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Dječja kuća Culture Zagreb, Croatia completed 2020

KULTURNI KOMPLEKS RIKARD BENČIĆ

Projekt

SAŠA RANDIĆ
ZORANA ŠIMUNOVIĆ
IVA VUCKOVIĆ
HELENA DIMITRIŠIN
DAŠA MANOJLOVIĆ
OLIVIJA HORVATIĆ

Tapiserija i kolorit

SANJA IPŠIĆ-RANDIĆ

Površina

2.717 m2

Godina

2020

Fotografije:

MARKO MIHALJEVIĆ

Fotografija krova s pročeljem

NIKICA HRVATIN

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

Dječja kuća je zgrada namijenjena djeci u sklopu kulturnog kompleksa Rikard Benčić. Smještena je u Ciglenoj zgradi, industrijskom skladištu s kraja 19. st., čija je rekonstrukcija sastavni dio projekta Revitalizacije kompleksa Benčić.
Obnova bloka započela je sredinom 1990-tih, kroz koju se mogu pratiti promjene u pristupu obnovi graditeljske baštine i razvoja grada, od arhitektonskih natječaja za uređenje bloka i izgradnje MMSU kao kapitalnog objekta hrvatske kulture s početka 2000-tih, do sadašnjeg koncepta postupnog nastanjivanja postojećih zgrada, po kojem je obnovljena i Ciglena zgrada.

O zgradama kulture

Zgrada je zamišljena kao svojevrsno predvorje ustanova i organizacija u kulturi koje su planirane u i oko bloka Benčić: Muzeja moderne i suvremene umjetnosti, Gradske knjižnice Rijeka, Muzeja grada Rijeke, Gradskog kazališta lutaka i Art kina, ali i kao simboličko predvorje svijeta kulture namijenjena u prvom redu djeci do dvanaest godina.
U kući se odvijaju edukativni programi i produkcija programa gradskih ustanova, te neovisnih organizacija poput Vijeća mladih Benčić. Planirane aktivnosti uključuju video i filmsku produkciju u filmskom studiju, snimanje glazbe, pripovjedno kazalište, interaktivno kazalište za bebe, izradu lutki, “senzorno” kazalište za djecu s poteškoćama u razvoju, projekcije filmova za djecu, dječji odjel gradske knjižnice Stribor.

Uz ove namjene, dječja kuća služi i za organizaciju ostalih, “ne-dječjih” događanja susjednih ustanova.
Polivalentni karakter zgrade neobičan je u današnjem formatu kulturne infrastrukture, i nalik je arhitekturi domova kulture i narodnih domova 20. st., koji su osim umjetničkih sadržavali i obrazovne programe, pokrivajući širu definiciju područja kulture, i predstavljali društvena središta cijele zajednice.
U suvremenom kontekstu pozicije kulture i razdvojenih segmenata društva, zgrada koja je namijenjena djeci izdvaja se po tome što je namijenjena općoj populaciji, doduše jednom demografskom sloju, ali svejedno populaciji širih i različitih interesa.

O arhitekturi za djecu

Arhitektura za djecu, naglašenije nego druge zgrade, povezuje percepciju prostora s memorijom njegova korištenja.
Zgrada u kojoj djeca stječu svoja prva iskustva, znanja i pronalaze vlastito mjesto u zajednici, nije prostor mehaničke funkcionalnosti, nego formativni prostor koji je bitan dio svačije osobne memorije. Tjelesni osjećaj materijala, boje, svjetla, odnosa mjerila zgrade i peripersonalnog prostora, bitni su elementi tog iskustva.

O obnovi baštine

Projektom obnove zgrade obuhvaćena je sanacija vanjskog zida s pročeljem od pune opeke i rustičnim žbukanim lezenama, kao i zatečenih lijevano-željeznih stupova, zadržanih u dijelu interijera zgrade. Novi program umetnut je u svojevrsnu kutiju unutar postojećih ciglenih zidova zgrade, dok su po obodu, u međuprostoru starog i novog zidnog platna, postavljene stepenice koje se spiralno penju uz pročelje zgrade. Zid od pune opeke ojačan je s unutarnje strane betonskim zidnim platnom, koje je, kao i unutarnji betonski zid iz vidljivog betona, naglašenog kolorita.
Sve instalacije su vođene kao vidljive, prikazujući strukturu suvremenih zgrada u interijeru.

O arhitekturi, prostornoj percepciji i ostalom

Novi volumen obješen je o bočne zidove, ostavljajući na taj način prizemlje u potpunosti slobodno. Ovakav pristup organizacije prostora proizlazi iz same namjene kuće. Zgrada u koju se ulazi zamišljena je kao “čarobna kutija”, koja u svojim prolazima skriva prostorije različitih karaktera, koji se postupno otkrivaju.

