Sunday, 24 January 2021

PHOTOS: Incredible Seaside Opatija Villa Design For Sale

January 24, 2021 – With breathtaking views of the Kvarner Gulf and island Cres, Opatija Villa Design is an award-winning triumph of contemporary architecture, its purchase a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

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.

volosko.jpegThe 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, 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

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

PHOTOS: Incredible Makarska Villa Kuk Immersed In Natural Rock

January 20, 2021 – One of Croatia's current most-adventurous architectural projects, the incredible Villa Kuk near Makarska, actually takes advantage of one of the area's most striking features – the natural rock of the Dinaric Alps foothills almost completely encases its hidden luxury

A villa or apartment on the Dalmatian coast is a dream for many. If not forever, then just for a little while. But, in the race to throw up new builds to satisfy demand, some older tricks can be lost. Some new buildings seem to seep heat in through the very walls, demanding the use of the air conditioner to keep you cool. In older buildings, that's rarely a problem. Built with thicker walls, from older stone, the time-honoured dwellings of Dalmatia are often cool enough without the klima.


Perhaps this was a point taken into consideration by architect Branka Juras, whose latest project, Villa Kuk near Makarska, has walls broad enough to shelter from even the strongest sun. Her plans for Villa Kuk see the luxurious villa encased in the karst rock of the Dinaric Alps foothills. Sandwiched between two giant slices of rock, Villa Kuk's inner luxury will be all but hidden from view.


As detailed by journalist Anita Budimir in Jutarnji List's feature on the Villa Kuk project, Branka Juras of the Faculty of Architecture and a former employee of regarded Croatian architectural studio Randić & Turato architects. Her latest project, Villa Kuk, is being undertaken by Juras and the team she has assembled within her own practice.


Villa Kuk will be situated at 110 metres above sea level in the Velko Brdo area of Makarska, in the foothills of the Dinaric Alps immediately to the north of the city centre. Its west and east walls will be comprised of the huge, natural boulders between which the villa will sit. The villa will only be visible from the north and south, which will hold its constructed facades.


The south façade will use large glass walls, gifting a widescreen view of the open sea. A minimalist but luxurious contemporary design is planned for the interior. The project is actually a radical overhaul of a building that previously stood in the plot – a restaurant.


The villa will consist of a basement, ground floor and a roof area, which was used as a terrace by the restaurant. An atrium has been added to the dwelling's redesign, affording additional light and the basement space extended to accommodate extra living space. Though radical in design and ambition, the height of the building does not extend beyond the height of the rocks between which it is sandwiched, ensuring Villa Kuk will have minimal impact on the area's natural and existing aesthetics.

All 3d visualisation images of the completed Villa Kuk project by Marijan Katić

Monday, 30 November 2020

From Switzerland to Croatia to Build a Luxury Villa in Pula

November 30, 2020 - On a small hill with a beautiful view of Marina Veruda, a super luxury villa in Pula is emerging, which the owners Paola Crevatini Rebsamen and her husband Armand Rebsamen called Seven Hills. The name is clear when it is known that Pula was built on seven hills, and this is exactly how this enterprising Croatian-Swiss duo, currently with a permanent address in Switzerland, wanted to pay tribute to the hometown of Paola, which has returned to its roots.

"Speaking of history, even the name of the Seven Hills villa takes into account the position of Pula on seven hills, which was also the inspiration for the project. It is a private design villa with seven rooms for individual rent in the season with breakfast for guests and an indispensable view of the marina. The main idea of ​​the project was the connection between nature and architecture. The organic form enlivens the villa and gives privacy to all guests. The orientation is towards the marina in order to make the most of the position. An important element in the whole project is the surrounding nature in the domain of design and form of the project, and the construction will use local, natural materials such as Istrian stone, olive, and wood, combining modern design with historical elements", explains Paola. 

Her husband, an award-winning architect, designed this unusual villa, which should be finished in the autumn of next year. The main project is signed by Studio Basic from Pula.

"The heart of the villa will be the central room where, in addition to breakfast, guests will be able to socialize or relax. So, guests will have breakfast service and service in general. Her main asset is the rooftop bar overlooking the marina. We designed the interior design ourselves, and we have gathered inspiration over the years on our many travels. Namely, my husband and I have visited more than 40 countries together", says Paola, who explains that the villa will be dominated by boho-chick, but luxurious.

A good part of the furniture will be made to measure, like a huge olive table. Paola points out that she will complement everything with interesting design details. However, it is important that this architecture raises the offer of Pula to a higher level because there is nothing similar in the largest Istrian city at the moment. The fact is that the villa will be intended for guests who want to feel like they have come home, lovers of architecture and design, gourmets, and lovers of life in general.

As reported by Jutarnji list, the luxury villa in Pula is ideal for a vacation in a quiet oasis, and yet in the center. But other than them, Paola will host women traveling the world with her here. Namely, Paola is a reputable marketing expert who has worked for global companies such as Unilever, Microsoft, and eBay, and is also involved in travel blogging and has her platform on Instagram called Femmetravel. She has also organized specialized holistic trips for women through her Miss Adventure platform for years. These are trips for smaller groups of women that Paola encourages to start their own companies, projects, create content, and entrepreneurship. She also organizes the Miss Adventure Festival, where she gathers interesting speakers whose goal is to connect women and empower them at all levels.

"My goal is for women to be satisfied with these trips mentally, emotionally, privately, and professionally. I inspire women to follow their dreams and live without fear and not regret anything they have done in life. Every trip I have organized so far has been different and each destination offers something special. We were in India, Morocco, Tanzania, Egypt, Jordan, and of course, we toured our country", Paola says.

"We visited Istria and here our trip focused on gastronomy, Paola tells us. Therefore, during such trips, the villa will serve as a second home for travelers who will experience the best in Pula and Istria with their hostess. Her festival will also be held here, where Paola will bring powerful women from all over the world. Such trips will be organized in the pre-season and post-season, and there will always be something special from Istria on the schedule", Paola adds.

This enterprising couple decided to invest in Pula primarily because it is Paola's hometown, they met here and bought land on the 10th anniversary of the relationship, and a luxury villa is being built near her family home. But, as she tells us, her husband also fell in love with Pula very quickly and very easily.

"In this way, we decided to promote Pula together, which is not such a well-known and popular destination in our country. And who knows, maybe one day we will move and come to live in Istria. That possibility is not ruled out", Paola concluded.


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