architect, nenad fabijanic, has completed the design of the ‘summer stage at kastav’ within the archaeological remains of a baroque church in crekvina, croatia. the project sees a corten steel volume inserted within the remains of an 18th century church, creating a bold contrast in material and form and forging a direct dialogue between the contemporary and historic architecture.
in accordance with the design brief, the project is conceived by fabijanic as bi-functional: in summer as a stage for the cultural events of kastav and the rest of the year as a freely accessible square and observation point. the remains of the church form a spatial ‘shell’, an ideal stage for architectural artefacts and enabling a unique spatial experience for public and cultural events. with the new intervention, a terrace is formed, accessed via a spiral staircase. the layout of this terrace is defined by the typological pattern of the envisaged church, and upon ascending to this level, visitors can enjoy a wide view of the surroundings.
the architect’s intervention is inspired by the existing stone remains, as the new walls are positioned beside the fragments of the walls of the church. the corten steel structure therefore, in a sense, acts to rebuild the church. overall, the architect envisioned this project to prove the possibility of achieving a high level in both functionality and aesthetics. the newly designed form, in a contrasting shape, material and color, becomes part of the remains and gives it a new use for the people of crekvina.