Jun '10 - Jul '10
Zagreb, Croatia_Workers Open University,
Architects: Ninoslav Kučan and Radovan Nikšić
It’s a shame how dreary buildings appear on a stormy afternoon, and how cumbersome the camera feels between cold fingers. A few minutes down the busy street from the Zagrepčanka, past the 1950s neighborhood and across the street from a contemporary glass catastrophe of a complex is the public university.
Walking closer to the entrance, a long skinny portico extends past the floating mass - yes, the building floats- to unwind and prolong the procession from the corner of the block to the front door. I walk around the complex attempting to miraculously capture “the shot”, however that building that I saw in a photograph, that building that I am attempting to capture is lost amongst the shrubs and the trees. What lies before me are small stills, fragments of weathered marble and stained steel revealing connections, openings and reflections of the surrounding neighborhood.
I walk inside. It’s bright, peaceful, calm, simple. Leaflets cover walls, potted plants line window sills and benches run along hallways. I’m amazed at the light.
Diagonal view of the university entrance from across the intersection.
View of the university entrance.
View towards the courtyard on top of the roof.
View under the portico towards the other end.
Interior view of ground floor
This research is driven to uncover and examine the idiosyncrasies of the architecture that grew out of social modernism in Yugoslavia in the 60s and 70s. Through my travels to the Ex-Yugoslav republics, I will investigate the ways in which these characteristics are informed, urbanistically and architecturally, by the historical, social and –above all- built domain of the preceding decades in Yugoslavia.