the doors

in the traditional architecture of the boka kotorska and their conservation

Impresum
The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Publishers: EXPEDITIO Svenska Byggnadsvårdsföreningen Donor: SIDA - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency Author: EXPEDITIO, Aleksandra Kapetanović, conservation arch. Co-authors: Jasminka Grgurević, conservation painter Ilija Lalošević, conservation architect Consultant:

Calle von Essen Text: EXPEDITIO and participants of the 3rd restoration camp on Visković Palace (listed on p. 13) Material from the publication “Conservation and Design Guidelines for Zanzibar Stone Town” (pp. 31-34) Translation: Vesna Leković Proofreading: Laura McCoy Photographs: EXPEDITIO, Stevan Kordić, Bojana Prazić, Kristina Janjetović Drawings: EXPEDITIO, B. Kojić, Rural architecture in the Bay of Boka Kotorska (p. 20), Ilija Lalošević (pp. 46, 47) Design: EXPEDITIO Printing: Biro Konto, Herceg Novi Circulation: 500 copies © 2006 EXPEDITIO

I - Volunteer restoration camps Volunteer restoration camps Cooperation between EXPEDITIO and Svenska Byggnadsvårdsföreningen Volunteer restoration camps in Perast 7 8 9

II - The Doors The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska The main characteristics of the doors Types of doors 17 18 25

III - The door conservation Causes of decay of wooden doors The principles of repair The process of conservation Materials Details of contemporary doors based on traditional models Examples of inadequate solutions Biliography 31 32 35 42 46 48 50

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Why keep traditional doors? About the publication

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Contents 

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Why keep traditional doors?
The last century was full of optimism for all the new things and materials that came up. Life became easier with all the new machines and materials. At least it seemed to be that way in the beginning. In Boka Kotorska area, as well as in Sweden, modern materials have replaced a lot of the traditional ones for building purpose. In the 20th century building materials used in Sweden increased from a total number of about 500 up to about 50 000. This causes many problems. So in Sweden for the last 10 to 20 years the use of the traditional materials and techniques has become popular again. What are the reasons? - Technical. Traditionally craftsmen chose the materials carefully, for instance the wood used for doors and windows. Where I live, we have windows that are from the 1800th century which are still in good condition. They are also easy to repair, if a part is rotten, it is just to exchange that part. But with metal and plastic windows, it is doubtful if it is possible or economical to repair them, most probably you will have to exchange the whole window or door with the frame, which will be expensive. Many of the new materials that are sold with arguments like “doesn’t need any maintenance”, are very difficult, or even impossible, to maintain or repair. - Aesthetic. For example an old window is made not only for the purpose of letting light in the room. The wood is profiled because it shall be beautiful

to look at, and also to let the light “play” with the shadows. A modern metal or plastic one, is just flat and is not designed to be beautiful. Old doors often have some pattern or even beautiful carvings. Another difference is how the material looks when it is getting older – traditional ones often still looks quite OK by age, sometimes even get more beautiful with some patina. But have you ever seen anything in plastic looking nicer as it gets older? - Historic. For instance the shapes, patterns or figures on old doors is important to keep for the future. They can tell many stories or give evidences for future generations. They can also give important knowledge for instance about different types of joints etc. Facts that can be useful not only for repairing or making new ones in old style, but also giving other information useful for historical science. Sometimes this goes together with technical reasons to. Old shutters are adjustable, so you can regulate the amount of light coming in the room. - Environmental. Most old materials that were used are taken from nature, and can also be left there without any bad impact. But when using all these modern materials, they contain a lot of different chemicals, which themselves, or when interacting with each other, are dangerous for health and nature. In Sweden we now even have an expression, “sick houses”, for houses which by different emissions from the materials make people living in them sick. Another example is that until recently it was prohibited to build houses in wood

more than 2 storeys because of danger of fire. But now there are no such restrictions. Because in case of fire, metal beams in a construction looses shape and collapse quicker than wooden beams. Also, in case of fire, a person in the 1950’s had about 15 minutes to get out of a flat before life was in danger. Now it is about 3 minutes – and it is not the fire that kills, but the smoke with poisonous gases from textiles and furniture in modern materials! Perhaps you might have some problems to find good materials or craftsmen, but if you demand it, it will surely come by time. It was also very difficult in Sweden 10-20 years ago, but now we can find it almost everywhere. Therefore I will strongly recommend people in Boka to repair your beautiful doors, windows, shutters, etc. in the traditional way and with traditional materials. Or if in too bad condition and impossible to repair, to make new copies. These beautiful houses, in this beautiful region, deserve to be taken good care of! With Boka in my heart, I wish you all good luck for the future! 

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Calle von Essen Svenska Byggnadsvårdsföreningen 

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

About the publication
This publication is the result of cooperation between EXPEDITIO and the Svenska byggnadsvårdsföreningen - the Swedish Association for Building Preservation (SBF) following the restoration volunteer camps carried out in Perast. In the Boka Kotorska, a UNESCO listed “World Heritage Site”, numerous traditional doorways, windows and other timber elements have still been preserved. However, these elements are often neglected during the reconstruction of houses. Very often, the traditional wooden doors are inadequately conserved or simply replaced with new wooden, metal or “plastic” ones. Furthermore, their adequate maintenance had also been disregarded. During preparations for the restoration camp on the Visković palace, which focused on the “doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska”, we became aware of the scarcity of information, at least in written form, either on traditional doors, windows and other timber elements, or on the process of their construction and conservation. Fortunately, we still have craftsmen who know the traditional techniques of construction and restoration of wooden doors, although their number is declining. There is the danger that the knowledge of old craftsmen that has been handed down from generation to generation might gradually be lost. This is because less and less people know, apply and further hand down these traditional methods because they have not been recorded.

