Tomislav Curkovic: We feel extremely proud. It is always very humbling and flattering when our work gets recognized, especially in such a wide international context. We also like to think of it as recognition of Croatian architecture rather than a purely personal achievement.
Nikola: Your winning design for Wine Chateau in Slavonia visually blends perfectly with nature. Is it connected with nature in any other way?
Zoran Zidaric: From the very beginning we rejected the idea of a house dominating over the natural environment in every aspect. This is why the house is not invasive both in appearance and resource consumption. It reaps the benefits of the earth’s thermal mass, predominantly southern exposition, and continental climate properties to ensure consistency of temperature, humidity, and light.
Nikola: What is your point of view on sustainability? Which role does it play in your design process?
Tomislav Curkovic: Sustainability for us goes beyond making smart design decisions and implementing contemporary technological solutions to ensure energy efficiency and comfortable dwelling. When a project has room to transform and shift along with the new functional demands, that’s when we find it completely sustainable and durable.
Zoran Zidaric: We like to focus on creating designs that can endure change by leaving space for more to come. In that sense, we urge our clients to embrace the same philosophy as it guarantees the resilience and quality of the projects we create for them.
Nikola: How do you see the future of architecture in Croatia? Do you see sustainability as a growing trend?
Tomislav Curkovic: There is a long line of talented architects coming up in Croatian architecture that ensures its future is in good hands, and their recent results at national and international competitions (for example Kresimir Damjanovic’s first prize at Shinkenchiku Design Competition) testify to their success. I also believe that due to the variety of their education they are even more in tune with sustainable thinking. This is why I would not speak of sustainability as a trend, but more as a necessity.
What is most commonly associated today with all successful architectural projects is environmental responsibility through the use of renewable energy sources and the use of modern technical systems to reduce energy consumption. The importance of energy-efficient, sustainable and resistant architecture and its impact on the culture of a building is growing stronger in the collective memory.