Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Architect Igor Ekstajn Proposes Idea for Zagreb Waste Based on US City

June the 29th, 2022 - Respected architect Igor Ekstajn has come up with an innovative idea with which we might solve the City of Zagreb's continuing issues with waste removal and disposal - all based on an American city.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, architect Igor Ekstajn recently spoke about the continuing waste problems being faced by the the City of Zagreb during an episode of N1 Newsnight. He commented on how the problem of waste disposal in Zagreb could be solved based on the American city of Boston's model.

“The most elegant solution is for us not to simply let this rubbish pile up in public spaces: many of the City of Zagreb's buildings have been designed to have waste disposal rooms on the ground floor (in the basement). Family houses have gardens attached to them where rubbish containers can be stored. The principle is that this rubbish is then sorted and separated on the plot of a residential building or house, and then is collected at a certain time when Cistoca (the communal service company responsible for waste removal) will come and pick up the rubbish to take it away, I think that is the most elegant way to deal with this. That way, there's no presence of these containers and as such, rubbish, in the city's public spaces,'' architect Igor Ekstajn explained.

The local Zagreb Government has postponed the implementation of a new waste separation model, and Ekstajn commented that waste collection is regulated in Boston.

“In Boston, buildings have rooms on the ground floor/basement where the rubbish is separated. The manager of the building is obliged to take the containers out onto the street once a week and then the binmen come and pick up the containers,'' said the architect.

He also commented on the possible construction of social housing in the City of Zagreb, stating that these residential buildings should not simply be built in the cheapest locations possible.

"This should be thought of as point construction in several different locations and thus the stigmatisation of people living in such apartments will be gradually eliminated. Secondly, the city will have a more even and better population structure,'' the architect explained, adding that Gredelj should be considered as a space with great potential.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Croatian Architects Win Silver Medal at Architectural Olympics in Tokyo

ZAGREB, 27 Oct 2021 - Krešimir Rogina, an architect and leader of the International Summer School of Architecture in Grožnjan, and Bernarda Ivančan, have been awarded a silver medal for their project Storiescapes, the Croatian Musical Youth reported on Wednesday.

Ivančan and Rogina presented their project at the International Architectural Design Competition in Japan.

The project won the second prize placing Croatia among the world leaders in this area.

The judging panel always includes leading Japanese architects like Kengo Kuma, Jun Aoki, and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto.

This year's theme was Interpathetic Spaces dealing with the effects of COVID-19 and the way it has changed our lives.

Rogina and Ivančan presented a model and video animation with a five-minute film which was presented via video link to the judging panel.

Rogina has already been awarded twice at this competition - 1990 and 1999 - when he applied with his colleague Vinko Penezić.

Ivančan has been working with Rogina since 2016 when they established the R/INovation research and experimental center.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Croatian Architect Releases Book: Andrija Mutnjaković

Famous Croatian Architect Andrija Mutnjaković will soon be ninety years old, and he is celebrating his birthday on November 29th. He has also published a new book, “Intentional Architecture”, which will be presented tonight at the Croatian Museum of Architecture at HAZU (Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts) in Zagreb.

“A little girl wanted to take cookies off of my Kazalište Trešnja. That was my biggest compliment,” he recalls to Patricia Kiš/JutarnjiList on November 20, 2019.

The Narodna i univerzitetska biblioteka Kosova in Pristina, the Kazalište Trešnja in Zagreb, and the Turističko naselje Duga uvala in Puli are among the most famous buildings he has designed during his long career. He taught along with Žuža Jelinek in the 1950s and 1960s at the Radničko sveučilište in Zagreb; she taught fashion, he lectured about housing.


Domobil and Architect Andrija Mutnjaković's Book Event

The Flower

He worked with Alexander Srnec on the monument to Lenin in Belgrade, a project praised by Vera Horvat Pintarić. But he is most famous for his visionary, futuristic projects. Domobil, his most well-known, was a submission for an architectural competition in Hollywood. The project was conceived as a flower. The petals of this residential building open during the day and close by night, or when it rains.

This project also graces the cover of his new book. Why Domobil? "Because it was and remains my most famous project, which has been recognized as the most successful among the international public,” he replies. “For example, the Oxford Dictionary refers to this project as an example of kinetic architecture. I am the only Croatian architect mentioned along with Luciano Laurana, about whom I have written a book.”

“Recently, in September, I gave a postgraduate lecture at the University of Venice, where I spoke mostly about this project. Along with the lecture, I also wrote a text about why daisies are smarter than humans, to provoke the audience a little. The center of the daisy is life. Petals have nothing to do with life, they are simply a shroud which closes when it gets dark and when it rains. That's exactly what I wanted to achieve with Domobil."

Utopian Idea?

We ask our interlocutor whether this project, which was utopian at the time, could have been completed in the context of present-day architecture. "I don’t believe it was a utopian project at that time. It is a lightweight aluminum structure, like the wings of an airplane. I believed that it would be easier to build in Hollywood, where there are more people with financial resources, and that actors might have found this project attractive. At the time, they were making a lot of science-fiction films, and I believed that they would accept the project in this context as well,” he says.

