A machine for experience

architectural office Studio UP
project  Vitar Lifestyle Hotel, Bol, Brač, Croatia
written by Ana Šverko 


We live in an environment endangered by human activity, in a pre-built world where too many ephemeral events remain recorded in architectural forms. Materials and building techniques introduced in the 20th century made subtle materialisations of spatial ideas possible, but also incited the enhanced production of lightly built spaces. In his influential essay Junkspace, Rem Koolhaas notes that a pre-built character is a side-effect of modernisation, that is, a result of the vulgarisation of technical advancements, but also of the very phenomenon of abstraction.  Architecture has first and foremost become a membrane, and the essence of space has remained in the background. This points towards the necessity of thinking about the adaptability of the architectural form; the approach to each, even the architectural forms built without thought, as a spatial mechanism which can be revitalized or, on the contrary, recycled.  


Directing the existing environment from the negative to the positive is possible only if we accept it as the starting-point of our activities, no matter its quality. Instead of classifying individual spaces as lost, we can attempt to comprehend their full potential. Adopting a responsible approach towards designing unfinished buildings should undoubtedly be counted amongst the noblest of architectural tasks, and it requires the same amount of sensibility and skill as building from scratch. Through almost every spatial membrane, architects can attempt to allow the spirit of a place to enter inside, directing users’ attention towards the most beautiful aspects of their surroundings. An example of this is Vitar.