Details

Keywords Change this

Modernism, Postwar Modernism, Rijeka

Project timeline

1953 – 1954

Type

Mixed Use

Location Change this

Strossmayerova 23
Rijeka
Croatia

Current state

Original

Architect Change this

Client Change this

Paper Factory

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Article last edited by Sonja Dragovic on
March 27th, 2019

Residential and Commercial Building Change this

Front of the building

1 of 2

Description Change this

At the beginning of 1950s, when the most severe war damages to Rijeka and Sušak were repaired and when parts of port and industrial capacities have been restored, it was finally possible to make greater investment in housing construction, to mitigate the already acute lack of appropriate accommodation for local workers. This was an excellent opportunity for the affirmation of young architects, among whom were Ada Felice-Rošić and Nada Šilović, at the time both of them working at the Institute for construction and design in Rijeka. In 1953 they designed a five-storey residential and commercial building in Strossmayer Street, for employees of the Paper Factory. The contractor was the construction company "Rječina", and the building was finished in 1954.

Due to its position, it was important to pay close attention to the architectural design of all three facades: southwest facing main street, southeast facing greenery and gymnasium stairs, and even the least attractive back-end, oriented towards the railway line. The main facade was brought to life with window openings in a consistent rhythm and loggias of parapets leaned against the smooth, neutral background. The ground floor is divided by columns and shop windows, and separated from the upper residential area by a narrow larmier. The apartments oriented towards southeast receive plenty of natural light through the loggia on the side of the building, while on the northern side the stairs vertical with glass prisms stands out. Opening up the wall structure wherever it was functionally justified was in the service of creating a modernist apartment with optimal insolation and good ventilation of all rooms.

Two two-bedroom apartments were designed in each floor, plus another flat on the roof terrace that was partially freed so it could be used for washing and drying by all occupants. The layout of the flats was dictated by contemporary standards, as well as by the habits of future users - coastal families of the middle, working class. Kitchens are made bigger for longer occupancy, and more fluidly associated with living and sleeping rooms. The “bourgeois” separation of auxiliary rooms from the residential part of the apartment is undesirable in the housing typology of the post-war period, and the long corridors are replaced by hallways with direct communication between the premises. To make the dwelling as comfortable as possible, the authors took care of the detailed interior furnishing of the apartments: from built-in closets, kitchen elements and cupboards, to modern sliding windows (first in post-war Rijeka) and built-in garbage canals that were still curiosity in the 1950s. Such care for the apartment amenities was at the time understood as inclination of this pair of female architects to make the space as efficient as possible, and by doing so make everyday life of a new, modern woman – who was a worker, a mother and a homemaker – easier and more comfortable.

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