3LHD is an architectural practice, focused on integrating various disciplines – architecture, urban planning, design and art.
3LHD architects constantly explore new possibilities of interaction between architecture, society and individuals. With contemporary approach, the team of architects resolves all projects in cooperation with many experts from various disciplines. Projects, such as Memorial Bridge in Rijeka, Croatian Pavilion in EXPO 2005 in Japan and EXPO 2008 in Zaragoza, Riva Waterfront in Split, Sports Hall Bale in Istria, Zamet Centre in Rijeka, Zagreb Dance Centre in Zagreb, Hotel Lone in Rovinj and Amarin Apartment Village in Rovinj are some of the important highlights.
They represented Croatia at the Venice Biennale 2010, 12th International architecture exhibition with the group of authors, and took part in the 2008 ‘Mare Nostrum’ exhibition on the second International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, and in a group exhibition in Boston at Harvard University: “New trajectories: Contemporary Architecture in Croatia and Slovenia“.
The work of 3LHD has received important Croatian and international awards, including the award for best building in Sport category on first World Architecture Festival WAF 2008, IOC/IAKS Bronze Medal Award 2009 and IOC/IAKS Silver Medal Award 2011 for best architectural achievement of facilities intended for sports and recreation, AR Emerging Architecture Award (UK), the ID Magazine Award (USA); and Croatian professional awards Drago Galić (2013; 2008), Bernando Bernardi (2009; 2005), Viktor Kovačić (2011; 2001), and Vladimir Nazor (2009; 1999). In 2012 Croatian President Ivo Josipović awarded 3LHD with the Charter of the Republic of Croatia for exceptional and successful promotion of contemporary architecture in Croatia and abroad.
With a newly designed public beach and promenade it can accommodate a larger number of users, including disabled and mobility impaired people, cyclists and other recreational users. Three of five beach access points leading from the promenade are made with ramps at an incline of 1-5%. The construction of underwater mounds has transformed the shoreline and protected the beach and promenade from extreme weather conditions (waves) thus making it available for use even when weather conditions are not ideal.
The accommodation units are designed as freestanding volumes raised on the pavilion roof for privacy. Zones with different plants were formed around the apartments, on the roof surface. The idea is to create a sustainable house, which will contribute to the environment. The roof and its oversized vegetative canopy are excellent regulators of heat, a thick protective cover that keeps the house from cold in winter and heat in summer. The landscape design is an integral part of the basic architecture concept. The largest part of the roof surface is covered with succulents typical for roof gardens; other areas are organized into regular shapes inspired by plant growing plots.
The aquarium is located on a site of an abandoned campsite by the river Korana. The starting point for the aquarium concept were embankments or “šanci” – design elements inspired by the “Karlovac star” (old city of Karlovac built in the shape of a star) which served, together with mounds, as protection from flooding.
The idea was to create a new focal point for visitors by the river Korana. Three walking routes were formed: towards the city center and the river; towards the south and the sports and recreational center; and towards east and the road access. A new point was formed at the junction of the walking routes – a square around which all of the aquarium facilities are located. Public spaces that require daylight for operation are placed in buildings around the square: main entrance with a souvenir shop, catering facilities and congress, office and education spaces. The public spaces are connected to the exhibition part which is located on the basement floor due to specifics of plant and animal wildlife that require complete control of lighting. Each of the aquarium buildings has only one façade – the one oriented towards the square. They are “invisible” on the sides facing the edges of the plot. The roofs and outward facing elevations are covered with ground and grass and formed as parts of a park, playground and promenade. The exhibition layout displays the flora and fauna of Croatian rivers and their ecosystems, and it is designed to show a “typical” karst river.