Handing down, through education, the knowledge about traditional methods of construction and restoration of wooden doors, together with recording that knowledge and identifying the main characteristics and elements of traditional doors, can contribute to this knowledge to be preserved and used in the future. With this publication, we wish to draw attention to the values of traditional doors and their importance for preserving exceptionally valuable and complex heritage of the Boka Kotorska. Furthermore, we want to point out the necessity of preserving the traditional doors, both through restoring and maintaining old doors and constructing the new ones by using traditional techniques and traditional materials. The publication contains basic information about traditional doors and simple guidelines for their maintenance and restoration, and can be used as a guidebook not only by craftsmen but also by all people who have traditional doors on their houses. We hope that the publication will contribute, at least to certain extent, to preserving the traditional doors in the Boka Kotorska and be encouragement for possible future researches of this and other topics related to traditional techniques and crafts. EXPEDITIO

I - VOLUNTEER RESTORATION CAMPS

Volunteer restoration camps are one of the possible and very positive aspects of non-governmental organizations that are concerned with heritage protection. These volunteer camps contribute considerably to the conservation of cultural heritage and through these positive actions it is possible to prevent degradation of cultural properties and train volunteers to carry out restoration work, using traditional materials and techniques. At the same time, by promoting the use of traditional techniques and materials, awareness is raised about how important this type of work is. It is important that volunteer camps are organized at public sites and, therefore, accessible both to wider public and local community. The non-governmental organization EXPEDITIO has become acquainted with this type of work through the experience of a partner organization Svenska byggnadsvårdsföreningen – the Swedish Association for Building Preservation (SBF). The Swedish Association for Building Preservation is a non-governmental organization with about 6,000 members. One of its main activities is organizing restoration volunteer work throughout Sweden, and in recent years, in other countries as well. The association started its first restoration volunteer camps in 1991 and they were modelled on similar camps that have been organized in France since 1950s. During recent years, on average, 10 camps take part in projects each summer in Sweden, with more than 120 participants. The basic idea and aim of these camps is to prevent degradation of sites

that contribute to national heritage, and to train volunteers to restore buildings by using traditional materials and methods. The workshops are run by different organizations as well as communities, together with experts from institutions for cultural heritage protection and skilled craftsmen. The participants/volunteers are usually of various professions, backgrounds and mixed ages. Each of the projects are different and usually consist of protected cultural monuments. The results from the first volunteer camps have been so successful, it has been a stimulus to local and state cultural institutions in Sweden to support and engage in more projects. They have proposed more sites where intervention could be undertaken, and often experts from institutions for cultural heritage protection volunteer as camp leaders.

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Volunteer restoration camps  

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Cooperation between EXPEDITIO and the Swedish Association for Building Preservation (SBF)

The cooperation between EXPEDITIO and the Svenska Byggnadsvårdsföreningen began in 2001, following the Europa Nostra Youth Heritage Forum in Piran, Slovenia, where the representatives of the two organizations met. The same year, two members of EXPEDITIO took part in the volunteer restoration camp organized by the SBF on Öland Island in Sweden. Being able to see evidence of the good work that volunteer camps organized by the SBF have produced and having the experience that our members have gained through participating with them, has motivated us to try to do something similar in our own country, in cooperation with the SBF. Since 2002, EXPEDITIO and the SBF have jointly organized three volunteer restoration camps in Perast. The participants in these camps, organized and conducted by coordinators from both organizations, were volunteers from Sweden and Serbia and Montenegro. The site of first two restoration camps was the Fortress of Perast, while the third one was carried out on the Visković palace. The camps were organized in cooperation with the Society of Friends of Perast and the Regional institute for the protection of cultural monuments from Kotor. The representatives of the Local Community of Perast and numerous local people activelly supported this restoration work. The cooperation with the SBF has continued further through the exchange of volunteers, so that 12 members of EXPEDITIO have had an opportunity to participate in restoration camps in Sweden so far.

The first restoration camp Clearing the Fortress of St. Cross in Perast The Fortress of St. Cross, 3 – 14 November 2002 The first restoration camp which included clearing the Fortress of St. Cross in Perast was held from 3 to 14 November 2002. The camp participants were 14 volunteers from Serbia and Montenegro and Sweden. EXPEDITIO and SBF organized the camp in cooperation with the local non-governmental organization “Society of Friends of Perast”. The main activity of the camp was removing vegetation, mainly ivy, from the fortress walls, as well as shrubs and trees with which the fortress has been overgrown. The area around the fortress was also cleared, including a water cistern and the road accessing the fortress from the highway. In addition, the existing state of the fortress was surveyed. The second restoration camp Preparatory works for the restoration of the St. Cross Fortress The Fortress of St. Cross, Perast, 5 – 18 October 2003 Following the success of the first restoration camp, the funds for further works on the Fortress of St. Cross were provided by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Republic of Montenegro. The camp participants were 12 volunteers from Serbia and Montenegro, the Republic of Srpska, Slovakia and Sweden, together with experts who gave instructions and conducted workshops on methods of work in stone and timber. The camp was organized

in cooperation with the Regional institute for the protection of cultural monuments Kotor, and supported by the Society of Friends of Perast, Local Community of Perast and numerous local people. One of the aims of the camp was to train the volunteers to work with stone and timber. Assisted by experts working with stone, we reconstructed a step of the stone staircase of the fortress. Observing the instruction of the carpenters, first we did a project and then constructed and placed a wooden staircase in the lower zone of the fortress. We also constructed a wooden door for the newly opened entrance doorway to the fortress, and cleaned and restored the entrance iron gate situated in the lower defensive zone, supplying it with a closing mechanism. These works were important for controlling the entrance to the fortress and preventing its construction material to be taken away, which has become quite common over the last years. We thought these works to be necessary in order to protect the fortress. We applied further measures needed for the maintenance of the fortress, i.e. clearing and removing vegetation, together with carrying out additional architectural surveys and analyses.

