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International Summer School of Architecture 2017 with University of Zagreb
Feb 06, 2017

International Summer School of Architecture 2017 with University of Zagreb

This is a great opportunity for Architecture students at IBU! The International Summer School of Architecture 2017 in Motovun with the University of Zagreb. Title; Tradition, creativity and sustainability


New Croatia, an old European country, wishes to reacquaint the world with her rich, but forgotten cultural identity. Although there was an independent Croatian principality and Kingdom from 9th to the 12th century, today's Croatia is one of the newest states in Europe. It adopted its constitution on Dec 22nd 1990, and was recognized internationally on Jan 15th 1992. The international recognition of its sovereignty and its acceptance into the membership of the UN in 1992 marked the end of a crucial period in the establishment of Croatia as a new state (28th EU member state from 2013) in the European and world community. Oriented towards the European cultural trends, Croatia wants to use its vast tourist potentials for both economic profit and prestige in the world. Increasingly sophisticated demands of the tourist industry can be met only by unspoiled environment that posseses a recognizable cultural character of its own. Croatia will continue to express her identity through a multimedia approach, and our work is part of that process.


The central part of Istria - an area of fertile valleys set in a rolling country, traversed by hills, plateaus and slopes - has always provided favorable conditions for settlements and life. The attractive position of the Istrian Peninsula on the line where the Mediterranean meets the continental Europe and the Alps end in the vast expanses of the Balkans Plain has served as a powerful magnet for various ethnic groups on the Istrian soil from the prehistoric times to the present day. Lately, the image of Istria has mostly focused on the coast, the clear blue sea, and the brilliant summer sunshine. The picturesque coastal part of Istria with its fine tourist facilities and unspoiled natural environment, each year attracts tens of thousands guests from both Croatia and abroad. The brisk tourist trade on the coast, however, often neglects that other Istria wich, though only a short distance from the sea, continues to live undisturbed in the inland area in the dignity of its ancient culture and history.


In 1984, the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Zagreb founded the Architecture Study Center and Summer School in Motovun in order to promote the expert knowledge of architecture in the territory of Istria. The Motovun Study Center has at its disposal 220 square meters of well-equipped premises where lectures, workshops and seminars can be held for groups of 20 students. After the University Research Center for late Antiquity and Medieval Studies was founded in the adjacent building, living quarters have been added: four suites, two double bedrooms, a library and a living room. Motovun has been chosen for the Study Center because of its favorable position, its impressive cultural heritage and attractive surroundings. It is at some 25 kilometers distance from the coast. The gentle Mirna River flows through the fertile valley charting the fastest route to the sea across the deep forests of Motovun, fragrant with truffles.


The study of the authentic characteristics of inland Istria, its unique natural environment and architecture built over the centuries, is being conducted in order to define the requirements of tourist trade and the strategies of design within urban structures of Istrian towns - castrums, on the example of Motovun. The objective of the Summer School of Architecture is the exploration, evaluation and creative interpretation of the building tradition in Istria that has bequeathed us a rich cultural, architectural and urban heritage, within the subject "Tradition and Creativity". Operating in Istria, the Summer School should promote ideas, as well as theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of contemporary planning, building and design. It is also intended to act as an active participant in the preservation and re/evaluation of cultural property, and the protection and improvement of man's environment.

In addition to the revival and renewal of Motovun, we wish to offer the students an opportunity to live in a specific environment. The manipulation of the program and location is the fundamental guideline for architectural ideas concerning the means of renewal, adaptation, reuse and reconstruction of space. The chief objective of critical analysis is the formulation of a spatial design framework geared to the needs of tourism, setting the conditions for architectural design in Istrian towns and, finally, the utilitarian character of the complex buildings studied. Mass tourism is a thing of the past, and many visitors seek more than a passive rest in the sun. Tourists are interested in active vacations that include various sports and cultural programs. The media have made the whole world accessible to all, and this certainlypromotes very specific aspects of tourism. Today it is possible to combine activity and leisure, and this particular combination will satisfy the most demanding customers. In this respect, Istria has vast potentials. The authentic architectural values and a favorable geographic position provide a perfect setting for attractive tourist programs


In 2017th we will continue with 36th generation of continuous work!

The theme of the Summer School is "Tradition, Creativity and Sustainability", the study will focus on the Istrian medieval fortifield town. The theme requires that architectural programs be formulated and completed by means of theoretical research, critical analysis and human intervention in the town. Architectural designs resulting from the program should be firmly rooted in the regulations concerning the protection of cultural monuments. The creation of the program will be made possible by introductory lectures, expert field study of the inland Istria and the appropriate illustrated literature; each individual participant in preliminary drafts and models will define the scope of designs. Each year, the School completes its curriculum with individual participants presenting their projects to the class. An exhibition of all projects is staged on the town main square Andrea Antico (or in the school) for the local population and visitors, and a volume of proceedings is published. The exhibition is then again held at the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb where all students of our school can visit it.

School programme includes active participation in EU projects like IDES-EDU - Master and Post Graduate education and training in multi-disciplinary teams. 15 European universities working together to educate, train and deliver specialists in Integral Sustainable Energy Design of the Built Environment. Project is supported by Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) EU Program. The basic task of IDES-EDU project is implementation of Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD) in Master and Postgraduate programmes in EU education. www.ides-edu.eu

As additional activities this year will be 10th Passive house architecture and 7th EPBD IDES-EDU seminar, 12th International seminar on Summer Schools and Workshops and International children ́s art workshop.


The students are staying at the hotel 'Kaštel' in the center of Motovun, only few meters from the school, which allows them to be together and to use their time optimally. In addition to the Summer School curriculum, trips are organized to other places in Istria, both inland and on the coast, with the expert guidance of teachers who are authorities in the field. The participants can also visit tourist resorts on the Istrian coast, such as Umag, Poreč, Rovinj and Pula, where they can swim, play tennis or basketball, go riding and water-skiing, try paragliding and scubadiving, or visit numerous disco clubs. The school in Motovun lasts for 8 days. The tutors are teachers from the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb and guest lecturers from abroad. At closing ceremony, each participant is given an articulate in the Alpe-Adria region, and may be joined by other faculties and schools from abroad. Students who wish to participate should register in advance and pay the participation fee.

Prof. Ljubomir Miščević, M. Arch.

Head of Study Centre Motovun
Head of International Summer School of Architecture Motovun Head of Passive House Consortium Croatia