An attic reconstruction

Šipan summer house - attic reconstruction

We like to say that the basic idea behind our blog is client education. That being said, the truth is this: a private interior is very personal – if you think about it, you can tell very much about a person after seeing hers or his apartment. It is natural for people to be involved in the process of their apartment design but as architects, we sometimes feel frustrated with too-involved, stubborn clients. Ideally, clients would say what they want and what they like, and then give us some freedom to work our magic.

My very first out-of-the-college project was a reconstruction of our family summer house attic. What I learned then, I still find to be true – working for a family member is one of the most challenging tasks for an architect, at least for a young architect. Too often we have to deal with clients who think they know better, but the client being your father really takes that problem to the next level (we’re both very stubborn, sorry dad, still love you! :)).

Our summer house is located on Šipan, a peaceful island near Dubrovnik, Croatia. The design process started like the most projects – with taking measurements and then drawing the existing floor plans and sections.

Šipan summer house - before
BEFORE: old roof

The attic was unfinished and the roof was old, with no insulation. Since it needed to be reconstructed, the first thing I did was the design of the attic apartment (that will be built years after the roof is done).

Ever so often, as a house or apartment owner, you’ll have to repair something. As an interior design enthusiast, you should always ask yourself how can you use that situation to make some future projects easier. You just have to do what architects do: think about many different possibilities and make final decisions. Remember how the fact that the plumbing system needed to be renovated was used for entire kitchen and living room remodel?

Šipan summer house - FLOOR PLAN design #1
two bedrooms + work space / storage space

There are some restrictions when designing upper floor of the house. For example, the position of the bathroom is basically given since it’s rational to locate it above the existing bathroom – it is possible to move it around for about 3 meters without major consequences.

Šipan summer house - FLOOR PLAN design #2
one bedroom + walk-in closet/storage

Usually, there are few optimal options for one space. The best way to choose one is to try to visualize yourself in that space and figure out what would be the best for you. That’s the part when client’s opinion is crucial. After all, she/he is the one who is going to live there.

Thanks to the design, we managed to build entire plumbing and electrical installations system while building the new roof. And now is the time for the fun part, we’ll keep you posted!



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