ReardonSmith was appointed in 2007 to masterplan, design and realise not only a premier destination for superyachts in Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor on what was a decommissioned naval base, but a small town that would attract holiday makers and local people. Equally, the town was to be a practical location for crews and their families to make their home when not at sea. The masterplan concept combined the massing elements typical of historic towns in the region with the principles of “imagability”.

Consequently, the design is respectful of location and architectural inheritance but is also entirely new; it contains familiar spatial relationships that help visitors to navigate their way through the town and it holds intentional surprises to intensify the experience of discovery. Even before the first phase opened in 2010, Porto Montenegro was being hailed as “the new port of cool”.

Seabed and land remediation works were extensive; stone and brick from the old structures were crushed to form aggregate and timbers were preserved for re-use. The new buildings, none higher than five storeys, were constructed in local stone and render with roofing in terracotta and clay tiles. The first phase included studios through to four-bedroom residences, most with large sea-facing terraces, some with their own pool and all with a large first-floor landscaped courtyard and pool deck. Shops, restaurants, cafés and The Porto Montenegro Yacht Club were scattered at considered intervals along the quayside in a progression designed to flow logically from the intimacy of the residential zone to the jet-setting vibe of the marina.

Although the condition of the old naval base meant that most of it was fit only for clearance, a few legacies remained. In particular, one of the old dockyard cranes was refurbished to stand astride the end of the main jetty as an iconic landmark. Other, smaller items were collected, cleaned and stored for a new future in the museum or as an architectural street feature.

ClientAdriatic Marinas d.o.o.
ProjectNew marina destination
LocationMontenegro
RSA RoleMaster planner and architect
OperatorN/A
Project StatusFirst phase completed 2010; subsequent phases completed 2012 – 2015