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Volunteer restoration camps in Perast 

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

The first restoration camp Clearing the Fortress of St. Cross in Perast The Fortress of St. Cross, 3 – 1 November 2002

The second restoration camp Preparatory works for the restoration of the St. Cross Fortress The Fortress of St. Cross, Perast,  – 1 October 2003

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

The third restoration camp Doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska Visković Palace, Perast, 26 September – 9 October 2004
The third restoration camp on the Visković Palace in Perast, focusing on the “doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska” was carried out from September 26 to October 9, 2004. The camp participants were 13 volunteers from Serbia and Montenegro, Sweden and Bosnia. The camp was funded by SIDA – the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

As in the previous two camps, we were supported by the Regional institute for the protection of cultural monuments from Kotor, Local Community of Perast, Museum of Perast and the Society of Friends of Perast. Local people as well as local institutions and organizations provided considerable assistance during the camp. We chose the Visković Palace as the site for the third restoration camp. It is one of the oldest structures in Perast with multiple preserved layers of construction, situated in the central part of the town, at one of the most attractive sites. Today it is in very bad condition, ruined and neglected. The palace was given to the municipality of Kotor by the members of Visković family on condition that a part of it should be of memorial character – i.e. that it should have public usage, regardless of its future function. This was very important fact since our partners from Sweden have the practice of organizing restoration work at sites that have public character, ensuring, in that way, their accessibility both to wider pubic and local community. The topic of the camp was conservation and restoration of wooden doors. Instructed by experts for woodwork, i.e. two carpenters from Sweden, the volunteers had a chance to become acquainted with the whole process of timber restoration and to do the work in practice. During the camp three doors were restored: main entrance door on the Visković palace and two doors on the neighbouring house of the Balaban family. This publication describes the complete process of the restoration. Besides restoration work on the doors, we did the reconstruction of the garden – “đardin”, surrounding the loggia of the Visković palace. These works were conducted by landscape architects. The garden was in neglected

state, completely overgrown with vegetation and weeds. First, we removed weeds and vegetation and then applied “the garden archaeology”, removing carefully the existing layers and analyzing the original layout and design of the garden. Based on the found remains it was possible to reconstruct the original form of the garden. We also found bulbs of the plants originally grown in the garden. After the analyses, we reconstructed the garden according to its previous layout, and planted flowers and plants, both the ones found in the garden and other that are typical of Perast. We also did the archeological probing in order to examine older layers of the garden and determine its development. One of the activities of the camp was the conservation of the metal fence on the boundary wall towards the road. After cleaning the fence, we analyzed the layers of paint on it and painted it by using paint prepared in a traditional way: by mixing black pigment and linseed oil. What we find quite important is that the restoration camp on the Visković palace was a stimulus for other restoration works on the palace, contributing, at least to some extent, to changing its state of neglect. In the preparation phase of the camp, we consulted the conservationists from the Regional institute for the protection of cultural monuments from Kotor. After examining the terrain and assessing very bad condition of the palace, and especially its loggia with decorative painting work inside, we managed to obtain the funds needed for the reconstruction of the loggia roof. The Society of Friends of Perast and Local community of Perast have continued to maintain the palace and its garden.

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

The 3rd Volunteer Restoration Camp: Participants: Hanna Domfors, Jasna Jaramazović, Ana Jovović, Marko Aleksić, Nenad Peranović, Ivana Srgota (part of the time: Lejla Hadžić, Damir Hadžić) Craftsmen: Ulf Hägerö, Stefan Östberg Collaborators: Jelena Franović, Ivana Rašković Consultants: Zorica Čubrović, Jasminka Grgurević Coordinators: Calle von Essen, Bojana Pražić, Aleksandra Kapetanović

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

restoration camp

before and after the

Palace Viskovic garden

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Why DOORS as the topic?

We have chosen the traditional doors as the topic because we want to draw attention to their values and their importance for preserving exceptionally valuable and complex heritage of the Boka Kotorska. Furthermore, we want to point out the necessity of preserving the traditional doors, both through restoring and maintaining old doors and constructing the new ones by using traditional techniques and traditional materials. Apart from the practical tasks they perform as secondary elements of traditional buildings, the doors are an important aspect of the multiple layered heritage of an area. These elements are valuable because they give us information about functional requirements and aesthetical criteria of their constructors and users, because they were made by skilled local craftsmen using good-quality materials and techniques confirmed by centuries of use, and demonstrate multiple layers and richness of history of the area. If these traditional elements are allowed to disintegrate through neglect, or are destroyed or removed by inadequate conservation work, the value of the whole area is diminished.

