McAdam Architects - Bigova Artist Retreat & Hotel
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Bigova Artist Retreat & Hotel

McAdam Architects

Hospitality  /  Future
McAdam Architects
The Bigova Artists Retreat and Hotel is a reinvention of the Montenegrin hotel concept.
It is based on the idea of combining ongoing and permanent artist residences, with a sustainable hotel facility, and an existing fishing village community.
These three components thrive together to form a Creative, Authentic and Touristic destination, combining Culture, Tradition and Nature, at its core.
The Artist Retreat and Hotel is located at Bigova, a small fishing village on the northern part of the coast of Montenegro.
It is positioned at the end of the bay, on an area of unkept farmland with inaccessible beach area and waterside vegetation.
The area of the site is approximately 2.5 hectare, most of which is part of the protected coastline. Thus, the site is zoned in 25 metre parallel lines from the water’s edge to ensure a sensitive masterplan and landscape strategy with minimum environmental impact, with land use as follows:
- Natural beach
- Natural waterside vegetation
- Flowing gardens with pools and family areas
- Artists dwellings and hotel
The Bigova Artist Retreat & Hotel comprises a 27-room hotel and spa facility, 12 artist residences and 40 holiday apartments.
The hotel is a single 3 / 4 storey building in the south-east corner of the site.
There are 12 artist residences located in 6 blocks, positioned closest to the beach.
Behind this is a line of 40 holiday apartments which occupy 10 x 3-storey blocks, staggered evenly across the site.
There is an existing water channel running through the site, which provides drainage for spring run-off, and provides a landscape feature in the garden areas.
Access to the site is via an existing raised roadway which crosses the end of the bay. The hotel is located at the east corner with arrival area at road level. The holiday apartments and artist residences are accessed from the road via small pathways and stairs down to garden areas.
The design concept of the Bigova Retreat & Hotel is based on the notion that the modest scale of the fishing village must be maintained and respected, but at the same time the essence of 1960s architecture for which Montenegro is famous can be introduced.
To achieve this idea, the hotel and dwellings are carefully positioned in a staggered arrangement set back from the bay. They are placed into the landscape relief in a similar way and scale to the houses of the village.
The dwelling blocks are made up of bare-faced sloping concrete fins set-out perpendicular to the water front, with terraces and balconies protruding through simple gazed facade inserts.
The hotel is also planned in a staggered arrangement with bare-faced sloping concrete fins, and to further connect the essence of the 1960s seaside architecture it has a floating wavy roof above the rooftop restaurant.


 MBBK Investments Ltd.
 5400 mq
 McAdam Architects, London
 James McAdam, Tanya Kalinina, Vitaly Kapustin
 Buro Happold
 McAdam Architects


McAdam Architects is an award-winning practice, established by James McAdam and Tanya Kalinina in 2002.
For us architecture is about improving the quality of the urban environment in which we live. Regardless of location, use, size and budget, we believe that this aim can be achieved by careful analysis and an overall understanding of each individual project, situation and brief.
The activities of the practice cover a wide range of project type: public and cultural buildings, retail and office developments, urban planning and regeneration projects, residential settlements and private houses. The practice has offices in London and Moscow, and projects are located in the UK, Russia, and throughout Europe.
The practice and its members are involved in discourse concerning planning strategies and city development and are regularly participants in debates, conferences and advisory panels on this theme.

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