East by KONNTRA | 5 books that the architects recommend for the summer

East by KONNTRA | 5 books that the architects recommend for the summer

Thoughts on writing, a series of essays on urban planning, ethical and aesthetic theories on landscape architecture, but studies on new design mindsets and practices, as well as a magical realist novel, were also included in this review. In the latest episode of our East by series, the team of KONNTRA architecture studio in Slovenia, Macedonia and Croatia collected the most inspiring books for them.

In our new series we focus on the presentation of a city, but one of the strengths of the KONNTRA architecture studio is that the founding members all have different cultural backgrounds and are always enriched with new experiences and impressions through their projects in different cities—that is why we can get to know several cities from their point of view in an unusual way this time. The team added thought-provoking quotes to their personal book review. Let’s see!

Written by: Italo Calvino

“Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combination of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable.”

Written by: Yona Friedman

“An architect does not create a city, only an accumulation of objects. It is the inhabitant who ‘invents’ the city; an uninhabited city, even if new, is only a ‘ruin’.”

Written by: Roberto Burle Marx

In the current brutalist urban context, a garden becomes necessary due to the importance of its public and intensive use, and various creative stimuli are incorporated into the urban aspects and the landscaping process.

Written by: Haruki Murakami

“And with that, of course, I’m really unfolding from that horror. I mean, from the metaphysically existing, symbolic sandstorm. Although sensual and symbolic, it cuts live meat with a thousand blades (…). When it ends, you don’t even understand how you got rid of it alive. That is, in fact, you can’t even be quite sure that it passed over you at all. Only one thing is clear: beyond that, you are no longer who you were before you entered here. Yes, that is the meaning of the storm.”

Written by: Lina Bo Bardi

The philosophy of architecture is actually also the history of architecture, that is, it is related to the different conceptions and ideals of architecture, which change from time to time. Traditional design methods are gone forever: today, the continuous development of technology results in a rapid transformation in our way of life, putting an end to traditional forms. Now that this connection with tradition is lost, we need to find new ways to connect form with our new way of life.

Make sure you check out the previous episodes of our series, in which the Serbian MADA architectural studio shared with us their personal book recommendation, the buildings and places that inspired them, as well as Belgrade-inspired movies, music and Instagram profiles.


KONNTRA is an architectural studio operating in Slovenia, Macedonia and Croatia, founded in 2018 by Erik Jurišević, Mirjana Lozanovska and Silvija Shaleva. In connection with the presentation of their architectural projects, they have become known for their contemporary, characterful and colorful approach: their architectural collages involve the spatial experience related to the given space by involving all our senses. Symbolic associations, as a kind of graphic manifesto, provide an opportunity to understand the stories behind the spaces.

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In our newly launched East by series, we present Eastern European cities from the point of creatives. We gathered books, buildings, places and other creative content that offer a new perspective for exploring cities. In the series, we ask the architecture studios participating in Othernity, the exhibition of the Hungarian Pavilion of the 2021 Venice Biennale.

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