“The doors are boundaries. The open ones symbolize communication, the flow of life, a welcome to the guests. The closed ones mean isolation, symbolizing gathering of people and maintenance of material values. They are the sign and illustration of social status and power. The place of reception of guests and the first act of hospitality. They are sacred, respected, marked. A part of mnemonic communication, an element of desirable and improper behaviour. Through decorated doors one begins a new life – i.e. marriage, and because of their significance, numerous procedures are connected to the doors and entrances.” The Periodical of the Ethnographic Institute SANU, book XLIX, “Doors, gates, doorways and entrances- a centuries-old need for organization and security”, Srebrica Knežević, Belgrade, 2000

II - THE DOORS

“The woodwork in the houses of the Bay of Kotor was made of excellent timber, in quite precise manner. Furthermore, they were maintained very carefully. Those who have experienced the climatic conditions in Boka Kotorska, characterized by frequent bad weather, long rainy spells and sea cascades thrown on the houses in the form of fog by south wind, marvel at a good condition of some windows produced 150 years ago, or even earlier. According to oral and preserved tradition, all carpentry works were carried out in the area.” (Vinko Đurović, On construction of houses and craftsmen in the Bay of Kotor, from the 1th until the end of the 1th centuries, Spomenik CIII, SANU, Belgrade, 13, p. 1)

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

The main characteristics of the doors

The topic of this publication is external doors on the houses of Boka Kotorska. The external doors differ in their character from the inner ones. They are exposed to often harsh weather conditions and provide functional requirements (security, isolation), architectural and aesthetic criteria (emphasized entrances, peculiarity). That is why they differ in size, form, material, construction and manner of treatment from the inner ones. The external doors on houses include the main entrance and the doors on balconies and terraces. External doors are also found on stone walls surrounding the gardens of houses in the Boka Kotorska.

Door frames Door frames made of characteristic stone influence the shape and dimensions of the doors. The frames can be of rectangular or arched/semicircular shape. In Kotor, a special type of jointed doorways with windows, called “vrata na koljeno”, can be found, mainly used on shops. The houses in the Boka Kotorska were built of local stone, while the door frames were made of more workable stone, which was brought from the Croatian islands of Vrnik and Korčula. The frames were made in standardized measures, which controlled the dimensions of the openings. Until the middle of the 19th century, the Venetian foot (1’ = 34.7 cm) was used as a unit of

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

measurement, which was divided into 12 ounces (1’’ = 2.9 cm). The height of the external doors is usually 191.2 cm (5’6’’) or 208.6 cm (6’), while their width ranges from 104.3 cm (3’) to 173.8 cm (5’). The height of semicircular/arched doors varies from 243.39 cm (7’) to 330.31 cm (9’6’’). The structure of the doors The entire structure of a door consists of a frame, doorpost, hinge and the door itself (a “wing”). In traditional stone houses, the stone door frames of external doorways also function as door posts on which the doors are hung directly. By the number of wings a door can be single or double-winged. In the beginning, the doors in traditional houses used to be single-winged, developing later into double-winged, which are prevailing today. In case of an arched portal, a separate semicircular part appears above the wings; however, the wings can also be arch-shaped, especially if they did not have sufficient heights when ended flat.

Metal work Different kinds of metal work were used on wooden doors: > supportive forging: “baglame” (hinges) “maškulić” > closing mechanisms: latches locks > security mechanisms: “klav” “baštun” > opening mechanisms: doorknobs doorknobs with “saltarela” As a special element, on the external side of a door, knockers (or “batadur”) or other ringing systems are sometimes placed.

doorknob with “saltarela”

knocker

lock and handle

door lock with a handle

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

The metal work is made of a good-quality, polished iron, so-called arcal, arcao (from Italian acciaio = steel). A characteristic of such forging is that they could last for a few hundred years, even on the seacoast, without experiencing much corrosion. “Maškulićs” were fixed with lead, a method derived from antiquity, which mitigated the possibility of

eventual corrosion that could have occurred with direct contact between stone and iron. Additional protection Main entrance doors on houses, back doors or doors on boundary walls usually had multiple protections against possible burglars. On the inside of doors, three to four closing systems can sometimes be found: locks, latches, “klav”, “baštun” (It. bastone), and in some cases a “pat” is placed. The “pat” (Ven. pato) is a strong, square beam which is drawn through special holes in the wall. It is slid behind a closed door, additionally protecting the whole doorway. In

“baglama” (hinges) “maškulić” “klav” “pat” “baštun”

“klav”

Type of wood In an area such as the Boka Kotorska, subject to the everyday influence of sea salt, rain and high humidity, wood of good quality had to be used. In the past, pine and another type of high quality pine - larch tree - was used for doors. Larch tree cannot be found today, so now white pine and oak are used. Connective material In the past, „brokve“ - wrought square nails - were used as connective elements, mainly imported from Venice. Later, manufactured nails came into use, and then screws and wood glue. Paint colour In the settlements of Boka Kotorska the doors were painted in white and green colours. White lead, white zinc and Schweinfurt green (emerald green) paints were used and these colours were produced by mixing fine powdered pigments with linseed oil. The doors of Kotor were usually painted green, and in Perast painted white. Why these colours? - As they were usually left over after painting work on boats and ships, these colours were readily available and were either free or cheap to obtain, so were used by the local people to protect the wooden parts of their houses.

The boats and ships in the Boka Kotorska during the 19th and early 20th century were painted in Schweinfurt green and white lead paint, with the parts of the boats in the water painted green. They used these types of paint on boats because of their durability, resistance to air and humidity and their protective properties against corrosion, wood worm, algae, fungi, etc.

