Istrian olives, oil and olive growers were mentioned for their excellent quality way back by the ancient Romans, and we are proud that in the sense of identity we have recognised and offered this neglected theme as the foundation of a brand right in Tar and Vabriga, places which back in the 1980s were recognised by the FAO for the top quality of their olive oil.

Our vision was not short-term: we considered the interpretation of heritage in a 15-year plan, from marketing and financial activities to the conceptual design of an interactive exhibition of olive oil to which we added a unique olive park, an archaeological and ornithological park and a route that combines culture and nature into a unique experience.

By mapping the cultural and natural potentials of this small, but exceptionally well-developed Istrian tourist district and a thorough analysis of the local and surrounding factors we developed an interpretive plan of the destination, and as the main theme we proposed the production of olive oil. Our strategic decision was confirmed by a follow-up review in a document which was made in the 1980s by the experts of the FAO highlighting the agricultural, as well as cultural value of olives and the tradition of olive growing in this region as a key resource in the development of the district.

In the master study we also proposed and methodologically systematically elaborated upon marketing activities and introduced a vision of the development of a destination brand and products based on the key heritage of olive growing and the production of olive oil from Antiquity to the modern day: an interpretation centre, themed routes, an open-air stage in the quarry of Tarska Vala…

We conceived a strategic plan so that the destination would develop in a clear and focused way, and also that the decisions about the financing of future projects and programmes in the area of culture and tourism from the side of the local community were adopted in conjunction with unique developmental guidelines. As a tool in the implementation of the strategy we proposed an action plan for a period of 15 years.

We envisaged ‘The House of Olive Oil’ visitor’s centre, which should be located in the building of the former Tar cinema, as being the main cultural-tourist product resulting from the strategic plan of the sustainable development of the Tar – Vabriga tourist destination. In the preliminary museological concept we developed an interpretive plan of a permanent exhibition, creating a programme concept, a spatial strategy and a functional layout plus a vision of the management. We gathered together a creative team of architects and designers and coordinated the making of the architectural concept and designer’s plans into a conceptual and schematic form, an integral part of which is the preliminary calculations of expenses of all the works, services and equipment until its realisation. In the meantime, it was decided that ‘The House of Olive Oil’ is to be moved to a new position, Tar’s unique building – the castle, for which new project documentation will be made.

An important part of the implementation strategy was the application of the strategy of branding and the formation of the visual identity.

In the strategic plan of the sustainable development of the Tar – Vabriga tourist destination we proposed two more cultural-tourist products: a unique park of olives and a themed route which combines the attractions of the cultural and natural heritage of the landscape filled with olive groves. We created the initial concepts of their design and equipping. The first step in this process was the content concept and the shaping of a project task for the planning. In the next step we gathered together a scientific, project and design team who on the bases of the project task and content development made a conceptual and implementation design.

Tar Vabriga / Torre Abrega Tourist Board

Client representatives
Denis Žužić
Franco Palma
Elena Uljančić-Vekić
Gaetano Benčić

Strategy and interpretation plan
Dragana Lucija Ratkovic Aydemir

Karla Bačić Jelinčić

Visual identity
Vanja Cuculić Studio Cuculić
Vedran Kasap Clinica Studio

Professional associate
Prof. dr. sc. Đani Benčić

Landscape architecture
Biserka Šavora d.i.a.

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