Turato Architects raises Gunmo House above the tree canopy

Turato Architects raises Gumno House above the forest canopy of a Croatian island

A swimming pool on a "massive concrete cone" sits in front of this summer house, which has been elevated above the tree canopy of a Croatian island to offer views out to sea (+ slideshow).

Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects
Photograph by Igor Crnković

Croatian office Turato Architects designed the three-storey dwelling as a summer home for a couple and their two adult children on the forested island of Krk, which is situated in an inlet of the northern Adriatic Sea.

But once completed, the couple uprooted from their city home to take up permanent residence on the island, reserving their mainland home only for weekend breaks.

Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects

Named Gumno House, the property occupies the site of a disused gumno – an agricultural structure used for threshing grain that typically comprises a circular platform surrounded by a stone wall. The architects restored the gumno to create a garden folly that is used as an outdoor seating area.

Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects

"Gumnos were a place of labour, endeavour and care, and a framework for consistent and coherent social interaction," explained Turato Architects.

"[They] served as spaces for celebrating a high crop yield, as well as a meeting place where the locals made decisions on important issues that affected their community."

Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects

"It was decided that gumno, together with the circular dry stone wall, should be restored, and that the cultivated garden, driveway, orchard, and olive grove should become a kind of a contemporary park, a reanimated place where the family would meet with their guests, friends, and the locals of Risika," added the studio.

Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects

Project architects Idis Turato and Marko Liović decided to place the three-storey house at the back of the plot on highest part of the site – allowing it to be elevated above the gumno.

Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects
Photograph by Sandro Lendler

The cross-shaped plan of the upper storey creates four large boxy bay windows that survey the surrounding countryside and sea.

Three bedrooms and bathrooms occupy three branches of the cross, while a lounge is situated in the fourth arm that projects towards the sea.

Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects
Photograph by Sandro Lendler

A dormer window rises from the axis of the cross to light a stairwell at the core of the property. The steps descend to an open-plan living and dining area that occupies the entire middle floor, which is fronted by a large terrace.

Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects

The swimming pool occupies one corner of the elevated terrace, supported by the thick triangular column that the architects describe as a "massive concrete cone". This hollow structure provides the depth for the pool, but also houses a staircase.

Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects

A driveway encircles the base of the faceted concrete podium, while the terrace platform provides a shelter for the main entrance and a car parking space. Inside, a large cellar is used to store wine and oil, but functions as an entertainment space.

Photography is by Ivan Dorotić, unless otherwise stated.

Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects
Exploded axonometric diagram – click for larger image
Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects
First floor plan – click for larger image
Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects
Second floor plan – click for larger image
Gumno House in Croatia by Turato Architects
Section – click for larger image