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

the Boka Kotorska, an expression “zapatat vrata” has been preserved with the meaning “to close the door”.

- These colours were known for their resistance to air and humidity, and their protective properties against aggressive work of worms, algae, mould, fungi, etc, which is quite important for this climate (proximity of the sea, winds, rains, waves, high air humidity).

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

During the 19th and early 20th century, together with the mentioned colours people started using white zinc paint on woodwork, and this colour became widespread owing to the fact that, unlike lead white, it is non-toxic. Considering a weak covering ability of white zinc colour, it was usually mixed with white lead colour or some filling material, such as chalk, was added to it. In the first half of the 20th century, following the discovery of white titanium paint, this paint often replaced white lead paint because it proved to have

the strongest covering ability of all the white paints. Oil paints started to be used for painting wooden parts. They use linseed oil as the suspension, and are produced by mixing powdered pigments of white zinc/white titanium with linseed oil as a medium. This combination proved to be good since titanium white compensated for a major drawback of zinc white, i.e. its weak covering ability. The new colour, produced in this way, was not toxic (it could be used indoors, as well), it had a strong covering ability and excellent resistance to sunlight.

The simplest doors were made by joining several (2 to 3) vertical boards, fastened together on the inside with two to three horizontal boards, one of which could be placed diagonally. In this case, “baglame” (hinges) are placed on the horizontal boards. The joint between these vertical boards can be face, half scarf or “pero i žlijeb”, which is made with 8 12 mm wide laths. In a more developed type, two to three, usually carved, “talpe” (boards) are joined together. In that case, a dovetailed joint is used between vertical and horizontal “talpe”.

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

According to the method of construction (production), several types of doors can be found.

Types of doors

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

A new door type can be produced by strengthening the vertical boards with an additional layer, which is in the form of joined horizontal boards or a frame. The layer with vertical boards is usually found on the inner side, and horizontal boards or the frame on the external; however, other combinations are possible. A “fintagrilja” door (“finta” meaning fake, “griglia” meaning a window shutter) consists of two layers: an inner layer made of vertical boards and an external layer of horizontal, profiled boards with a groove, joined in a similar way to “škura” (It. scuro), i.e. window shutters.

The two-layer doors can have vertical, joined “talpe” on the external side, which are then usually carved in various patterns. The inner layer, in that case, can be either of joined horizontal boards or in the form of a frame.

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Some doors can have two inner layers of vertical or horizontal boards, while the external layer can be in the form of a frame. The frame can be divided into one, two or three fields and these can be with or without fillings. Usually, they have fillings or “filunge”, in the form of plates inserted into the frame grooves, and can be carved in various ways but older doors are usually without fillings.

There is a special type of door with a frame, made of wood “talpe” divided into two or three fields, filled with plates or “filunge” inserted into the frame grooves. The plates can be carved in various ways. The doors with frames are usually found as inner doors but on the external doors, a variant with two layers (both with frames) is sometimes found. Lately, doors with glass panes inserted into the frames instead of wood have been produced.

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Details of carved “filunga” plates

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

III - THE DOOR CONSERVATION

Most problems with the decay of timber can be traced back to the presence of water and moisture. Even good quality hardwoods become vulnerable to decay caused by insect attack or mould growth when saturated for long periods. Occasional saturation will not normally cause problems, so long as the timber dries in between, but when moisture remains in the timber for long periods, it breaks down the natural resistance of hardwoods, quickly leading to decay. Well-detailed and maintained timber should not become saturated. Water ingress is often caused by the failure of other building parts immediately adjacent to the timber or even some distance from it. For instance, inadequate drainage system around the building can allow water to collect around the entrance door leading to the decay and rotting of its lower section. When considering a repair, it is important that the cause of the damage is diagnosed and dealt with, as well as the actual damage to the timber part. If the causes are ignored, the repaired piece will quickly become like the original damaged section. In most cases, it should be enough to repair the original detail, but in some cases, the original detail may have been at fault caused by usage. In these cases, the fault must be corrected or the timber given extra protection to help it cope with different effects.

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Causes of decay of wooden doors

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Principles of repair of wooden doors
Always try to repair wooden door in a building rather than replace it. Often decay or structural damage affects only a part of a timber element. For instance, doors may only be rotten in the lower section, which is under greater influence of moisture, while the rest of the door may be perfectly sound. In such cases, it is sometimes enough to cut away and repair the section of timber that has failed or is rotten, whilst retaining most of the original piece.

When carrying out repairs to wooden doors, always consider these key points: 1. Assess the condition: Fitness for the job As timber ages, it often becomes rough in the texture as the grain is exposed, and wear and tear leaves marks and scars across its surface. But this texture of age is not in itself a reason to replace old timber. In fact, the texture or ‘patina’ of age is what gives old doors its character. When considering repairs to timber, it is important to try and keep as much of the original timber as possible. The judgment about whether to retain or replace a section of the wooden doors should not be made on the basis of appearance alone, but rather on the fitness of the timber piece or element to do the job it was designed for. 2. Use similar timber
When carrying out repairs, always use timber identical or similar to the original!

As a living tree, wood is composed of millions of small cells filled with moisture. When a tree is made into timber, it is dried and most of the moisture in the cells evaporates. The timber shrinks, but the cellular structure remains, and because of this, timber will continue to respond to its environment, expanding and shrinking according to the dampness of the air. It is important to bear this in mind when

When carrying out repairs by plugging, or repairs that in any other way involve letting-in and mating pieces of new timber to original joinery items, it is essential that the direction of the grain of the repair as the same as the direction of the grain of the surrounding original timber. When making new members for joinery items, the grain direction of the new member must be the same as the original member.

