The historic city center, the beach, and a special bar in Ljubljana and Zagreb have also been included in the new KONNTRA recommendation. In the latest episode of our East by series, the architectural studio in Slovenia, Macedonia and Croatia recommended places that are related to the milestones of their professional journey.
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. Now they gathered places for events that are important to them.
The starting point of our story
The city reminds us of when we first met and started to define our common thoughts in the field of architecture, while we were enchanted by the surroundings and multicultural identity of Skopje. We worked on several competitions here, which we managed to win, so the time spent in Skopje evokes positive memories in us of the beginnings.
SARAJEVO (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA)
To create the connection points between Eastern and Western culture
One of the defining locations of our last two years has been the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo—the place that connects us. We have become accustomed to this area through an international application for the central square and the municipal building of the town of Zenica, north of Sarajevo. While working on different stages of the projects and consuming our morning coffee as well as traditional sweets in the historic center of Sarajevo, on Bašcarsija Square, we were surprised to observe the friendly and communicative behavior of the people.
PORTOROŽ (SLOVENIA) AND POREČ (CROATIA)
Working by the sea
We can say with complete certainty that the coasts of Slovenia and Croatia are among our favorite places, we really like to work here. We have all gathered here several times already, given the opportunity to create and design while enjoying the natural environment, leaving room for our thoughts and ideas. These are the places from which we got a lot of support: especially from Erik’s mother, Kamen, and our dear colleague, Nina. We all created and studied together here, and worked here on the Vukovar Secondary School of Economics and the square of traditional crafts in Varazdin: our experience with projects connects us with these places.
BAR BOTANIČAR (ZAGREB, CROATIA)
Somewhere in the middle
As the number of our projects grew, we wanted to return to the simple issues of life and space more and more. As an inspiration, we examined our daily habits and routines, which change and may be different for each generation, but we also looked for those that always come back. Thus, we also returned to activities that create coziness in our workplace, for ourselves or for our friends and relationships. Various participants were invited to this project; finally, seventy-seven persons and seventy-seven storytelling images came together. It is no coincidence that we decided that we wanted to work in Zagreb: we were ready to connect with and get to know the local people. The images were turned into collages as tools of our own way of expression, we made a book based on them and finally we organized an exhibition. Many thanks to the Botaničar team for this wonderful experience.
TOZD BAR (LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA)
Out in the open
Ljubljana is very inspiring to us, as is the atmosphere of the Ljubljanica River in the city center. We were very pleased when, in 2019, the Tozd bar hosted our first solo exhibition: we presented illustrations of our five architectural projects that convey and express the atmosphere and essence of the concepts with collage techniques. Our collage compositions involve all the senses to experience the feeling of a given space. The associations between the image pieces provide an opportunity to understand the history of space and, beyond the boundaries of perception, to perceive the atmosphere of the project through an intuitive process.
ABOUT THE STUDIO
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.