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Viktor Kovačić

Zagreb, Croatia
Church at the intersection of Prilaz Gjure Deželića and Primorska ulica
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Church at the intersection of Prilaz Gjure Deželića and Primorska ulica

Executed on the ground plan of the Greek cross, in a strong gradation of volume, with a dominant reinforced concrete dome, the church is the most significant new sacral building in Croatia.

The Church of St. Blaise, a saint and martyr known for the gift of healing the throat, is located at the intersection of Prilaz Gjure Deželića and Primorska ulica in Donji grad, a short walk from the Croatian National Theater.

Architect Viktor Kovačić designed the monumental church with a combination of Byzantine building forms, Croatian traditional construction and modern aspirations in architecture at the beginning of the 20th century. Construction began in 1912, but the war prevented its completion.

The reinforced concrete dome is the first such construction in Croatia. During the Christmas holidays, the worm exhibits especially beautiful cribs, the work of sculptor Vojte Braniša from 1916.

Kovačić, Viktor, Croatian architect (Ločka Vas near Hum na Sutli, July 28, 1874 - Zagreb, October 21, 1924). He studied crafts and masonry in Graz. In 1891 he returned to Zagreb and worked in the studios of G. Carnelutti, K. Waidman and H. Bollé, and in 1899 he graduated from the Academy in Vienna with a prominent representative of modern architecture O. Wagner. In the same year he opened his own studio in Zagreb. Through his versatile work as an architect, writer and pedagogue, he influenced the development of modern architecture in Croatia. From 1922 he was a full professor at the Technical High School in Zagreb. The influence of Art Nouveau is noticeable on his first projects in Zagreb (double house in Masarykova Street, 1906/07; Villa Auer in Rokovac, 1906; Lustig-Perok House in Kumičićeva Street, 1910). Together with H. Ehrlich, he ran the Kovačić and Ehrlich studio (1910–15). Following Loos's principle of free organization of floor plans and building masses, he created a prototype of a modernly designed family house (Frangeš, 1912; Vrbanić, 1913; Čepulić, 1914). He achieved the highest range of his own principles on the synthesis of tradition and modernity in the elegant three-story Frank (1914) on the corner of Mažuranić Square and Hebrangova Street, where, varying the theme of the Florentine palazzo (rustic, arcade, eaves). He was posthumously awarded the Grand Prize (1925) at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris.

Zagreb, Croatia
Jasamjasam, May 13th, 2021