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TRADITIONAL BOSNIAN HOUSE

-most significant studies of Bosnian house form:


Rudolf Meringer, Josip Pospišil, Jovo Popović, Juraj Neidhardt, Dušan Gabrijan, Muhamed
Kadić, Astrida Bugarski and Džemal Čelić

Common characteristics of Bosnian House:


-the architecture of a traditional Bosnian house reflects the connection of men with the natural
conditions like climate, vegetation and construction material
-Perennial principles:
o orientation
o privacy of family life
o purity of the place
o purity of inhabitants
o respect towards nature
o respect towards the others
1. The oldest houses have the common “Ground horizon” – every function of the house is
performed close to ground: sitting, sleeping, cooking,… which is reflected in the organization
of the house and the furniture inside the house
- Development of the above ground floor level is a reflection of a higher civilization
2. Individual character of the self standing building is another basic common characteristic o
the traditional Bosnian house
-the main functional and formal element of the Bosnian house is a pitched roof
-the composition of the geometrical volumes gives the special formative expression to the
house

Criteria for Typological Classification of the Bosnian House


• Anthropological
• Geographical
• Cultural
• Historical
_______________
• Location and setting
• Material
• Functional and Spatial organization
• Form
• Construction and constructive system

Basic typology of the Bosnian House:


o Various types of the timber house
o Some types of the stone houses
o Some varieties of the adobe and wattle and daub houses

The primitive types of houses:


1. Cone shaped “SPIKY HOUSE”, “HOLLOWED HORN”
-the archetypal house is circular – circular for of house corresponds to the first space that
human being defined for the purposes of their shelter and defence
-the most elementary and one of the oldest human hubs

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-it is spiky cone shaped construction made of timbers, 2m in radius, covered with branches or
straw or turfs

2. “KREVE” – movable wooden tent on sledges


-sledge cottage- the smallest hut, a kind of a movable wooden tent- on a sort of sledges so it
can be moved across the grass
-hut for a single person

3. “POVOZAČA” – bigger movable cottage with timber skeleton and walls made of wattle,
covered by straw or turfs, positioned on the sledges
-bigger cottage on sledges so it can be moved to the mountains during summer and then
moved back to the villages during the winter

4. “BUNJA” – circular stone hut


-circular dry stone wall hut spread around the Mediterranean area
-in Bosnia some Bunjas are presented in the area of Duvno
-it is very old pre-Slavenic type of house used in the areas where there is a lack of wood as a
construction material
-it disappeared due to the fact that circular form did not allow extension and evolution the
house

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5. “LJETNICA” – summer shepherd cottage
-it is a small single spaced house (3mx5m) that was used by shepherds during the summers
-it served for preparation of cheese as well, so it had a fire place and primitive shells in its
interior

6. PILE DWELLING
-simple, usually single space timber structure elevated from the ground
-used mostly in wetland areas as well as at the rivers` or lakes` banks

The elementary basic oldest types of houses do not serve today for permanent housing
-they are usually used as seasonal shepherd’s hubs
-they have almost disappeared

Various types of the timber house:


SINGLE GROUND FLOOR HOUSE
-the oldest type of the house is single space ground floor house that might be log, stone or
adobe house
-it has similar shape that does not depend very much on the material

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-evolution of the timber and stone house is different and when it develops the new
diversifying types are established

-the part o the house with fireplace as a central and basic was considered to be a house.
-this part is still named house (KUCA) in Bosnian
-the new parts were called “separation” and from 19th century they are called rooms

LOG HOUSE
-the basic formal characteristic of a log house is relation between the roof and the ground
floor volume
-the roof with large eaves is 4 times higher than the ground floor walls
-the borders of the roof are at the level of the human head
-the horizontality and law expression of the walls is additionally stressed by horizontal lines
of the logs.

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LOG HOUSE “CHARDAK BETWEEN THE RAFTERS”
-developed form of the timber house that expresses the economy of the space
-the house is developed in vertical sense
-the huge volume of the roof space is used for establishing one or two rooms that are called
chardak
-chardak is usually above the room

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LOG HOUSE “HOUSE ABOVE MAGAZA”
-the ground floor is magaza used as a storage, service space or as a shelter for animals
-magaza is usually constructed in stone
-the space above magaza is timber structure composed of kitchen and rooms. The fire place is
open

DIMALUČARA-house with smoke shaft


-this is the most usual type of traditional house
-it manifests invention of the solution for the numerous basic house problems-organization of
space, construction, possibility of the partition, disposition of the smoke…
-the smoke is disposed through a shaft (dimaluk) and then dispersed freely into the roof space-
the smoke conserved timber roof construction
-the space of dimaluk was used for meat smoking
-the upper floor rooms are approached by wooden stairs that are added to the house, and on
the first floor there is a gallery from which the rooms can be entered
-Abdestluk (the ablution place) and small storage are located on the gallery, sometimes there
is an extension with the toilet as well.

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CHARDAKLIJA-house with projection
-this house always has two floors
-the ground floor is magaza (stone or adobe)
-the upper floor is a living space with a fireplace
-the upper floor projects over all four walls of the ground floor
-the toilet is constructed as overhanging structure that is approached through a small buffet
corridor
-chardaklija houses are usually dimalučara type of house, which means that they have a
smoke shaft in the centre of the house

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Stone house types-ground floor house
-stone houses can be single space houses, but today they are, if found, used as the shelter for
animals
-ground floor house with more rooms and saddled roof is common type at the south of Bosnia
-it can be easily developed in longitudinal direction simply by adding new spaces

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STONE CHARDAK
-the word chardak comes from the Persian word “chartaq” (char-four and taq-arch)
-in Bosnian house it is the most raised, elevated space outwardly oriented and is usually
overhanging timber projection above the stone walls
-stone chardaks in Neretvica region usually have three floors with magaza in the ground floor

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“KULA” (TOWER) HOUSES
-Kula houses are residential buildings with more then two floors
-they represent the defensive form of architecture that derives from feudal way of living in the
large feuds but it is planted in town centres as well (Mostar, Blagaj, Livno, Stolac, Trebinje)

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ELEMENTS OF OTTOMAN HOUSE FORM IN BOSNIAN IN RELATION TO
AUTOHTONE FORMATIVE ELEMENTS
-sharply defined characteristics not found in the other cultures
-SYNTHESIS AND TYPOLOGICAL CONSOLIDATION CAME AFTER 17TH CENTURA
WITH A SHORT LIFE (150-200 YEARS)
1. Two-story differentiation of the house
2. Only the ground floor adapted to the site, edging up to the street front
3. Articulation from the street inwards
4. Particular functional spaces at the GF
5. Upper floor aggregated by square or rectangular rooms without functional demarcation
6. Individual sitting in the garden…

-linguistic analysis:
• Ground Floor: • Upper Floor:
o Kuća-praslav. Ktja (kitchen) o Odaje (oda)-square or
o Izba-slavic “room”/”hub” rectangular rooms
o Ćiler-lat. cellarium “storage o Čardak
room” o Ćošak
Jazluk…

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