Agency for Urbanism and Development, Belgrade
Analysing traditional residential architecture in the Balkan region, we notice a widespread use of a split level horizontal house plan. The paper studies and presents examples found in Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Based on spatial, functional and structural analysis of the house plans, depending on the reasons for the horizontal floor level split and the types of its implementation, there are different groups of buildings. One group features a structural floor level split in order to match the line of the terrain; because of the implemented floor structure; or because of a bay window or a projection construction on the façade. In the other group of buildings the reasons are of a functional nature rooted in climate, social or religious sphere. Here the floor level difference is achieved by applying secondary construction elements and certain interior details. Having conducted the analysis, we can conclude that the implementation of various horizontal floor plan level in traditional, vernacular architecture is quite significant and inspirational for the modern design process in residential houses. It shows how dynamism and complexity can be achieved in a simple way, without any partitions, giving a picturesque effect of a basic interior space.
vernacular architecture, Balkan region, horizontal house plan, split level floor