DONASSY ATELIER 02 by Architecture Vanja Ilić; Croatia

 

 

 

 

Atelier Donassy 02 is shaped as a flexible exhibition-retail space for presenting the work of fashion designer Branka Donassy, as well as exhibitions by other artists. The project completely transforms the neglected space for a new purpose without interfering in the building’s structure, while keeping all the useable parts of the interior, irrespective of their aesthetic value.

The entire interior is an original design created through experimentation with the use of materials produced for entirely different purposes. Elastic textiles for sports clothing, as well as roofing underlayment – vapour barriers, are decontextualized so that their universal characteristics (elasticity, translucence, lightness, reflectivity) might come into the fore and take on new functions. They are transformed and shaped into utilitarian spatial elements, and as such in the approach to realising this project architecture, fashion and product design techniques overlap, relying primarily on the production resources of the client. During the design process the methodology of the project’s execution was considered, so that as many elements as possible could be created within Atelier D, that is, created using dressmakers’ constructions and sewing techniques.

 

 

What makes this project one-of-a-kind?

The entire interior is an original design created through experimentation with the use of materials produced for entirely different purposes. Elastic textiles for sports clothing, as well as roofing underlayment – vapour barriers, are decontextualized so that their universal characteristics (elasticity, translucence, lightness, reflectivity) might come into the fore and take on new functions. During the design process the methodology of the project’s execution was considered, so that as many elements as possible could be created within Atelier D, that is, created using dressmakers’ constructions and sewing techniques.

 

 

During the design process the methodology of the project’s execution was considered, so that as many elements as possible could be created within Atelier D, that is, created using dressmakers’ constructions and sewing techniques. In keeping with this, the production of all the textile elements was in collaboration with the designer Branka Donassy and produced by Atelier D, while the majority of the interventions (apart from the electrics and the metal elements), were created by the client and the architect themselves.

 

 

The ceiling is made up of a large, translucent elastic membrane that is easily removed and washable. It forms a unique lighting system, in order to achieve optimal, diffuse lighting. It is fixed to the existing structure in a dotted pattern, offering space for fluorescent lighting tubes, and the elements used to fix it in place simultaneously serve as hooks for the exhibits, which float in the space on invisible nylon strings.

 

 

The clothing racks are mobile (on wheels) and foldable, which allows the space to be transformed quickly. The changing room is like a floating sculpture made of plastic-coasted silver aluminium foil (originally a roofing vapour barrier), created using precise mathematical modular crimping over a smaller base, eventually resulting in a seemingly irregular form that reflects light and introduces the discreet presence of sound when used. Using the same approach, a table inherited from the previous Atelier D was also transformed, with a wrapping of modularly-formed black textile on a base of plastic-coated silver aluminium foil – an inversion of the changing room.

The black longitudinal wall of the atelier deepens the space and creates a contrasting backdrop for the items on display. The neutral white curtains on the façade allow for the space to be closed off into an intimate “white cube”, like the intimacy of one’s own room. They also allow, conversely, for the space to be completely opened up towards the street, thus integrating Atelier D with the cultural and public life of the city.

 

 

 

 

About the authors

Architecture Vanja Ilić is a studio based in Zagreb, established in 2013 by architect Vanja Ilić who has been working since 1998 as project architect with a number of completed, prize-winning projects in the areas of urban design, architecture, public space, interior and exhibition design. Studio work is based on constant research in field of expanding architectural limits and integration with other fields of design and collaboration with other artists.

Selected projects: Social housing in Cres, Kralj Tomislav Square in Samobor, permanent exhibition of the Museum of Vučedol Culture, Donassy Open Atelier, Textile spacial Installation / Apoksiomen White Room in Museom of Apoksiomenos, Mali Lošinj.

Vanja Ilic is Professor, teaching architectural design at the faculty of Architecture in Split. Major awards include: Ministry of culture prize „Vladimir Nazor“ for social housing project on island of Cres , 41st Zagreb Salon, 35th Zagreb Salon, Applied artists association annual award, the Piranesi award, Luigi Consenza silver plate for eurpean young architects, Bernardo Bernardi best interior award 2012. for Donassy open atelier by Croatian Architectural Association and East Centric Arhitext Trienalle Award of interior design, Bucharest 2013. 50 Zagreb salon grand prix and Viktor Kovacic prize 2016.

 

FILE
Authors: Vanja Ilić; Architecture Vanja Ilić
Client: Donassy atelier, Branka Donassy
Photos: Miljenko Bernfest
Author photo: Goran Zmaić

Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Year: 2018
Area: 35 m2

Text provided by the authors of the project.