Prizemlje je dnevni boravak zgrade, iz kojeg kreću stepenice na gornje katove zgrade. Materijalom i svjetlom, mekanim gumenim podom i ogledalima, naglašen je ulaz u drugu dimenziju. Prostori u volumenu iznad prizemlja postupno se otkrivaju sa stepenica, kružnim kretanjem kroz zgradu.

Iznad prizemlja je stepenasti volumen tribina višenamjenske dvorane, pojedinačno najveće prostorije u kući. Gledalište ima kapacitet od 80 stolica, dok je dvorana namijenjena za kino projekcije i scenske predstave. U produžetku dvorane je izložbeni prostor, odnosno pretprostor izvođača, koji je mostom povezan s novom zgradom MMSU.

Drugi kat je prostor glazbene i audiovizualne radionice sa studijima i prostorom režije, te prostorom igraonice, obložene tapiserijom šumskih motiva.
Na trećem katu zgrade je Dječji odjel Stribor Gradske knjižnice Rijeka, knjižnica u knjižnici, riječki centar dječje knjige.

Stepenice dalje vode na krovnu terasu i polivalentni prostor, u kojem Gradsko kazalište lutaka planira održavati predstave “senzornog” kazalište.
Krovna terasa je dijelom natkrivena, vizualno odvojena od neposrednog okruženja spuštenim horizontom.

Electricity Transmission Operator Facility

Architects 
RANDIĆ I SURADNICI, RIJEKA

Team
SAŠA RANDIĆ, IVA VUCKOVIĆ, IVA ŠULINA, ZORANA ŠIMUNOVIĆ

Location
MATULJI, CROATIA

Area
8,496 m2

Year
2019

Photographs
MARKO MIHALJEVIĆ

This building complex contains the offices, workshops and garages of the Croatian Transmission System Operator, Transmission Area Rijeka Centre.

The buildings are located next to the existing substation, emphasising the industrial character of the construction. The prefabricated concrete blocks provide space for the workshops and garages, while the offices are housed in the glazed volume.
The main focus of the project was the skin of the office building, as regards to the Nearly Zero Energy Building requirements and the architecture of office spaces.
The inner space of the double skin façade is accessible from the offices, allowing individual cultivation of plants in the preinstalled containers. The building’s skin is the only dynamic element of the complex’s austere design, constantly changing both the appearance of the building and the view from the inside.

Project team
Randić and Associates
Saša Randić, Vesna Milutin, Daša Manojlović, Olivija Horvatić, Tina Filjak Juračić, Iva Šulina, Sanja Ipšić-Randić, Iva Vucković

Structure
Ivan Arbanas

HVAC
Andrija Čuljak, Damir Šiljeg

Photographs
Jure Živković

Location
Bakar, Croatia

Project
2012.-2016.

Cultural Centre in Bakar, a historical town on the north Adriatic coast, was originally built as Community Centre during the 1970’s. Community Centre’s had a significant role in the society, designated for diffusion of culture in smaller communities.

Various characteristics of socialist political and cultural environment have contributed to their outspread.

Culture had a clearly defined ideological position as part of the social Superstructure, so it had resources to stimulate different forms of cultural production and social activity. Cultural activity was not limited to art alone, but it has encompassed other activities including education. Lifelong learning courses have been regularly organized in Community Centers.

Next to it, traditional social gatherings took place in the Centre, taking the role that National Houses had in the pre-socialist society.
All of this has made Community Centers most important buildings in the municipalities, recognized as the center of a community. For that reason they have been usually built as oversized and monumental buildings.

Community Centers have been usually constructed in cities built on post-war industrialization, contrasting both elements of the Marxist cultural theory, Base, representing industrial production, and Superstructure, housed in Community Centre. The building in Bakar follows the same pattern. During the 1970’s, landscape surrounding the medieval town was dominated by heavy industry. Architecture of the Community Centre seemed to have responded to neighboring scale and form of industrial plants and port infrastructure. The building was divided in several parts, typical for Community Centers of the period; central hall for events, offices for municipal administration, rooms for civil societies and communal area with café and a bowling alley.

The industry has disappeared with the transitional processes of the 1990’s, but so has the social environment that has enabled activity in the Centre. Like in many other post-socialist locations, the change in cultural policy has emptied the budget, leaving a structure too big for contemporary needs.
The building was gradually decaying and largely out of use, until the reconstruction works began in 2012.

Restoration approach is embracing the fact this is an oversized building with an expressive geometry.

