Altering heritage buildings in order to accommodate contemporary lifestyles is a often a tightrope task. In the case of this 19th-century villa located at the heart of the Unesco-protected Boka Bay in Montenegro, design studio Enforma managed to preserve all the trademarks of traditional Mediterranean architecture while introducing modern materials into the interior space.
The architects left the original exterior features of the building intact and focused their attention on the interior by mapping out units of space and providing varying ambiances. The team introduced a glass-and-steel staircase into the central gallery space, connecting the living room on the ground floor with the two upper stories, which house the sleeping quarters. Exposed wooden beams bring a warm rustic feel to the stone-dominated interior, while the discreet spotlights compensate for the lack of natural light that often plagues traditional stone villas of the region.
The living room and fireplace areas function as both independent spaces and a visually cohesive whole. The children’s room, on the other hand, was envisioned as a separate unit that acts as a home within a home and resembles a traditional treehouse.
“We played with modern and traditional elements and natural materials to give those in the house an opportunity to enjoy the existing ‘spirit’of an old stone building while fulfilling the aesthetic and functional requirements of a modern lifestyle,” explained the architects.
Photos by Relja Ivanic