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Issue #19

A NEW ROOF: HISTORIC LOOK ACHIEVED WITH LATEST TECHNOLOGY

Public Use

Mećavnik is a traditional village that the Serbian film maker Emir Kusturica built for his film “Life Is a Miracle”. It is located two hundred kilometres southwest of Belgrade, Serbia. The town was built entirely out of natural materials with traditional construction in mind, but the wood shingles which were used proved not to be the ideal choice and had to be replaced with something more durable.
historic roof renovation Mećavnik Hill Serbia
Before renovation
historic grey roof cladding houses detail view Mećavnik Hill Serbia
historic grey roof cladding houses view from above Mećavnik Hill Serbia
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historic grey roof cladding houses view from above Mećavnik Hill Serbia

A NEW ROOF: HISTORIC LOOK ACHIEVED WITH LATEST TECHNOLOGY

Public Use

Mećavnik is a traditional village that the Serbian film maker Emir Kusturica built for his film “Life Is a Miracle”. It is located two hundred kilometres southwest of Belgrade, Serbia. The town was built entirely out of natural materials with traditional construction in mind, but the wood shingles which were used proved not to be the ideal choice and had to be replaced with something more durable.

To realise his concept of a traditional village, professor Kusturica had to overcome many administrative challenges and complex technical problems from the outset. However, what was clear to him from the start is that in such a location, the only settlement that can be built and survive is one which relies entirely on the traditional construction methods in this area. This also had to harmonise with its natural surroundings.

This concept, and the commitment, to build a town out of natural materials, obtained mainly by buying abandoned and derelict cottages, barns, and other buildings in the immediate vicinity and surrounding area, resulted in a successful outcome. The Philippe Rotthier European Architecture award received in 2005 honoured the architectural solution of this original reconstruction of an ethnic settlement. After completion of the filming project, it is now used as a tourist complex.

historic grey roof cladding houses detail view Mećavnik Hill Serbia

WEAKNESSES OF WOOD SHINGLES

However, the effort to build the buildings in the settlement on the hill as an authentic replica and make them a monument devoted to the national style of building, characteristic for that area, revealed its first weak points after only a few years. The wooden shingles on the roofs started to dry out and warp under the influence of the weather. After a time, when the substructure of bitumen sheets and coatings lost its function due to exposure to heat, the roofs started to leak.

historic roof renovation Mećavnik Hill Serbia
Before renovation

A NEW ROOFING SOLUTION

Therefore in 2012 a renovation was decided, starting with the roof of the reception building. The roof tiles had to imitate the appearance of the wooden shingles. The grey engobe roofing tiles in combination with sub-roof, rear ventilation and safety components, were an example of well performed roofing, in accordance with the technical regulations and rules of the trade. This choice also ensured that the visual harmony of the settlement was not disturbed. Instead the clay tiles perfectly blend into the concept of the original architecture while giving it a new and modern dimension.

Due to the success of this result the mountain house at the “Iver” skiing site, near Mećavnik, was also roofed with clay tiles. These have also been tested by the commission of roofing experts, to qualify for use on the roofs that will be continuously exposed to the critical eye of the public.

WORK IN PROGRESS

Since 2014 ten renovated and two new buildings have been covered with 250,000 clay roofing tiles, equivalent to a surface of 8,000 m², adding to the unique appearance of the buildings. The work is still in progress and will probably be finished by the end of 2018. But this time the roof solution will last for 50 years and more!

Facts
  • Project name
    Mećavnik Hill, near the city of Užice, Serbia
  • Architect
    Prof. Emir Kusturica
  • Client
    „Lotika“ d.o.o., Mokra Gora
  • Used products

    Tondach Biber Extra Plus flat grey engobed

  • Year of completion
    2016
Tondach Biber Extra flat grey engobed Wienerberger roof

Roof

Tondach Biber Extra flat grey engobed – Slovenia