Retreat yourself with your home
The story of architecture begins with the idea of shelter or refuge.

Retreat yourself with your home

Haven-oriented approach

The story of architecture begins with the idea of shelter or refuge. It stems from the need for humans to provide themselves with a peaceful and secure space where they can be protected from all weather-related disasters and environmental elements that threaten them. Human reminiscence of the primitive wooden hut, allegorically illustrated by Marc Antoine Lauger according to the descriptions of Marcus Vitruvius, carries the meaningful and symbolic essence of a house.

Architect Jonathan Hill, in his book "Immaterial Architecture," asserts that the house is the source and archetype of architecture, representing its most essential attributes.

In its essence, the timeless contemplation of space and architecture contains the need that is manifested today through the creation of one's own intimate space where a person can project their needs, desires, visions, hopes, and fears. By creating a place that can fully offer refuge from the external world with full awareness of it. Starting from Martin Heidegger's interpretation of space as existential, or existence that is spatial, Christian Norberg Shultz reminds us that we must discover who we are and where we are so that our existence can have meaning. Therefore, we can agree that the human quest for spiritual and physical refuge is a constant.

Relationship between humans and nature

The today's world, our immediate environment, has long ceased to be the exclusive source of misfortunes caused by natural disasters and forces, humans. With development of the civilization, a human being began seeking shelter from urban, constructed environments burdened with noise, pollution, haste, and crowds. The escape from urban areas, coupled with the existential need for a connection with nature as the primary refuge, has allowed the realization of some of the best architectural and cultural achievements summarized by the aesthetics and technical advancements of their time and human spirit.

One of the most famous examples is Villa Almerico Capra, or Villa Rotonda, designed by architect Andrea Palladio. Its form and spatial composition are owed not only to the author's skill in achieving harmonious spatial dimensions but also to a subtle and gentle dialogue that opens the proper geometric interior space toward the picturesque natural environment and vistas. A more contemporary example, Villa Mairea by architect Alvar Aalto, is described as a house in the forests of northern Finland, meaning that its immediate surroundings define and complement it. Simon Unwin, in the book "Twenty-Five Buildings Every Architect Should Understand," reminds us that all architecture involves something in between, acting as a mediator or intermediary between us and the world.

Creativity for every place

The role of architecture as a mediator between people and their immediate environment, the understanding of the world, is most easily recognizable through the spatial elements of traditional architectures, such as various glazed or open wooden verandas; the portico of a Greek temple, the echo of which is represented by the four porticos with a staircase of Villa Rotonda, oriented towards the central double-story "rotunda"; the stepped composition of semi-enclosed and enclosed spaces within the geometrically prescribed rectangular composition of Villa Mairea; sun-drenched terraces with wide staircases serving as a transition between the well-lit living room of Villa Tugendhat by architect Mies van der Rohe. Each of us can find numerous examples of this kind that we encounter daily, whether walking down the street, reminiscing about childhood, or reading literature.

Villa Tugendhat, Mies Van der Rohe - Authors's personal archive

Needs and participation

Modular EOScale homes are created and developed in various forms through several modern spatial elements: an inner courtyard; a central "vertical point" oriented towards the four different cardinal directions; well-thought-out positioning of windows and openings that capture views from everyday activities and positions.

Landscapes and urban environments change over time, modifying the established, controlled relationship between objects and their surroundings upon realization. Modifications in atmosphere, solely through the juxtaposition of built and unbuilt elements, alter our perception of these objects, their significance, and interpretation. Let us remember how the immediate surroundings of Juan Miro's house and studio in Majorca have changed, or William Morris's Red House.

Perhaps precisely because of these changes, architectural dominance in the project is present. The harmoniously dimensioned internal spaces of modular EOScale homes, well-thought-out in their functional connectivity and diversity, allow occupants' participation.

Author: Prof. dr. Elša Turkušić