Volosko has almost been consumed by its famous and opulent neighbour. Indeed, many today refer to Volosko as a neighbourhood of Opatija. But, that wasn’t always the case.
The beautiful seaside village of Volosko and its harbour © Visit Opatija
With its own micro-climate and its own distinct bay within the Kvarner Gulf, Volosko is one of the best places in the region for windsurfing. Taking advantage of the best conditions in the very early morning, as dawn spreads a brightening light over Volosko, surfers get a great view of its harbour. Before the village became regarded as part of Opatija, it was actually tied to the great walled town of Kastav, located some five kilometres above on the mountainside. Volosko was the town’s port.
Surfers eyeing the Volosko shoreline might also get a glimpse of the incredible Opatija Villa Design, sitting in the foothills above Volosko. Once you see it, it’s tough to miss. It looks like literally nothing else within eyesight. An oblong box with glorious sea-facing windows, truth be told, you have to get much closer to Opatija Villa Design to fully appreciate all of its award-winning design.
While instantly noticeable because it extends out diagonally, leaving half of the dwelling floating in space, this prominent rectangular box is actually less than half the story of Opatija Villa Design. The part you can’t spot from the surf is another whole half of the property – a brick-walled structure lies beneath, built into the hillside like a cave, covered atop with gardens and grass. There’s also a sleek outdoor swimming pool.
Opatija Villa Design was commissioned back in 2010 and was originally called Nest and Cave House. In 2012, the villa earned architect Idis Turato the national Drago Galić award as part of the Annual Realization Exhibition for the most successful achievement in residential architecture. Later that year, Opatija Villa Design was nominated for the Mies Van der Rohe International Award.
However impressive its upper floor may look from the sea, that’s nothing compared to the view of the Adriatic gifted by the positioning of the Opatija Villa Design. Stretching out before you in widescreen is the entire Kvarner Gulf – to the left, the buzzing city of Rijeka, less than 20 minutes by car, similarly perched in the rising foothills. In front of you, the island of Cres floats on the waves, beneath you the Austro-Hungarian grandeur of Opatija proper, between them the speeding sails of the windsurfers. To grant maximum time before this breathtaking view, the living space is located on the upper floor, the bedrooms hidden from the intense heat of midsummer in the cavern below.
On the upper floor’s 100 square metres are a living room, dining room, kitchen, storage and toilet, beside a garage of 35 square meters. Beyond the driveway and upper lawns lie solar panels which top up the Opatija Villa Design’s electricity.
An open staircase leads to the lower floor – also around 100 square metres – which contains a more formal living room for entertaining plus a double bedroom and another bedroom. Outside of the cave’s patio doors lie a large outdoor dining area (shaded from the sun by the floating part of the upper floor), extensive lawn space and the pool. The entire property is surrounded by hedges or walls to maintain privacy.
Ten years after its inception, the property is once again in the spotlight because it has come up for sale. Its price tag? A not inconsiderable 3,011,806 dollars, or 18 million kuna. According to great regional portal Fiuman.hr, the property is listed on the pages of luxury real estate agent Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty. For someone who can meet the asking price, Opatija Villa Design offers the chance to turn dream living into a reality.
All images © Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty unless otherwise accredited