When the spatial-planning documentation says one thing, and the investor wants another thing, the architect is the one whose task is to reconcile apparently ‘irreconcilable’ and develop a project by which all the regulations and wishes will be satisfied. The project of a building with many apartments in Brela, of which each of the apartments should have a sea view, was particularly challenging for the architect, because the building plot was narrow and long and nearby the sea.

Here is the question that our client asked us:

“I’ve inherited a plot of 525 m2 in Brela, on the seafront. I am interested in building a building for tourist rental with each apartment to have a view at the sea. I would like to rent these apartments in future and to provide my family jobs and income. However, the plot is located on a slope, and is long and narrow. The additional problem is that, according to the existing plan, the building has to be at least 1 meter of distance from the neighboring plots. Would you please suggest me how to make a house for tourist rental on such a small plot?”



Designing an object on a terrain of almost of 45° of slope and with the special requirements set by spatial-planning documentation, is a challenge for every architect and requires a multidisciplinary approach. Such objects, where the orienting imperative is to place the windows and balconies on just one side, towards the sea, requires the following:

– designing of each floor or a condominium individually, and

– careful planning of other spaces needed for provision of the daylight.

In places where this is not possible, it is necessary to design suitable contents that should not present a flow, but a virtue.

The project by which each apartment has a sea view and which completely satisfies the regulations set out in spatial-planning documentation

The Kreiranje d.o.o. Project team had made the project in accordance with the investor’s ideas and wishes, which included the condition that each apartment has a sea view. The project also included limits and requirements of the existing spatial-planning documentation. This residential-commercial object – apartments – is spread on total of five cascade-built stories (basement, ground floor and three floors). Its gross surface area is 1050, and net surface area is 900 square meters. Its total width is just seven meters. It has 21 rooms, of which each has the sea view from the south side and Biokovo mountain from the north side. Besides glass surfaces, from both geographical sides, they have a covered balcony. Inside the object, the project also planned recreational facilities, such as an indoor swimming pool of approx. 50 square meters, gym and wellness.

How to get a lot on such a small plot and how to make the most of it?

The challenges regarding the land plot’s shape, construction, maximum usability, the organization of maximum number of apartments, have been addressed by removing the opening at the east and south facade. This provided approach to the neighboring plots at distance of one meter and better layout of accommodation units.

In long and narrow apartments, the light was introduced by ‘biting’ into the volume and by slanting walls. This made it possible that each room (apartment) is oriented towards attractive views, i.e. the sea view. The renting standards, according to which each room has to have a bathroom, have been met in full. The monotony of the long corridor, which had to be introduced to connect a large number of apartments, has been broken by widenings and prolongations into kitchen, dining room and living room that is from the south side completely made of glass and thus gives a spectacular view to sea. The introduction of light into buried parts was solved by atria. The completely buried parts have been designed as a space for wellness facilities, in which the daylight is not crucial for the quality of use.

This residential-commercial object that had to satisfy the mentioned conditions and to adjust to terrain’s configuration was designed to become a small family hotel by smaller alternations and investments. Nevertheless, according to the relevant budgets, the return of the total investment is possible in seven years. The calculations are based on calculations for three months of maximum occupancy. In particular, this place can provide a whole-year occupancy, as a staying location for religious tourists on their journey to or from Međugorje. In vicinity of the village of Brela there is a renowned sanctuary Vepric, which is also a place of pilgrimage. If that is a case, the return of investment is possible in less than seven years.

The residential-commercial object in Brela can be classified as a green building object and has the energy label A+ (http://www.pasivna-kuca.info/gradnja/37-gradnja-pasivne-kuce/137-obicna-niskoenergetska-ili-pasivna-kuca.html).

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