Inspiring Architecture

The space of Balkans with its specific geographical location, natural resources, beautiful landscapes and people, history, culture and tradition, has always been an inspiration for everyone who has lived here, worked, traveled, studied… For all those who, in some way, have felt layered richness of this area, its natural, physical and social structure. Among them there are a number of world-renowned scientists, philosophers and artists (writers, musicians, directors …).

Among  the others, there is an architect,too. And it ´s one of the four largest in the twentieth century and one of the largest ever – the great, Charles Edouard Jeanneret Le Corbusier (1887-1965). Le Corbusier occupies a prominent place in modern art as an architect, painter and theorist who had a strong influence on contemporary world architecture. The application of new materials, such as reinforced concrete, glass and steel, as well as new construction methods in architecture was a radical break with traditional building forms. His action in theory and practice, architecture and urbanism, and its powerful influence, indirectly changed the world and created his new image.

A huge influence on his work had a study tour through the Balkans, especially Bosnia and Herzegovina, which he visited in the early stages of his creation, while he still taught and shaped his creative consciousness. The architectural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina is strongly evident in the work of the great Le Corbusier and particularly in its residential architecture.

All general and universal principles of folk unknown author of traditional town’s Bosnian house, based on the harmonious relationship between man and nature, are transposed and clearly readable in modern international style of architecture in the twentieth century that is defined by Le Corbusier. “The unknown author of the Bosnian house had on minds philosophy of human relationships with nature, family and neighbors, and in that way he was able to build a spatial organization that enriches the European residential term.”1

One of his most famous works, the  real pearl, and the classic of architecture in the twentieth century, Villa Savoye (1931) with the aesthetics of monumental proportions applies all the principles of design Bosnian house. 

Traditional Bosnian town house has such an architectural value which has grown from the unpretentious real needs, functions and structures and has grown long before residential Villa Savoye, which applies the principles of the Five Points.”2 Object design contradicts their past traditional notions of European (non-balkan) residential architecture and presents a new vision of functionalism. Analyzing the treatment of primary geometric volumen in spatial relationships, traditional Bosnian town house is easily associated with this anthology example. Le Corbusier created a multiple-readable geometric complexity that engages the viewer in an intense exploration of space.

Object describes a block, as a compact box or cube and with its usual transformations – subtracting, adding and planar extending, creates architecture. Le Corbusier`s Villa Svaoye applying the principle to adding to the box, with a complex and flexible repertoire making final product combining different forms. In order to create compact volumes it is mainly used open-closed, semi-open spaces that adding volume, while Bosnian house combines both approaches-adding and subtracting at the same time.

Excellent examples of this architecture, which is in research, most associated with the creative work of Le Corbusier and that still exist as the cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Svrzina kuća (Svrzina house)











The house of Alija Djerzelez in Sarajevo, Sarajevo- Foca region (fuzzy character of the volume)










Šeranića house in Banja Luka










Omer-begova house in Jajce, as examples of middle bosnian and northwestern house (with true character, delimited volume of open and enclosed spaces)









Traditional Bosnian city house has a wealth of forming space, resulting from the style and way of life. It wears a special creative and inspirational force potential and it `s no wonder it had a strong influence on one of the greatest creators of modern art. A source of inspiration, which he drew in Bosnia, Le Corbusier brought back, in some way, through learning of many Balkan architects who have experienced studies in his studio and especially the one of his favorite students – architect Juraj Najdhart, who brought back Le Corbusier `s international style in Bosnia again and so completed the process.

Literature used:

1, 2

Murtić, Aida; Šabić, Lejla; Poloni, Aleksandra: „Arhitektura koja ne blijedi – prostorna kubna arhitektura, univerzalno nasljeđe tradicionalne bosanske kuće!“ Naučno stručni časopis za arhitekturu i građevinarstvo, Prostor S, br. 10, str.74-81, Banja Luka, 2010. (“Architecture that will not fade – spatial cubic architecture, the universal heritage of traditional Bosnian house!” Scientific Journal of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Prostor S, no. 10, p.74-81, Banja Luka, 2010.)


Le Corbusier: Towards a New Architecture, 4th edition, Građevinska knjiga Belgrade, 2006.

About Igor Kuvač

Master of architecture. As a planner and designer, is engaged in the practice of urban planning in the Republic of Srpska, and through research, in themes as processes of creating architecture, and social and cultural influences on spatial identity. Occasional papers published in scientific and professional meetings and publications, and in the scientific journal Prostor S. Participates in joint exhibitions, urban, architectural and design competitions. He has received several awards and recognitions. He is voluntarily hired as graphics editor of Gazeta magazine.

Pin It