Building on Its Place

architect Iva Letilović, Morana Vlahović
project Housing building, Krapinske Toplice, Croatia
written by Maroje Mrduljaš


An architectural body is born when its construction is given meaning and purpose. It grows organically from the phenomenology of place – from the topography and tradition that are being accepted and transformed by the act of the proper interpretation of typological forms, material and way of life. A building created in this way has an existential grounding in reality, if it is going to be a house. The collective housing in Krapinske Toplice is a congenial reflection of these efforts, it summarizes the programme regulations and authors’ inventiveness into a subtle artifact which is almost behind the times, although it does not try to run away from the present time. The construction task is solved by discreet exposition of the particular constituent elements of the architecture – section, directed movement through the building, the way in which light and the color of the facade are used......There are sequences of ambivalent tension and relaxation, and the building at the same time attracts and perplexes, vibrates between the everyday life of twenty dwelling units and a restrained dramatic volume. It persists on the theme of the relation of the building to the terrain and the climate.