Through this project, they aimed to give participants a deeper, more intuitive understanding of timber’s properties and the value of old-growth knowledge. Included below is a description of the finished project and the process involved in its creation.


The original plan was to place the shelter along a hiking trail in the national park. Given the lack of quality timber, cladding and roofing in particular, the decision was made to place the shelter in the Mitrovac park. Here it would be possible for the rangers to treat the wood, once sufficiently dried, with a lot less hassle than out in the park proper. A decent compromise given the frequency with which hikers and cyclists camp in the park.


Dremka is an overnight shelter for hikers and other wanderers passing through Tara National Park. The shelter is a structure both sympathetic and resilient to the National Park surrounds. It’s name is serbian for the nap one takes after eating.

At the heart of this shelter’s design is a conscious response to nature’s diurnal cycle, more specifically the rhythm of the hiker’s routine – seeking shelter as the day ends, leaving with the rising sun.

Built using traditional joinery and nails, the shelter employs old construction techniques to create a modern interpretation of a rural shelter. Given the exposure of the structure internally, the construction methods employed remain uncovered for the interested eye.

The project aims to remove complex luxury from the shelter design while allowing an required level of comfort for its weary occupants. It seeks to bring the hiker closer to nature while providing them with sufficient protection from the outdoors.

The material employed plays an essential role in the perceived architectural style. Responding to both nature and the vernacular structures in Tara, the shelter strives to situate itself quietly into a predominantly wooden landscape. While unassuming in material choice, the architectural form rises and interrupts the flow of its natural surroundings.

The shelter offers both introverted and extroverted spaces for the resting tramper – it offers moments to pause off foot and observe the National Park surrounds – simultaneously allowing the opportunity to retreat indoors from this powerful, natural landscape.

The entrance porch – low and overhanging – acts as a threshold between the internal and external spaces. Both the incline of the roof and staggered walls replace the sense of security and protection typically offered through the introduction of a door. Given the relationship between the wall and roof planes, the internal space is naturally ventilated but suitably sheltered. Having to bend down when entering, the steep, single pitch roof ensures standing height once inside the shelter.

Facing west the entrance and its adjacent platform are fully lit by the setting sun, allowing for comfortable unpacking, cooking and chatting before the day ends. Situated along a hiking route the large window to the east ensures ventilation and illumination from the moment the sun rises above the distant tree line. Yet by being placed high on the wall it prevents immediate views into the shelter from the nearby path, giving those inside a desired sense of safety and privacy.

Outside, the eastern patio lets one bask in the rising sun and comfortably enjoy breakfast before continuing the hike.


Daniel Haarhoff and Ailbhe Cunningham


Matthias Brenner, Margerita Savova, Sebastian In-Album, Bledian Salihu, Didem Ertem, Theodora Kyrtala, James Dent, Giovanna Muzzy, Mia Martinovic, Olya Stefanovska, Denizhan Cem Turan, Nicolas Ransome