Moisture content: Typically, new hardwoods will have a moisture content between 15% and 18%, whereas old hardwood may have a moisture contents as low as 7%. For this reason, whenever possible, patching repairs to old items should be made using old timber of approximately the same age, taken from another old timber piece that has been discarded, or new but well dried timber. When, for instance, an entire member of a frame is to be replaced, new hardwood can be used, but the joint between old and new must allow for movement. Similar timbers: It is best to determine the species of the timber to be repaired and to use the same species for the replacement piece. Never use softwoods to repair hardwoods. The repair will always fail. Appearance: If the timber element is to be finished with a clear finish such as linseed oil, an effort should be made to match the appearance of the new timber piece (e.g. colour, grain, pattern, etc.) with the original.

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

carrying out repair to timber. For the repair to be effective, the damaged part must be cut out and a new piece of timber fixed in its place with glue or a joint/connective elements. The new section is fixed tightly against the old, but both the new timber and the old will continue to move according to the environment. If the new timber is very different from the old in density or age, it will move at a different rate. The joint between the two is put under pressure and may eventually fail.

3. Grain

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

4. Strength The strength or rigidity of a joint must not be altered in any way as a result of a repair. When joints have originally been left open to allow for movement, or fixed without glue or mechanical fastening, these must not be ‘strengthened’ during the course of the repair by addition of glue, mechanical fixings such as screws, or by any other method. Generally, care should be taken to make joints that are not too rigid or strong, as movement is inevitable, and if a joint is inflexible, the stress will be transferred to the timber, which, if old and brittle, may crack. 5. Repair in-situ It is generally better to carry out repair to timber in situ, or in other words, whilst the timber elements remains in its original position. This is because removal usually results in more unnecessary damage. However, repair in situ is possible when smaller repairs are required, however, when replacing a certain part than it is usually necessary to remove the door. In that case, the door should be carefully put back into its original position.

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

The guidelines for the conservation of wooden doors have been based on the restoration work carried out on the doors of the Visković palace and the house of the Balaban family, during the 3rd volunteer restoration camp, by the craftsmen and carpenters from Sweden through consultations with the local craftsmen.

The process of conservation of wooden doors

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

1. Analyses Before undertaking any preserving measures on the doors it is necessary to make a detailed analysis of their condition, the existing damage and the causes of that damage. It is important to establish the cause of the damage first and eliminate it, then start repairing the door. If the causes are neglected, a repaired section will soon decay again. On examining each door it is very important to establish precisely the materials they are made of. Firstly, the type of wood, and then, during and after cleaning, all the layers and composition of paint, as well as the types of nails, “brokve” screws, glue, etc. In order that the restoration is carried out in a professional manner and that its value is assessed correctly, it is necessary to analyze the structure of the doors and that all elements and details are noted and their type determined. For this it is important to establish at least the approximate age of the door. Furthermore, it is necessary to establish whether the door has already undergone any previous type of conservation or restoration and evaluate the quality of these works. Following the analyses, an adequate approach should be determined and the level of preservation work needed defined. 2. Cleaning Firstly, the surface of the door should be washed,

Removing old paint Old paint should be removed with a trowel or “rašketa” tool, always in the direction of the grain of the wood. Only the paint that comes away easily when using this method should be removed, as old wood is moist and soft so scraping tools can damage it. If old paint is in good condition and adheres well to the wood, it is recommended to keep it as an existing and protective layer. Sanding After old paint is removed, sanding, first with rough paper and then with fine must be carried out, again always in the direction of the grain. The sanding with rough sandpaper (grade ten) is done first, and then with the fine (grade eight), beginning with the sections that still have paint and then graduating to the areas that have been freshly scraped. This way the surface is made as even as possible and makes a smooth foundation for a new coating of paint. As an added improvement to the smoothness of the surface, filling small cracks and holes with natural putty is recommended. Putty is a very thick mixture of chalk and linseed oil and a door treated with putty should be left to dry at least over night, or longer if needed, as long as the putty does not leave oily traces when touched.

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

removing dust and dirt with a wet sponge and a gentle solution of washing-up liquid or ammonia. It should be left to dry, for at least one day.

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Metal work All metal elements on the doors need to be carefully cleaned using sandpaper and their original paint determined. 3. Replacing damaged sections The most delicate part of the restoration work is removing and replacing damaged sections of the door.

Selecting wood for replacement The wood used for new sections of the door should be of good quality, solid, “oily”, with a straight grain and without dark knots. It is best to use the same type of wood as the door if possible. If the same type of wood cannot be found, a wood must be used that has as many similar properties to the original type as possible, both in its physical appearance and its behaviour when treated. New wood of good quality does not require any additional protection, especially with any synthetic protective substances, as they can disrupt the natural flow of water and moisture, preventing wood from “breathing”. At the joint of two new sections it is not recommend to apply any coating, not even a thin layer of paint because two connecting surfaces function best when clean. Removing damaged parts When removing damaged sections of the door the following simple rules should be observed: care should be taken to remove the damaged part in one, two or three bigger pieces. Cutting sections into many small pieces is not recommended, as later on it is much more difficult to reassemble them correctly. By following these rules, the new connective surface is reduced and the door as a whole will last much longer. A decision should be made on which parts need to be removed and these should be marked. Once this is done the marked areas should be cut out, and it is always recommended to cut under the angle of 45 or 30 degrees, from the front view or the cross section. In this way, any water can drain away from the joint effectively. New sections should adhere to the original parts of

