Cultural and ethical challenge

architectural office Dva Arhitekta
project Winery in Kutjevo, Kutjevo, Croatia 
written by Maroje Mrduljaš

Driving through Slavonia and the settlements of the iconic Golden valley under Krndija Mountain provokes a certain sadness. Slavonia is empty and poor today, and it is hard not to feel empathy for the simple houses of the archetypal shape, which mostly remain unfinished, without the façade, displaying a nude brick and concrete cornice construction. The town of Kutjevo does not present a significantly different image. Only a few houses contain elements of a rudimentary historical architectural language which is difficult to place in time. A somewhat larger scale is introduced by a few apartment buildings from the period of socialism, while the public buildings such as the school and sports gym, firehouse, and city council building are dispersed and do not compose a unity. There is no trace of anything urban here: no square, no real park. The absolute focus is on a former monastery, later known as Turković Castle, a beautiful baroque complex with a church and garden.


It is very difficult to directly recalculate the economic resources into a potential for the development of the built environment, but there is still an impression that there is a strong disproportion in Kutjevo between the concentration of one wine-making giant, at least four leading Croatian private wine-makers, several interesting boutique-wineries and the depressing atmosphere of Kutjevo. This disproportion is significantly changed by the building of Winery in Kutjevo, designed by Dva Arhitekta, on a location right next to the main street, in the immediate surroundings of Turković Castle. The architects were confronted with the question: how to make a typology which is essentially a production hangar, adequate for an extremely exposed place?