Ksenija Residences, by ReardonSmith, at Porto Montenegro brought to market

Luxury apartment collection Ksenija Residences has been brought to market, heralding the latest phase of Porto Montenegro, the international destination in Tivat, Montenegro, masterplanned and designed by ReardonSmith Architects. To date, the majority already have been sold off-plan. Due for completion in 2015, Ksenija is situated on the southernmost point of Porto Montenegro. Full southwest exposure, direct water frontage and truly exceptional panoramic views across the Bay of Kotor to the mountain peaks beyond make this site one of the destination’s finest locations.

Ksenija will consist of 48 luxurious one, two and three-bedroom apartments extending over five blocks within two buildings, almost all with views onto the sea. Each residence will have its own terrace, with a few enjoying rooftop verandas and private pools. Two residents-only communal swimming pools have been planned: an infinity pool on the large, south-facing first floor terrace and, on the fourth floor, another pool with a stunning vantage point overlooking the bay. The apartments have been oriented to maximise the space and views, yet also provide a high degree of privacy.

ReardonSmith’s masterplan of Porto Montenegro encourages familiar spatial relationships that help people instinctively navigate their way through town. The clarity of pedestrian wayfinding is a high priority in this destination. Therefore, since the site of Ksenija connects the bay’s shoreline promenade with the superyacht marina and its many offerings, the architects have planned a lush, landscaped pedestrian route between the residences that helps establish a sense of connection. The path begins along the waterside with a tower and an archway which together form the “city gate” into the entire development. From here, the walkway weaves between the residences to the central Fountain Square whose style and proportion have been influenced by the “town squares” of the old city of Kotor.

Carefully considered points of interest along the piazza serve as identification landmarks to help residents with wayfinding, including a new restaurant, a café and luxury retail boutiques on the ground level. Underground parking garages will help maintain the pedestrian-friendly environment; at the residences’ main entrance there will be an off-street passenger drop-off area attended by a concierge.

Mirroring the architectural style of the Regent hotel on the opposite side of the basin, Ksenija’s Italianate façade takes on a somewhat different form than the destination’s previous residences. The intention has been to respond to the Venetian design influences that have shaped this breathtaking stretch of the Adriatic coast over the centuries and echo, through a modern-day interpretation, the classic lakeside palazzos of Northern Italy. However, its visual integration with the overarching architectural principles of the masterplan was crucial since Ksenija is a primary link between Porto Montengro and Tivat’s bayside promenade. This has been achieved through the use of regionally authentic materials also employed for earlier structures – Montenegrin stone and render for the cladding and terracotta tiles for the roofs – and, to the southern and western façades, grand colonnades reminiscent of the arcaded galleries that are prevalent in the region. These shaded, beautifully landscaped archways will create places for residents to relax and socialise. A striking water cascade has been devised to be an iconic landmark within Ksenija as well as a visual link to similar water features installed in prominent locations around the town.

Ksenija’s eastern-facing aspect functions as a barrier to vehicular traffic and opens into a colonnade as the grade gradually decreases towards the southern gateway. The buildings’ articulated upper levels enhance the street-side visual appeal as well as the residences’ layouts. Although the northern-oriented perspective houses the main entrance and drop-off area, its overall feel is more residential, with a deliberate reduction in activity at ground level. The height of the buildings decreases towards the west and southward waterline, reducing their visual mass whilst maximising views.

The massing of the residences above the first-floor podium level has brought many benefits to the site. Not only does it enable sightlines across the bay and the town, it minimises the buildings’ overall visual weight and creates a platform for green spaces which soften the building’s architectural edges so they are assimilated into the wider landscape.

Opening next year is Regent Porto Montenegro Hotel & Residences, also designed by ReardonSmith, which follows the first phase comprising apartments, waterfront shops, cafés, a 64-metre infinity pool, a beach club, and a superyacht marina. In addition, ReardonSmith has begun the design of a further waterfront parcel which will accommodate both private residential and commercial units, while this year has brought the opening of both a restored submarine as a visitor attraction and an international boarding school, the first in Montenegro.