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Design Power Couple Renovates a Medieval Croatian Fortress

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The original fireplace in the top-floor lounge—All photos by <a href="">Scott Frances</a> via <a href="">Arch Digest</
The original fireplace in the top-floor lounge—All photos by Scott Frances via Arch Digest

In 2005, sought-after NYC-based architect Steven Harris and his partner, noted interior design Lucien Rees Roberts purchased a four-structure compound on a small island on Croatia's Dalmatian coast. As it turns out, the couple's Mediterranean getaway also includes a 15th-century fortress tower, a listed historic monument that they've just spent two years renovating. According to Architectural Digest, which profiles the home in its latest issue, the five-story fortress had a "cistern on the first floor to provide water for its defenders during an attack," plus a fireplace on the top floor to "heat boiling oil to pour on invaders." Today, the place is decidedly more peaceful, sprinkled with a thoughtful mix of midcentury furnishings.

"We wanted the building to appear as if it was always the way it is now," Rees Roberts tells AD. That's why many original stone walls were left mostly unfinished, creating a dramatic backdrop for their simple but carefully selected decor."Every single construction material and piece of furniture had to be ferried across from the mainland and then carried 190 steps by hand," Rees Roberts says.

So what kind of things did decide to bring in? Vintage Eero Saarinen chairs, a 1960s Murano-glass light fixture, and a jacaranda-top table and bed designed by Rees Roberts himself. Get the full story over on AD.

· Architect Steven Harris and Interior Designer Lucien Rees Roberts Create an Idyllic Oasis in Croatia [Arch Digest]
· Don't Talk to This $7.75M Condo Unless You Have Tons of Art [Curbed National]
· Touring Steven Harris and Lucien Rees Roberts' NYC Loft [Curbed National]