Interior of the building is cleared of all partitions, creating one big covered space, opening to the surrounding terrain. Without a fixed set of activities, unlike from the period when it was built, the building is conceived as an empty shell that can accommodate various programs. It is a generous covered public space, periodically colonized with municipal events and gatherings. Structural wall is dividing the interior in two, concert hall on one side and a large open space on the other, housing workshops, café and area available to local NGO’s.

Expressive shape of the building, previously covered with metal panels, has been reduced to basic geometrical shapes, emphasized with colors.

Recent selection of the neighboring city of Rijeka as European Culture Capital for 2020, creates a new environment and condition where culture represents an agency for a once strong industrial region to reinvent itself. Cultural Centre offers to the city of Bakar an opportunity to take part in these processes.

 

Museum of Apoxyomenos is a building specifically converted to house one single exhibit: The Athlete of Croatia, a famous 192 cm high bronze sculpture made most likely in 2nd or 1st century BC in a Greek foundry. The sculpture was raised from the sea in the vicinity of the island Lošinj in Northern Adriatic in 1999.

Statue is one of few remaining Greek bronze sculptures from Hellenistic period and one of the best preserved.

Discussion where to display the sculpture has involved different cities, but at the end the choice fell on city of Mali Lošinj. This decision was in line with the Croatian cultural policy from the 1990’s, favoring construction of museums in smaller communities. Museums have demonstrated capacity to generate social interaction and become true public spaces, so it made perfect sense to display the sculpture right next to the place it was discovered.

Chosen location for the museum was Pallazo Kvarner, an existing building forming the historical waterfront and the city’s facade, the “Riva”.

Two elements of this narrative were important for the architectural approach. The first one was that the sculpture found in the sea had actually no connection with the surrounding and it clearly belonged to a very different time and place.

The second one was a curious decision not to build a new building for it, but to use the interior of an existing house instead. Conditions from the Conservation Department even prohibited any intervention on the façade, demanding it to be restored in the original shape. It seemed odd that one of the most magnificent finds from Hellenistic period had to be displayed inside a carefully restored not-so-significant building.

For that reason museum was conceived as a completely independent metal casing, inserted inside the perimeter walls of the existing building. Display in the interior of a building also implied a more intimate presentation of the sculpture.

The inserted element is an exhibition device, dividing the area in 3 different spaces: exhibition space, residual space (service space) and public space.

Exhibition space is created from a predetermined exhibition concept, defining enclosed area of the museum. The outer shape of it is a wrap-up of these spaces.

The residual space, between the metal casing and the walls, is used as administrative and auxiliary space of the museum.

Third is the public space. Ground floor is conceived as a covered extension of the waterfront promenade, open for different uses, from exhibitions to various events.

Dynamics of the waterfront, particularly during the summer months, are not creating the most appropriate background for the museum. Waterfront is a vibrant public space, full with attractions, that are at the same time distractions.

Exhibition space, leading gradually to the sculpture, was conceived as a path.

The competition brief mentioned purification and decontamination of visitors in technical description of air-conditioning and ventilation requirements. It became apparent that the location required a sort of emotional purification as well, to prepare the visitors for the encounter with the sculpture

One of most common ritual forms of purification is a procession. Visitor is led, through a succession of the spaces and gradually prepared for the contact.

Architectural space is seen as a “architectural promenade”, as Corbusier used to call it, as a personal journey through space. Sequence of different spaces creates enough distance between the sculpture and the street but it also creates a sense of anticipation and discomfort, liberating the senses for the encounter.

Journey starts with an escalator, that brings group in the first room with exhibition displays about the sculpture and the find.

The second room is a soft room covered with thick carpet, where the visitors watch the movies.

From there a narrow staircase leads to a periscope room, where one sees the sculpture from below, and in enlarged details on the screen.

The path continues in the olive-tree cladded corridor with displays exhibiting organic material found in the sculpture.

From there the group finally enters the exhibition room with the sculpture.

Journey ends in the last room in the attic, mirroring the view of the bay.

 

Title: Museum of Apoxyomenos
Location: Mali Lošinj, Croatia
Client: City of Mali Lošinj
Authors: Saša Randić and Idis Turato
Competition: 2008
Project: 2009-2012
Construction: 2012-2015
Photography: Jure Živković

 

 

 

 

 

 

Car showroom Rijeka, Croatia built

Bus station Delnice, Croatia built in 2012

The bus station is situated in the vicinity of the old Delnice bus station, on the outskirts of the settlement, right next to the forest. The bus station consists of two architectural elements: the bus shelter and accompanying retail building, and the large zigzag roof covering the platform and bus shelter area. The building elements have a clear reference to the construction practice of Gorski kotar: a slanted tin roof, and asbestos-cement facades.

culture Rijeka, Croatia

The competition area is located within the former industrial complex in the city center. The museum, as one of the more important transformational programs, is situated in a T-shaped building of the former cigarette factory which dominates the northern part of the complex. The competition requires protection of the existing building and its transformation into a museum with a total surface area of 9000 m2.

