located in the mountainous region of gorski kotar, the genesis of this house by croatian architect tomislav soldo might have a somewhat peculiar narrative. initially, before everything else, there was a walnut tree that provided a perfectly natural shading and represented the first outdoor residing space. over time, a terrace has been gradually shaped around the tree and eventually the idea of building the residence has emerged. the sloped terrain with its panoramic view overlooking the nearby forest and mountainscape, together with the position of the existing terrace, have been the only determining elements in the process of designing this project. 

the lodge and its connection with the terrace and the walnut tree
all images © jure živković



without any need for flirting or referring to existing and traditional qualities in its surrounding, for tomislav soldo, this is simply about a house on a hill with its terrace extension and enclosed belvedere. the pitched roof, the compact layout design and the usage of wood in the façade cladding are the only distinctive functional elements of the region accepted and implemented into the design. with the gross floor area of 100 sqm, the house consists of a small storage in the basement, a living room with an open kitchen and bathroom unit on the ground floor, and a sleeping area on the mezzanine level.

exterior view – built-in window seat 



the intention of creating a spatial flow between indoors and outdoors, in terms of connecting the indoor and outdoor kitchen areas with the terrace, is achieved in the house as an open space plan. accordingly, the entire structure is perceived as a single volume greatly reflecting the surrounding nature from every point, whereas the kitchen and bathroom form a small box-like core within. furthermore, the daytime appearance of a black and seemingly monolithic structure is altered in the evening by switching the lights on. the residence becomes a delicate almost lantern-like object, casting light on its surroundings through the shutter slots that imitate the sun rays illuminating the interior during the day.

the façade is painted with two layers of black wood tar for greater protection



apart from the concrete basement and foundations, the house is entirely made of aerated concrete blocks which significantly accelerate construction at the given location. the thirty centimeters thick exterior walls, made with the same material, meet all building physics requirements with no additional thermal insulation needed. in terms of unwanted overheating during summer and heat loss in winter time, a ventilated façade made of siberian larch cladding helps alleviate those problems. finally, the façade is painted with two layers of black wood tar, a natural product which penetrates deep into the material — giving it a long lasting protection.

compact and monolithic exterior appearance of the lodge

open space plan interior – the living room 

visual flow between interior and exterior

the kitchen and mezzanine level

kitchen island with micro cement topping, exactly like the floor finish

window shutters closed creates lighting and shadow plays

black lodge at dusk

plan view – ground floor



project info:


architects: tomislav soldo, PRO-S
architect in charge: tomislav soldo

location: gorski kotar, croatia

house area: 100 sqm

plot area: 4500 sqm

project year: 2016



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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