Over time, he says, he has faced differing opinions regarding his architecture: “The students at Venice in my recent lecture were most impressed by Domobil. Some considered it utopian, though. I remembered one of my professors who, in commenting on my work, said to me: And an idle priest baptizes a flock. That is the principle behind my projects.” But that view is also supported by our most influential critic Vera Horvat Pintarić, and many others. "Yes, all of the art historians have supported me. But that was at a time when I hung out with actors and artists more frequently, they were more lifelike back then. When I started working there were only four architectural bureaus, and it was world of administrators. "

Have more people begun to engage in kinetic architecture over time? "Yes, over the past five or six years, ten books related to kinetic architecture have been published. In Croatian architecture, the first kinetic project had a roof which opened and closed and was designed by Josip Pičman in 1931. Even back then, they were thinking about kinetics. "

Secret to Croatian's Stamina

To the question whether Pičman was one of his inspirations for pursuing a career in architecture, our interlocutor responds. "I was also inspired by another colleague. One day we found a book about El Lissitzky's work at his father’s home. Osijek is city of town houses and there weren’t any major buildings. Flipping through the monographs, we marveled at human constructivism and magical design ideas. I was always interested in Konstantin Melnikov, and wrote an article about him recently, he had some amazing ideas,” Mutnjaković says.

So, soon he will be ninety years old. He speaks passionately about his new book, articles and his lecture in Italy. Is that why he's so full of energy, because he's been working in a profession which he has loved his entire life; is that his secret? "The secret is to drink brandy every night. Alcohol cleans out the fat, so I clean my veins every night."

Mutnjaković’s library in Pristina was on display at MOMA's New York exhibition about architecture of Yugoslav era, which was curated by Martino Stierli. Stierli, who is the Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the famous American museum, has also been in Mutnjaković's studio, which is filled with books. "He saw a photo of the Kazalište Trešnjevka and said it was the most interesting building he had seen in Zagreb," he says. 


The Kazalište Trešnja in Zagreb

The library once made the list of the ugliest buildings in the world, which was compiled by Centre Pompidou in Paris. On the other hand, at the 14th Venice Biennale, when the famous Rem Koolhaas was at the helm, they compiled about one hundred of the most important buildings over the past hundred years, each building representing one year. In 1982, his library was listed as the most important building. In any case, it is still one of the most controversial projects in Croatian architecture.

Information about Andrija Mutnjaković’s book launch on November 20, 2019 at HAZU in Zagreb can be found here.

To follow Croatian architecture and design news, check out our Made in Croatia page here and our Lifestyle page here.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Croatian Architect Creates YouTube Content Devoted to ''Hidden'' Zagreb

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 24th of April, 2019, Vid Juračić, a young Croatian architect, is the initiator of the fun and educational YouTube project ''Kvart priča''.

''It's important to try and do a variety of things while you're still at college because that's the right time to experiment and capture your dreams,'' these are the thoughts which are guiding 26-year-old Vid Juračić, a young Croatian architect, YouTuber and entrepreneur, and the initiator of the aforementioned educational and entertaining YouTube series project.

As part of the series, Vid visits various Zagreb neighbourhoods and, through the stories of this young man and an old man, he gets his followers better acquainted with some of the most hidden corners and the sights of the Croatian capital city of Zagreb in just fifteen minutes. Although he has successfully completed his education in architecture, Vid isn't spending his time designing houses but producing video content, and given the many ideas, plans and ambitions he has, this is just the beginning of the innovative content he creates which will be offered to his growing follower base.

After this multi-talented Croatian video maker realised that creating video content was what he wanted to do in life, he opened a company for making video footage, in which he offers video and movie production services; from the development of scenarios, recording, directing, to editing.

"I make a living from that. I can't complain, there's work. At the moment, I've been taking a break from working with clients and devoted myself solely to my own projects like Kvart priča,'' Vid explained. He first became lured by scenography four years ago, and then he began to work with recording, editing and directing. That's how his desire to create his own film was born. "I recorded my first short feature film back in 2015, and shortly after that I started working on YouTube videos. Working with videos and movies is a lot more exciting for me at this moment in time, but I'm sure I'll get back to architecture eventually, even if it's just to design my own house for myself,'' said Vid.

YouTube and all of the similar networks that have emerged with the birth and quick development of the Internet are currently the mainstream media, though such platforms may not be well-known to some people, says Vid, adding that it's difficult to state all of the jobs YouTube offers today.

"Americans have put all of this under one name, it's a bit banal, ''content creator'', which is perhaps the simplest way to describe these new types of jobs. Therefore, there's room for everyone's ideas. If people want to watch what you're doing, even if that's a relatively small number of people, then there's an opportunity to make more out of it than just a hobby. Attention is the top currency in the world, through attention, time is spent, and time is money. What people spend time on is worth it; that's why Instagram and YouTube get it,'' he explains.

This young Croatian entrepreneur believes YouTube will be a long-standing source of earning for a long time, given that we're actually only at the very beginning of the era in which people are making money from posting online.

"As far as YouTube is concerned, more people are watching it than creating videos on it, which is a great thing for those of us who do create; the demand is huge, the offer is limited, it couldn't be better,'' says Vid. The secret of his success is authenticity, but also the fact that he values ​​everyone who watches and follows him, which is one of the main reasons why he doesn't want to sell out.

"I don't do what I'm doing to become richer, but because I want to leave behind something that people will be able to appreciate today and in fifty years, but of course I still want to be financially successful," he says.

''It's recommended that people doo something alongside their current job because you never know what opportunities will come knocking with time. It is important to emphasise that it is very difficult to dedicate yourself properly to something when you already have a job and work from 09:00 to 17:00, so I'd especially like to emphasise the fact that it's important to try and do various things while you're still at college. That's the right time for experiments and capturing dreams,'' noted Vid.

"I have a lot of ideas for new projects and it's always a fight with time because I don't have enough of it to do all these projects. I want to make a spin off series of Kvart priča - Otok priča, where I visit the Adriatic islands during the summer. Of course, there's also the ability to make Kvart priča for other Croatian cities. But I'm also planning some projects unrelated to Kvart priča, such as directing a long film. I've always got plans,'' concluded Vid Juračić.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian products, companies, services, and creations.


Click here for the original article by Lucija Spiljak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Vodice Farmers and Fish Market Project Wins Another International Award

Another accolade for Croatian Architects