The main concept stems from the understanding that the MSU (The Museum of Modern And Contemporary Art) should keep its neutral disposition equally in spatial organization and its prevalence without an urban theme, due to its active relationship with contemporary events.

The original building is preserved with an addition of two glazed cubes closing it in a single compact form. The exhibition and warehouse premises are positioned inside, while the external edge of the building (in the new and old parts of the building) has been planned for access to the exhibition and faces outwards.

The part of the program generally open to the public is spread alongside the building. The public hall follows the north-south axis, providing access to the exhibition area, shops, restaurant and public parking space in the basement. This area has been extended to the roof, where other public programs are also situated (the library, café bar, store, etc.), what prolongs the museum’s activity period. The roof kept its original geometry, but was replaced with a glass roof, thus opening it towards the environment, at the same time outlining the building’s new role.

culture Zagreb, Croatia

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.

 

education Rijeka, Croatia

Faculty of Technology in Rijeka is located in former 19. CT military barracks. The building has been reconstructed in the 1960s, when were also added new workshops and laboratories to the north, connected with a metal bridge with the main building.

This project is dealing with the space between these two buildings. Additional 3 floors of lecture rooms and workshops are added to the old building. This new volume is closed with a glazed facade consisting of 3,6 m high glass beams and 3,6x1m glass panels. New connection to the north wing is located in the suspended metal frame, covered with a curtain of perforated anodized panels

Mixed-use Rijeka, Croatia
Hospitality Volosko, Croatia

The housing structure in Volosko is being converted into 5 luxury apartments, the restaurant terrace is being reconstructed on the ground floor along with the construction of a wine cellar, assisting areas and a new terrace at the back of the structure.

By reconstructing the restaurant, the existing interior space including the kitchen, sanitary installations and equipment is thus removed and replaced with a new canopied terrace. Tables for receiving guests are situated in the foreground of the restaurant, while the sanitary installations and the locale’s kitchen are situated on the north side of the structure. A new awning is being rendered on the terrace as well as folding glass facades that, in the summer period, open onto the terrace, covered with a wood pergola in which green climbing plants are interwoven.

The restaurant’s interior consists of ceiling coating made from epoxy segments according to the model of the outer awning that connects the interior and exterior restaurant space, paneled with wenge noble wood.

Office building Baku, Azerbaijan

 

Transport terminals are one of the most significant generators of the city life. At the same time, they are in most cases almost invisible in the build fabric. There are few examples where the city has been built around them, like in the case of Lille.  Nevertheless, potential that large numbers of people generate everyday has been recognized by the commercial sector. Biggest shopping mall in The Netherlands is in the Schiphool airport.

 

Concept for the area of the metro station starts from two positions. First, that programmatically transport station represents an opportunity for the development of different programs, from commercial to office ones. Second, that an important structure like this one should be appropriately represented in the architectural form.

 

The proposal integrates transportation terminals into one: bus, train and metro stations, with an addition of parking places between them. Terminal is a place of change of the transportation system and usually a significant portion of the commuters is using the terminal to switch from car to a form of public transport.

Commercial program is located along the communication lines between the terminals. Base of the terminal is in the hill form, through which and on top of it passes the car traffic. The roof surface houses at the same time an open market.

 

Main feature of the terminal are twin A towers with a mixed program of offices, housing and hotels. Towers form together an M shape seen from the boulevard and the highway leading from the airport, symbolically connecting in the metro sign letters of the Azerbaijan, but at the same time making a clear reference to the mountains as a referential symbol of the country.

Hospitality Silves, Portugal

The concept for the houses in Silves is based on the belief that tourism provides new opportunities for a redefinition of the contemporary territory, especially along the densely inhabited tourist areas.

 

When one states that tourism brings “discontinuities” in the contemporary territory, it is, in effect, a good thing: it brings emotions back into business, no matter how primordial they are. Tourism is the only field where one can actually apply experimentation to the architectural product: models like mobile homes, which were promoted by the architectural debate and embraced only by the American working class, have re-emerged in the late tourist resort boom in the Mediterranean coast, only now inhabited by the middle class.

 

Research of the new housing model is based on an emotional rather than rational concept of inhabiting the territory characteristic for tourism, which correlates to the case-study housing conceptual models that epitomize a physical, almost therapeutic relationship with nature.

