This project was commissioned to us as a study by a Russian entrepreneur who worked in several countries but liked to relax in on the Adriatic see. Because of his good relationship with Austrians he decided to stay and now he is located in Vienna. Beneath his economic success, he is a man with many interests, supporter of the fine arts, especially classical music and contemporary architecture, very athletic, and very interested in technical matters. But of course the most important part of his life is his family, so he tries to spend as much time as possible with his wife and his two children. Because of his interest in architecture he came across to some of our designs in magazines and internet. He was very interested in the project we did for the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation in Mannta, Finlanand he contacted us with the purpose of developing something on the same architectural language. He was right away impressed with the way we merge conceptual ideas into an architectural design. After numerous talks about architectural theories and the exchange of several ideas and opinions, we were offered to create a study for a private mansion for him and his family.
The first step of the design process was to find the perfect site for our project. We had a lot of controversial targets to accomplish. The villa was meant to be a summer residence but should be accessible in a few hours. Furthermore we had to find a building lot in a beautiful and inviolate environment, which provides a cultural and historical background. There was just one place at the Adriatic Sea which was able to fulfil the high demands of our costumer. At the valley of Dubrovnik we found a place at the seaside which offers a terrific view. It is far enough away from mass tourism so we were able to offer the right amount of privacy and at the other side it has a close connection to the historical centre of Dubrovnik.
The main idea was to create a Building which provides the highest amount of privacy and comfort so the people can forget all their worries, on the other side it was meant to be a representative mansion. So they would be able to invite important costumers or to arrange a cultural event. The shape of the building resembles a heart protected by two wings. The two wings create a private area which is completely open to the seaside and offers a very impressive panorama of the Adriatic Sea. The main terrace is reachable from every room at the ground floor and serves as the meeting point of this building. The huge infinity swimming pool creates the illusion of standing right next to the sea. The directions of the shapes are not just creating the surrounding for the exterior, they are also designed to guide the people through the building and offer them special viewpoints. The structure creates the frame for each of those panoramas.
The client wasn’t willing to sacrifice his entire privacy when having guests on large events. Because of this the owner and the guests get their individual space, the main building is separated from the two guesthouses and a third one was thought for the house keepers. The mansion is divided in a public area with a generously designed space, for nearly every purpose. It is possible to have a social event like an exhibition or a private concert; it can be used as dining hall for big celebrations or transformed into an extravagant nightclub. The area in the lower floor provides the infrastructure to fulfil any wishes.
The whole ground floor is opened to the seaside with a big terrace in the front. At the west site there is a handcrafted kitchen. It offers everything the users can imagine. It is also possible for the family to have their breakfast together, which was a very important point for the client too. At the centre of the building is the dining room with 82m² and the open fireplace builds the right atmosphere for having dinner. At the west side of the building we decided to make a very special room. Based on the fact that the building owner’s wife used to be a concert pianist, we had to compose a surrounding for her music.
At the top floor there are sleeping accommodations for the whole family. The master bedroom with the bathroom gets a breath-taking view on the entire bay. Another important part of the building is the private office. Our client must be able to work at every time of day and night. So we had to design a friendly working environment. That’s the reason why this room became the only one with a 360° view, so the user is able to see the complete surrounding without losing the connection to the sea and of course his family. Beneath the luxurious interior and the large-scale rooms this mansion offers even more. At the lower floor there is a private movie theatre and a high-tech wine cellar together with a party and dining room for up to 22 guests, supported from a catering kitchen. Another very critical part was to provide enough space for their sport activities. The most impressive part of our fitness concept is the giant pool, which was defined by the landscape. We were able to use the natural stone structure of the cliff and combine it with our modern design. There is also fitness and a sauna area placed at the lower level, so they can do their workout while looking at the ocean.