Joining materials Nails and screws contribute to the durability of both new and restored doors which do not have a frame as part of the structure. Nails and screws that can be obtained in our stores are made of metal, without a protective layer and therefore susceptible to corrosion. When exposed to harsh weather conditions decay starts in the join between the wood and metal, so therefore it is advisable to buy metal nails and screws coated with an anti-corrosion product, and then only use them sparingly. The greater number of joints of different materials, the greater level of risk for potential damage! It is also a question of choice whether to use nails or screws in the construction. One can be guided by the type of joining material used originally in the construction of the door. If nails were used originally, then they should also be used in the restoration process. However, if screws were used, caution is required. They are excellent for construction and they do not pierce both sides of the door, so they are visually acceptable. However, once they are used, the connected sections cannot be disassembled without some problems, as old paint has often filled the heads of the screws, giving a poor grip for the screwdriver. Therefore, care must be taken when painting to only apply a little paint on the screws. Nails are used more often than screws where

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

the door as tightly as possible and follow the direction of the grain. It is desirable to cut them in such a way as to form a frame (especially if they are in the lower segments of the door) so that they can additionally strengthen the overall construction.

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

restoration is concerned as old screws cannot be easily removed and replaced. Wooden plugs are used on framed doors as these make it easy in the future to separate the different parts. Sometimes the plugs have to be replaced to strengthen a joint if they have become rotten or worn out. Never use glue when repairing these joints, as it will make it impossible to separate the parts in the future. 4. Painting After the work mentioned previously in points 1 to 3 has taken place, the doors will be ready to paint. Today there is a great variety of paints in the shops, among them paint made of plastic components (latex, acrylic, etc.). These “plastic” paints are easy to work with, they dry quickly and it is easy to wash the brush after with water only. But these “plastic” based paints should never be used on doors, especially not entrance doors! The reason for this, is that after some time small cracks will occur, which let water into the wood, but not out again. This will lead to the door, window or other exterior wood to start to rot. Always use traditional oil paint made of linseed oil and pigments, which allow the door to “breath”, letting moisture pass out if it has seeped into the wood. If it is difficult to find ingredients for traditional paint, then at least a ready made oil paint should be used, preferably with as much linseed oil as possible, and as little additives of alkyd. Alkyd makes the paint stiffer, and as it ages it will crack and fall off. A pure linseed oil paint is more flexible, and as wood shrinks when it dries and expands when it is damp, this prevents cracking.

chemical substances or other additives. This mixture should be thinner than the other two, enabling it to penetrate deep in the wood. This is sufficient protection because the oil goes deep into wood, fills the holes, while the zinc oxide destroys micro-organisms and protects wood from new ones. To make it thinner you add about 30% of a solvent like turpentine or ligroin. Applying the protective layer should be done in all directions, so that the pores are soaked well, but when painting with linseed oil, always be sure that you leave the layer very thin, because if the coat of paint is too thick it will not dry as linseed oil needs the oxygen in the air to dry well! It should be left to dry thoroughly for up to three days in stable conditions, but no longer than 2 weeks, because the undercoat has to accept the next layer of paint. To make the surface extra smooth it can be worked with a very fine sand paper. The paint for the second layer should be of a thicker consistency than the undercoat, therefore a

not leave moist, oily traces when touched.

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

A traditional white oil paint is a mixture of white powder pigment and linseed oil. In the past, lead oxide was used and today zink and titanium oxides. To make the paint, the pigment should be mixed with a very small amount of oil, stirring/mixing carefully, so that each particle of pigment gets coated. Then more oil must be added, until a good consistency is achieved, composed of roughly of half pigment and half oil, depending on what pigments and oil are used. Three layers of paint are usually applied. One protective undercoat/base layer and two overcoats. The protective layer is made of zinc oxide and linseed oil and the wood does not require any additional

smaller amount of solvent should be used, perhaps only 10%, or even none at all depending on how viscous the linseed oil is. To get good coverage white titanium pigment should be added, making up about 50% of the pigment. It should be applied in a thin layer in the direction of fibres, and where the old wood is dented or creased, several strokes in diagonal direction are recommended so that all sections receive an equal quantity of paint. The third and final layer should have the thickest consistency of all and the door can be hung and painted in-situ a few days after the first layer of paint has dried. The sign that the paint is completely dry is when it does 

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Materials

Types of paint White lead paint White lead paint is the oldest man-made white paint, used since antiquity, has a strong covering ability. When the coating is dry it is homogeneous, elastic and durable and when mixed with oil it keeps stable in light and humidity. If not mixed with oil, in the air and light it turns grey and after some time in poorlyventilated and dark rooms it becomes pale yellow. White lead paint is toxic and caution is required when working with it. In the past, it was used as protection against corrosion, especially on ships, and also widely used in printing techniques, but today it is used only in oil techniques. White Zinc Paint White zinc paint contains zinc oxide, an artificially manufactured mineral pigment which has weak covering ability. Zinc was discovered in 1721, while the production of zinc oxide began in 1782 as an additive to lead white paint. Between 1890 and 1930 white zinc paint was regarded as the white paint of best quality, however, later research revealed its drawbacks, such as poor covering ability, weakness to humidity and brittleness. White zinc paint is resistant to the effects of damage caused by sunlight; however, it cannot be protected from humidity, not even with an oil covering. When mixed with oil it forms a brittle and hard covering which cracks easily when dry. Unlike white lead paint, zinc paint is non-toxic and that

Linseed oil Linseed oil is produced from flax seeds and it dries easily. Linseed oil produced from seeds grown in colder areas is of better quality because is has better oxidation and drying properties. Furthermore, linseed oil produced by cold pressing is of better quality than the one produced by warm pressing. Linseed oil should be kept in white glass bottles, in dry and light places, because it changes colour in shade. After production, linseed oil should be left for at least half a year to one year before it is used. It can be recognized by hay fragrance it has when rubbed into a palm.