Mixed-use Rijeka, Croatia developed in 2007

Zagrad project is located in the center of Rijeka. Project is located on top of the underground garage with 900 parking places and a future city train station.
The mixed-use program of 18000 m2 consists of retail and office spaces and in third of housing. Center is divided in 6 separate office buildings, each with a different façade, on top of which is laid a continuous structure of apartments. Seen as the most stable element of the program, apartments are designed as individual two-storey houses accessed from the roof terrace with gardens.

Project is characteristic for the modern dynamics, where it is increasingly difficult for one office to control the whole process of construction. The plan was made by one office, the garage has been designed by another one, then the third has designed the access road and the train station, Randić-Turato was responsible for the main part, the mixed used program, and in the course of construction other offices have been defining different interior parts of the building for their clients.

Secondly, the project proves that architecture is too slow. During the construction there has been a series of modification due to the change of final users. The project has been constantly confronted with the situation where it followed-up new requests.

Such context is typical for the commercial projects, that redefines traditional client-architect relationship. Client being a developer is no longer the final user and the whole project is normally financed by another party. Usually, there is also an intermediary between them, a project manager, who is increasingly taking over the position previously controlled by the architect.

Nature of the project also influences the design method, that must count on the project dynamics as the most certain element of the program. The façades are deliberately disengaged from the inner structure, which never seemed to stop changing, while the apartments, following the logic of a self-generating structure have been able to absorb new staircases, galleries and numerous partitions. In such context the project must be able to accommodate imperfection. To put it in simple terms, if Keith Richards stumbles on the stage, it is a normal part of performance, if the same thing happens to David Bowie, it is a total disaster. The benefit of imperfection.

office building Zagreb, Croatia

Adris Group Building project is a competition entry for the new headquaters of the company in Zagreb from 2007. The site was a former tobacco factory located in one of the blocks of the western part of the 19ct Zagreb Lower Town. The old factory building, buit in 1882, was to be preserved and transformed in a museum, and the remaining part of the site was left for the new office program. The site is uncaracteristic for the Zagreb block structure: it is facing the railway and a bussy street on the southern side, and it has a gas station inside the block that had to be kept in the proposal, a unique condition for the Zagreb city center.

 

The project investigated corporative office typology and its ability to generate public space. Offices are by nature a closed program, difficult to create an exciting urban environment.  Instead of building a structure on the perimeter of the block, that creates a characteristic configuration with public street on the outside and enclosed private court on the inside,  the concept raises the program in a structure that hovers over the existing block. In this way the ground floor was made completely accessible to the public, creating a covered square below the new office building.  A condition similar to the scene from the Independence Day film, when the gigantic flying saucers covered the whole cities.

 

The building is generated through free connection of the independent geometries, supporting structure as one, and a “flying saucere” as second one. Similar to the way forms like “New Babylon” sculptures, or cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants have been created. The new structure is supported with four sets of large steel columns. Access to the office part is through four supporting “legs”,  each with a program on the ground floor and a hollow core leading to the structure above. Offices are organized within a horizontal frame structure, combined with programs like recreation center, restaurants, child care facilities.  This mixed structure takes advantantage of the penthouse condition with a 360 degree panorama of Zagreb.

 

The follow-up of the competition has demonstrated the difficulties for introduction of new typologies in a regulated urban environment.

 

Tourism Dubrovnik, Croatia preliminary design

The concept of the villa follows the organizational logic of historical Dubrovnik villa typology. The building is organized in a rectangular two-wing structure, defined principally with a series of intersecting vaults. It is a completely transparent structure enclosed with only glass doors that can be fully folded thus extending the inner space of the villa into the surrounding garden. The garden follows the same logic, defining a geometrized territory inserted in a natural landscape.

The villa is organized on two floors: the ground floor contains a living area extending to the cliff with an outside pool area, with a kitchen and dining area located next to it. The living area is extended on the first floor, with an inner swimming pool area next to it.

The Villa is positioned on the western part of the site, which offers spectacular views of the city of Dubrovnik and the coast. Both floors of the living wing share this vista as well as a view of the valley on the other side. The bedroom wing is also arranged in two floors, providing eight large bedrooms.

The guest house is located on the other side of the geometric garden, sharing the same organizational logic as the main house.

Tourism Dubrovnik, Croatia preliminary design

The villa develops concept of the free-plan building, where the whole site is seen as an extension of the house.

Building is defined with the flying green volume hovering on top of the ground floor. The ground floor contains living areas organized in a free plan, enclosed with the curved glass wall.  Inner and outside swimming pools mark this line, which is intended to be opened as much as the climate conditions allow.

