A perfect balance between nature and artifice
Davor e Zoran Popovic
A secluded bay sheltered from the wind, a mild climate with sun-kissed summers, a landscape of vineyards set amongst dry stone walls, and a view over Primoten, a Croatian town and former island which retains the atmosphere and architectural features of a typically Mediterranean mediaeval seaside village: this is the magnificent setting of Golden Rays, a luxury resort designed by local architect Zoran Popovic together with Davor Popovic, an architect who is well known in Italy for his frequent collaborations with Stefano Boeri.
With its modernist design (the post-war buildings located along the Primosten shore were the main inspiration for the project), the resort fully meets its goal of offering guests a constant connection with the surrounding landscape and natural environment.
This, combined with the complexity of the project and the intelligence of the chosen solutions, won the project the first prize in the 2014 edition of the competition «Ceramics and Design».
According to the jury, «The project is important in terms of its scale and its interaction with the extraordinary natural surrounding; it is an example of great cultural value in its approach to the theme of nature and artifice’, which is essential when carrying through projects in locations of this kind».
The complex consists of seven villas and two buildings each with three apartments, specially designed to integrate with the steeply sloping terrain and to minimise the environmental impact. The green and shingle roof, the intensive use of Mediterranean vegetation and the choice of locally inspired materials and colours are the key elements that ensure that each individual dwelling unit is separated visually from the rest of the complex yet immersed harmoniously in the surrounding landscape.
The relationship between users and the natural habitat — the complementarity between «inside and outside», achieved without breaks or superfluity, that so favourably struck the award jury — is a result of the interplay between interior and exterior uses and spaces, the large glazed surfaces, and last but not least the construction and covering materials. But the real highlight of the project is the use of ceramic tile, which has been adopted for all the interior and exterior spaces, the terraces, balconies, swimming pools and bathrooms, underscoring its vital role in projects inspired by or located close to the sea. Chosen in pale colours with a texture reminiscent of local limestone, the porcelain tiles from Cotto d’Este are from the two series Buxy (colours Amande, Cendre and Noisette) and Pietratech (Pietra di Loiano version), part of the highly popular I Marmi e le Pietre collection. In keeping with the precision and skill of the entire project, all the ceramic tiles were designed and laid with a custom pattern, lending sober and meticulous originality to this aspect of the resort.
Cotto d'Este, Buxy and Pietratech series
60x60, 60x120 e 90x90 cm
Amande, Noisette, Diamondgres
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 134 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9 (Buxy) - R11 (Pietratech)
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant