The competition site for the new Museum of Contemporary Art was located in a vacant lot at the end of Zagreb north-south axis, an imaginary line established by planners during the years of the city’s extensive growth. The Museum of Contemporary Art should perform museological activities and, at the same time, become an active site for contemporary urban life. Unfortunately, the site chosen for the competition negates the importance of a museum in everyday urban life. The other important element concerns the physical presence of the museum. Because of its active relationship with contemporary events, MOCA should remain neutral, both in its spatial organization and as a presence within the urban tissue. In this context, it was very difficult to imagine the Museum of Contemporary Art in the given location. The site can be best described as an absence, and according to growth forecasts, it will remain like that for some time. The area does not have urban character, it is not a natural environment, it does not have pedestrians, and finally, it does not have a scale. In these settings, with its ambitious program, there is a danger that the museum could be conceived of as a Mausoleum of Contemporary Art. Our position is that a museum should not appropriate sculptural form. Our proposal is at once a critical comment upon the site choice by the competitions organizers and a working museum. It was conceived of as a huge hangar, dematerialized with a reflecting and refracting facade. The facade is made of various sized steel chrome plates, which reflect the surroundings, and create a mirage effect. Instead of a building, one sees the blurred image of the site. One enters this mirage through one of two ramps. In absence of an urban setting, a new one is created inside the building. Our understanding was that this building could function in the given setting only if it was completely introverted.
Saša Randić, Idis Turato
Leora Dražul, Branka Juras, Ana Staničić, Gordan Resan, Siniša Glušica