The green volume on top houses bedrooms. It offers eight large bedrooms with terraces, organized in four wings.

Villa is located in the western part of the site, offering spectacular views on the city and the coast. Guest house is detached from the main building, giving greater privacy to the guests. It is following the same conceptual logic of the main building, a free plan space with the outside pool area marking the horizon line of the sea.

 

Family house Zagreb, Croatia completed in 2012

The building is located in Zagreb, in a residential area from early 20th century. The area is a park with inserted houses, while the lot itself is located at a prominent place, the structure’s perimeters facing the city park. The villas have characteristic features in line with the then social etiquette: introverted, of simple geometry, devoid of any excessive ornaments. The program is atypical for contemporary housing production in Croatia, even though it played an important role in the past. The beginning of Modern period in Croatia is also connected to the typology of urban villas. As in the buildings of the former period, the villas were once again unobtrusive in shape oriented towards interior intimacy.

The project aims to reinterpret models of Zagreb villas. The building is a compact, simple volume with openings in the concrete membranes thus framing the surrounding green spaces.  The house’s interior follows the program’s logic and the user’s particular requests: the building is intended for a family of three. The ground floor and basement are comprised of common rooms: the entrance hall and living spaces which follow the topography of the terrain, while a concealed indoor swimming pool is situated in the basement underneath it all. Two separate private units with bedrooms share a common central space on the upstairs landing. The building developed as a result of a collaborative process with its owner, and wasn’t brought to an end with the completion of the project but continued all through the construction phase.

Residential Rijeka, Croatia completed in 2002
education Pula, Croatia completed in 2009 – 2010

“Veli Vrh” is a Pula suburb with low-density housing dominated by the primary school situated on top of the hill. In February 2008 the school caught fire and was completely burned down, thus creating an unusual void bordering with pine trees in the middle of a typical suburban sprawl. This specific condition of emptiness served as the basis of the design concept.

This new primary school project is the winning entry of the competition released soon after the fire, in August 2008. The brief extended the program of the school with the Kindergarten, swimming pool and the Community Center, recognizing the school as the neighborhood’s focal point.

Due to the above-mentioned reason, the project divided the program into separate volumes forming a heterogeneous structure, creating an urban fabric in place of a building. The school is dismantled in its basic elements and re-connected in a new complex. Individual parts of the school consist of the following premises: classrooms, offices, a library and a gym. All the premises are conceived as separate buildings, connected with a longitudinal hall covered with a large canopy. The Kindergarten and the Community Center are located on the other side, encircling the site.

The location of the former school that went up in flames is left as a void space. This area is a natural amphitheater located in the center of the site, used as a playground and stage for both public and school events.

education Krk, Island of Krk, Croatia completed in 2005

Elementary school “Fran Krsto Frankopan” in the city of Krk is situated on north-east corner of the medieval town.

Decision to locate the school within the medieval city was intensly discussed within the community and the city council. The central issue of the discussion was of course the dilema where to locate the building: within the city center, on the site of the existing school where everyone was used to have the school, or in the outscirts, where the school would have a larger area and better accessibility, but it lacked the specific character of the existing location. Finally, the decision to position the school was followed with an invited competition, where the whole community has participated in the choice of the project. This project is a winning entry from this competition.

Scale of the intervention in proportion to the size of the town made it an urban project.
First important element was the relation to the city wall. The idea of replacing the existing school with the new one was in part generated by the Monument Protection Department, that wanted to change the existing skyline of the city dominated by the late 19ct school building. At the same, construction of the new school has enabled archeological research and reconstruction of the city wall.

This context ment that the new building had to recess as much as possible from the fortification and respect the skyline where the fortification and the churches were the most important elements.

Building is following the property limits and at terrain topography resulting in a broken Z-shape. The facade has no architectural elements. It is defined with the shadow of cantelivered pre-fabricated concrete elements, creating a frame around the first floor. Classrooms are facing the city wall and the space in-between: the younger ones are on the ground floor having the court in front of the classrooms, and the older ones have the view over the wall on the first floor.

The second issue concerning the positioning of the school was its relation with the urban matrix. Size of the contemporary school in proportion to the size of the medieval city had the imminent danger that the school would be too big to fit in. For that reason the school was conceived as a part of the city, erasing the borders between the public space and school areas, making school a part of the city. Street and square are transformed in the school territory: with gym on the other side, school opens to the stret with main entrance and its public elements: multipurpose hall and restaurant, engaging reciprocal relationship between the street and the school. Public territory is used as a school territory at the same time. Path along the fortification, to the east of the school, is also open to the public leading from the school garden on the north to the nursery on the south.