White Titanium Paint White titanium is an inorganic pigment, a mixture of titanium dioxide and barium sulphate. The method of production of white titanium was discovered in the 1930s. This paint has the greatest covering ability of all the white pigments. It has a fine, irregularly shaped grain, which contributes to the smoothness and shine of a prepared surface. It is resistant to the effects of sunlight, especially with the addition of 5% zinc oxide, and when prepared in that way it mixes well with oil and varnishes. Schweinfurt green By its chemical composition Schweinfurt green is a compound of copper, arsenic and acetic acid. This artificial mineral pigment, of brilliant colour and green-blue shade, was discovered in 1814 in Schweinfurt. Schweinfurt green has a good covering ability, but it is not resistant to the effects of sunlight and uses a large quantity of oil (over 60%) as a suspension liquid. Schweinfurt green is a highly toxic colour and because of this and the fact that it turns dark in contact with other pigments, it is not used today. It is now only used as a protective colour for boats and its shade is replaced with synthetic organic colours and often comes on the market under the same name (Schweinfurt green).

In Montenegro and Serbia it is possible to find linseed oil of good quality produced in the country; we used the one produced by »Zvezda«. The traditional pigments used in the Boka can be difficult to find in the region but we found the white pigments in Belgrade. It is most likely that they can be found in Croatia and Italy also, and it should not be difficult for the merchants in Boka (Kotorska) to order them if asked.

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

is the main reason for it being widely used. When preparing white zinc paint it is recommended to mix it with oil and leave for 12 hours, and then to add sufficient quantity of dry pigment.

Where these paints can be found: 

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation before restoration The doors of Viskovic palace and Balaban house

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

after restoration

The doors of Viskovic

palace and Balaban house  

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Details of contemporary doors based on traditional models

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation  

The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Examples of inadequate solutions

Doorframes made of aluminum instead of wood

Inadequate colour
The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation  

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The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

Bibliography

Vinko Đurović, O konstrukcijama kuća od XVI do konca XIX vijeka u Kotorskom zalivu i njihovim graditeljima, Spomenik CIII, SANU, Beograd, 1953. Milan Zloković, Građanska arhitektura u Boki Kotorskoj u doba mletačke vlasti, Spomenik CIII, SANU, Beograd, 1953. Branislav Kojić, Seoska arhitektura u Kotorskom zalivu, Spomenik CIII, SANU, Beograd, 1953. A. Freudenreich, Narod gradi na ogoljenom krasu, Zagreb Beograd, 1962. Zoran Petrović, Selo i seoska kuća u Boki Kotorskoj, Zbornik Arhitektonskog fakulteta u Beogradu III, 1956-57. Ivan Zdravković, Drvena vrata u našoj narodnoj arhitekturi, Starine Crne Gore III-IV, Cetinje, 1965/6. Srebrica Knežević, Vrata, vratnice, kapije i ulazi -vekovna potreba organizacije i bezbednosti, Glasnik etnografskog instituta SANU, knjiga XLIX, Beograd, 2000. Conservation and Design Guidelines for Zanzibar Stone Town, UNESCO and The Aga Khan Trust for Culture Ivo Fressl, Slikarska tehnologija, Zagreb, 1996. Metka Kraihher-Hozo, Metode slikanja i materijali, Sarajevo, 1991 Namanja Brkić, Tehnologija slikarstva, vajarstva i ikonografije, Beograd, 1973. 

1 CIP – Каталогизација у публикацији Централна народна библиотека Црне Горе, Цетиње 692.8:72.025.4 ( 497.16 ) KAPETANOVIĆ, Aleksandra THE Doors in the Traditional Architecture of the Boka Kotorska and Their Conservation / [ author Aleksandra Kapetanović ; co-authors Jasminka Grgurević, Ilija Lalošević ; translation Vesna Leković ; photographs Stevan Kordić, Bojana Prazić, Kristina Janjetović ; drawings B. [Branislav] Kojić, Ilija Lalošević ]. – Kotor : EXPEDITIO ; [ Stockholm ] : Svenska Byggnadsvårdsföreningen, 2006 ( Herceg Novi : Biro konto ). – 50 str. : Ilustr. ; 16 x 16 cm Podatak o autorstvu preuzet iz impresuma. - Tiraž 500. – Bibliografija: str. 50. ISBN 86-907269-6-9 1. Gl. stv. nasl. а) Дрвена врата – Рестаурација – Бока Которска COBISS.CG-ID 10488080
The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation

EXPEDITIO Center for Sustainable Spatial Development P. O. Box 85, 85330 Kotor, Montenegro t + 381 (0)82 302 520 f + 381 (0)82 302 521 expeditio@cg.yu www.expeditio.org

Svenska Byggnadsvårdsföreningen Box 6442 113 82 Stockholm, Sweden t + 08-30 37 85, 08-30 67 85 f + 08-30 87 99 kansli@byggnadsvard.se www.byggnadsvard.se 

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