The Adriatic Times Sinke

The Croatian town of Novigrad hosts numerous traditional estates of Istria, each having its own story to tell. One of them is known as The Photographer’s House, as it belonged to Nikica Karavida, one of the region’s most prominent camera wielders, who lived in Novigrad between two world wars.

In order to commemorate Karavida’s life and work, Croatian designer Boris Kajmak begun to renovate the photographer’s home, literally turning it into the architectural monument. Despite having a permanent residence in Rome, Kajmak managed to finish the project in just six months, and the results are way beyond the expectations. The house looks gorgeous, and echoes the past times of Novigrad.

The Photographer's Home by Tom de Gay (4)

“When renovating old houses, I like the part when I archeologically research the structures and seek the details of their built. For example, when renovating The Photographer’s House, we realized that it originally featured a luminar, which is a traditional roof window of specific design,” Kajmak explained.

Novigrad premises are under strict protection of Croatian Ministry of Culture, and house renovations are welcome as long as they don’t interfere with traditional Istrian pacing. This was not a big problem for a project, as the entire vision was to underline the town’s heritage, rather than neglect it.

The Photographer's Home by Tom de Gay (7)

“There are two things which I’d like to note for this home. First, I wanted to highlight the owner’s passion. You can find Karavida’s photographs in all rooms of the house. He was really a dedicated photographer, with two wars being like a pair of brackets embracing his career. Plus, he was always taking pictures of people. Even when working with vedutas (photos of urban settings), he always included people. He was a great humanist.”

“And second thing, The Photographer’s House is a space designed for a couple. As such, it is a place which needed to host a level of intimacy, and that determined a lot of my ideas and decisions during renovation. For example, there is a large French bath-tube in the bedroom, which disallows another bed to be pulled into sleeping quarters.”

The Photographer's Home by Tom de Gay (11)

If you wish to visit this unique home, consider visiting Novigrad this summer. In the meantime, check out the gallery of the estate, courtesy of Tom De Gay.


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