Street façade, unlike the one facing the wall, is defined with the characteristic contextual elements: flat profilation and coloured plaster, with internal colours exiting on the façade and different granulation of the plaster defining the proportion of this façade.

The roof of the building is covered with chunks of the local stone that are in the same size as in divisory walls on the island. The same stone was evidently used for the fortification and is also used in the prefabricated elements on the school, either casted in the retaining walls or as a granulate in the façade elements, giving the concrete the same colour of the stone.

Two beams of the Z-shape volume are connected in the entrance hall. Hall has double height, connecting the floors with the ramps and further to the corridors. Internal corridors, following the irregural sloap of the terrain, have been interpreted as an extension of the town streets, following the conception that the school is a part of the city.

Family house, low-enegy house Kostrena, Croatia completed in 2011
Museum Qobustan, Azerbaijan preliminary design

The concept of the Rock Art Cultural Center proposal is a landscape gesture – by forming a new landscape in the manner of earth art, the whole center is becoming part of this outstanding natural environment; by enclosing the museum with meandering perimeter walls, a new quality of open- air space is provided- a square, a path, an exhibition area, a buffer zone. The existing building remains intact, but it is given a new context which generates new values.

religious/ culture Rijeka, Croatia completed in 2008

The Church of Our Lady of Trsat is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Croatia. According to the legend, angels transferred the Nazareth Tabernacle of the Holy Family to Trsat on 10 May 1291 where it remained until 1294 when angels transferred it to Loreto, Italy.

The first church was built at the end of the 13th century, and in the 15th century a new church and the Franciscan monastery were constructed. It was enlarged and re-constructed several times since.

The idea to ad a Great Hall building to the complex is connected with the Pope’s visit to Rijeka. At the beginning of June 2003 Pope John Paul II has arrived in Croatia for the third time. Being only the second Pope to visit Croatia (the first, Alexander III has been shipwrecked in 12th century), his visits had a broader social significance.

During his stay in Rijeka he has visited the Trsat church for a private prayer, and has on that occasion blessed the construction of the Monastery’s new building that would serve the pilgrims and house cultural activities of the monastery.

The new building is situated by the eastern wall, where were previously located service buildings. With this reconstruction a new major entrance for the pilgrims has been created at that part, and in order to accommodate the pedestrian flow the whole wall has been recessed creating a new public walk on the outside.

The new construction consists of two elements: a generic volume of the hall and a columned portico that is creating a new public square within the monastery. The Hall is cladded in a single terracotta-brick surface with a pixelized structure created by the changing gap between the elements, bringing the light in the hall.

The portico is supported with a series of short concrete walls, whose functional use was recognized during the 15 August pilgrimage in 2007, when these spaces have been used for confessions.

Residential and office building Rijeka, Croatia completed in 2009

The residential and office building in Agatićeva Street is a kind of filling for a long time desolate hole in the very centre of the town, which also opened the new pedestrian stretch that connects the Korzo with the northern end of the Delta. It is a detached house that concludes the row of houses on the northern border of Rijeka’s Old Town.

The structure is an interpretation of anonymous city architecture with a geometrised envelope as the main feature that finds its logic in the geometry of Stealth planes. This envelope is continued from the façade to the roof, where large skylights are opened mechanically.

In the program sense the structure did not have defined contents until it was finished, so that it was planned in the way to enable interaction of different private and public programs. At the end of all program changes, the building was turned into a polyclinic, while apartments were moved to the fourth floor and under the roof. The apartments have a separate access to the common courtyard on the fourth floor.

Tourism Rovinj, Croatia in progress

As John Urry states in his book “Globalizing the Tourist Gaze”, recognition and attraction of every tourist location is tied to identifying its specific traits within the contours of global geography, history and culture. An important feature of tourism is that it takes on the role of the “other”, that which is different from the everyday. Thus, the success of a location isn’t contained so much in the comfort level of accommodation or quality of dining, but in providing concepts that offer excitement or a unique experience, and to what measure originality and uniqueness are recognized on a global scale.

The approach to designing a tourist development cannot be led by rational and utilitarian principles, rather a tourist development, especially one tied to the seaside area, has to possess elements of a spectacle. The concept of a tourist development project is led by precisely this principle, that the possibilities of creating exciting and interesting spaces are researched through the open hotel spaces or through the typology of bungalows.

The Amarin Hotel is part of the summer tourist resort, set at the highest point of the complex, from where an exceptional view unfolds towards all sides, especially towards the sea and the Rovinj peninsula with its city core.. The concept of the project is the result of a program and a location.

The hotel consists of two clear elements: a topographically shaped basement and ground floor with joint contents, along with a two-storey cross-section volume with rooms, freely placed all over the ground floor.

