Porto Montenegro is a new marina development set within the dramatic bay of Kotor on Montengro’s Adriatic coast. Combining a well-equipped marina with waterside residences and leisure facilities, Porto Montenegro aspires to become a focal point for the European yachting scene. At the heart of the development is Studio RHE’s recently completed Lido Mar. The Lido Mar combines a large external pool, restaurant and bars to provide a recreational focus for visitors and residences, as well as a location for parties and special events.
Located on the site of a former military naval base response, Studio RHE utilized existing infrastructure to conceive an 80m long infinity edged pool suspended over the sea. Stretching west from the cost, the pool‘s edge merges seamlessly into the ocean beyond providing a stunning location for swimming, un-winding and embracing the surroundings. The design concept was inspired at early stages by European modernist fashions of the 1950s – a golden age for Montenegro’s tourism as the likes of Sophia Loren and Kirk Douglas took to exploring the bay on Riva speedboats.
The pool itself is tiled with an intricate black and white mosaic pattern that harks back to the classic geometric designs of Givenchy and Chanel. Around the pool this theme is continued with a series of minimally detailed platforms and private seating areas formed from blocks of black and white stone and interspersed with white washed timber changing cabins. The seating areas have retractable fabric roofs to provide shade, integrated upholstered seating and hardwood yacht deck floors.
The strong vista from the shore down the length of the pool is accentuated by the addition of six palm trees on the pools edge and a large patinated bronze frame that rises seamlessly from the water’s surface to frame the view. At the pool’s furthest edge the symmetry is offset by a seated figure by the Spanish sculptor Juame Plensa who thoughtfully gazes out to sea.
The club house building at the pool’s eastern end houses two bars, a restaurant and an extensive roof terrace which provides stunning views over the pool and surrounding scenery. At ground level the building continues the black and white geometrical language through a series of sculpted cubic volumes of contrasting black and white surfaces.
Above this a series of flying timber, bronze and aluminum roof fold into each other to create flowing transitions between varying roof levels and terraces. The wide roof is delicately supported on slender steel columns and cantilevered to tapering edges that create crisp white lines against the deep blue skies. A sculpted aluminum and glass stair allows access to the roof terraces and continues the roofs folded geometry to ground level.
The building is designed as permeable and naturally venting. The front façade consisting of a series of 4 metre high central pivoting glass doors, which combine with a series of automatic high level pivot vents on the rear wall to allow the sea breezes to flow through. To the northern side a large bay window opens over a shallow reflective pool, drawing the surrounding landscaping into the building.