Speleo House, developing the uninhabited area of Ćićarija
The main objectives of arranging the science and education center ‘Speleo House’, set in Vodice on mountainous plateau Ćićarija, are: protecting karst sources along the border area between Slovenia and Croatia; its conservation and sustainable use, and development of uninhabited parts of Ćićarija in terms of attracting scientists, young people and all nature lovers towards that area.
A former old school covering the surface of 390 m2, was completely renovated, furnished and equipped with necessary technical and laboratory instruments, thus ensuring the possibility of an extended stay and work of about twenty people in the Science and education center. The ground floor hosts a multimedia presentation area – the Karst Museum, whose permanent exhibition comprises different elements that introduce visitors to the basics of geomorphology and the karst features. Studio Sonda is entrusted with developing the entire visual design and set up of the museum exhibition, as well as creating the visual identity of the house.
Some of the speleological sites of northern Istria are presented in 50 photographs and the configuration of the selected caves is shown on the info-sculptures through sections showing its layered shapes. In the museum, visitors can take a closer look of dozens of exhibits of cave formations. Part of it is as well a simulation of bat colonies and complete caving equipment necessary for research and exploring the underground. Children’s playground set up in the immediate vicinity enriches the stay of the youngest visitors and makes the educational content of the center even more interesting.
The Science and education center Speleo House is part of the EU project ‘ŽIVO! Život – Voda!’, with the financial support from the European Regional Development Fund. Together with the lead partner of the project, the Istrian Region – Administrative Department for Sustainable Development – Department for Nature and Environment Protection, the project partners are the Public Institution Natura Histrica, the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Rijeka, the Karst Research Institute from Postojna, and the National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food from Koper.