The driveway overhangs and shelters one of the four wings of rooms and continues on to the lobby area. Formatively and spatially the interior does not differ from the exterior, like in Brazilian examples of public buildings where there are no barriers between the exterior and interior areas.

The ground floor premises are freely connected, so that open communication leads through the hotel lobby across the restaurant premises to the outdoor restaurant terrace and further on to the bar and animation area.

All the rooms are situated on two floors, with four tentacles in the blueprint taking the shape of an irregular cross ( a “propeller”), out of which three cover the contents of the ground floor, while the fourth is set on the columns above the entrance area. The hotel consists of a total of 172 rooms of which 30% have the possibility of merging into a family apartment.

Tourism Rovinj, Croatia in progress

The hotel is located on the top of the old town’s peninsula in the middle of one of the iconic views of the Adriatic coast. The current hotel is a mixed structure of the original construction from the 1960s and recent unfortunate additions that have motivated the city’s administration and the hotel owner to search for a solution through a public architectural competition. Historically, the site has never been part of the densely built medieval structure, it has been vacant till the middle of the last centrury. The edge condition between the built and green peak of the city was important for the concept of the project. The hotel is also and out-of-scale building. Thus the building is a new topography with a series of terraces. The roof structure interlocks the green area and roof tops, changing the green and bricked covering the terraces.

office building Rijeka, Croatia completed in 2005

The Partner Bank office building is situated in front of the medieval gate of Rijeka’s city center. The building originates from the 18th century, when it was one of the first buildings of Civitas nova, the baroque new town erected outside the city walls. It is flanked by two higher and more recent 19th century buildings. The objective of the project was not only to increase the density and floor area of the building, but to reestablish the presence of the building within the urban skyline. The Department of Historical Building Preservation demanded that the existing three-storey building be preserved. In addition, numerous reconstruction and years of improvised additions have made the existing building and nearby department store a nearly inseparable, complex structure. The new owner admitted that the reestablishment of the building’s autonomy would be an impossible task. These facts have clearly influenced the concept of reconstruction. A new volume is placed on top of the existing one. It ‘peels-away’ from its solid base as it rises. Each successive floor has a set-back and a reduced ‘materiality’ of constructional elements, resulting in an increased transparency that culminates in the building’s roof terrace. Behind the facade’s metal screen wall the first floor has a concrete wall, the second a concrete parapet, the third a glass wall, and the fourth merely an empty frame. The main feature of the facade is a curtain of perforated panels which are placed in front of the glass. Openings inside this curtain follow the rhythm of the lower base, vanishing on the top two floors. The existing volume has been kept in its original form.

museum Novigrad, Croatia completed in 2006

Novigrad Lapidarium Museum houses the collection of early medieval monuments, architectural sculpture and church furnishings, which all come from the neighbouring cathedral.

Building is situated inside the park bordered by the cathedral and residential buildings on the other sides. One of the specifics of Novigrad, in comparison with other historical towns on the western coast of Istria, is that it has a large proportion of parks inside the historical city structure. This condition has been recognized as significant for the project.

Lapidarium is essentially two black boxes and the park. The boxes reconstruct the original rooms of the remains. The hexagonal concrete box represents the baptistery inside which the stone remains of the ciborium are displayed in their original position. The rectangular box is proportioned in relation with the altar partition exhibited inside it.

All the remaining space is opening to the park covered by a roof supported by the two boxes, glazed with the rotational glass panels that open on the park. During the events housed by the Museum, the building performs as a central stage, using the whole park extending to the public square on the other side of the cathedral.

office building Zagreb, Croatia

The office building project on Zagreb Avenue is an attempt to redefine the model of office buildings that have two main characteristics: they want to be a glass tower and are indifferent towards their surroundings. This project is set up on an opposite assumption.

It’s debatable whether we can call an 18-storey building a tower, or just a somewhat higher building. Such structures are awkward or have condensed layouts so as to gain an elegant vertical line, much like a slightly reduced mock-up of real towers.

This structure isn’t a tower, merely a building of a slightly larger volume which regularly makes use of the available area for placing content. A part towards the Zagreb Avenue was revoked from the full volume of the building, where a new canopied city square was designed. This space is defined by the construction of wrought iron brackets, beams, and stairs that create mutual relationships with the building’s volume with clear references to New Babylon and the constructivists.

The issue of public space isn’t only tied to the typology of office buildings but to the character of significant city highways such as the Zagreb Avenue, which implies a passageway, while not stopping along the building itself. However, in this case, the surrounding densely built area grants the potential of transformation of the Zagreb Avenue from a highway to a city avenue. Of course, that’s dependent on the typology of buildings built in its vicinity.