Embracing the Inexplicable

authors Sanja Radovniković Rako, Damir Rako
project Pogačić House, Radun, Kaštel Stari, Croatia
written by Ante Nikša Bilić


Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act. Rebecca Solnit
I see the very act of designing as a departure into the unknown, into the expanses of uncertainty, where our only compass is our intuition. Each house is determined by its site, the poetics of spatial desires and the answer to the question - What does it want to be? Aware of the artificiality of its gesture, it tries to become an integral part of the surrounding tissue over time, as much as the geometry of its symbiosis allows. The process of creating an architectural object, the process of its completion, as well as using the resulting organism are divergent processes. They are complex and unpredictable and it is precisely in the spaces of uncertainty where hope resides. They tell us about the simplicity and mystique of an object. The mystery lies in its clarity. A wall cut off by the shadow of an eave on a July afternoon will move us as much as the mystique of the local mountains, while our feet are impudently warmed by the stone pavement structure. The determination of place and time makes the linguistics of every architectural process.
The house on a slope of Mount Kozjak above the Bay of Kaštela, framed by the cyclorama of the western contours of the historic town of Trogir – from the vistas of the bluish contours of the islands of Čiovo and Šolta, over the greened landmark of Split’s Marjan and the modernist structure of the city of Split’s northern part, dominated by the glittering shell of Poljud Stadium, to the devastated landscape of dilapidated socialist industrial architecture in the extreme west – speaks of the importance of the location in the makings of this work.
It inherits the elementary L typology of single-storey buildings. The longitudinal living areas are bilaterally oriented towards the hill and the sea, while the vertically placed sleeping areas are facing east. This common typology may deceive us, as the entrance is not formed at the connections of individual sections, but at the extreme east of the building. This gesture of apparent celebration of the entrance space merges the frames of open and closed spaces in the stairway and on the northern promenade. The design highlights the longitudinal stratification of complex spaces. The materiality of the membrane is discovered in a dialogue between the concrete tissue and the stone cladding. Thus, the linear geometry of the artificial connects with the stereometry of the existing landscape. It occurs to us that this is indeed the task of every architectural work – to try to achieve a balance, a dialogue between the newlycreated and the existing. This is the prism through which to observe this work, which lies on two horizontal slabs, while the architects direct the spaces of living between them, using the elements of their skills.