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Ex Hall of the Yugoslav Peoples Army

Šibenik, Croatia
1 of 7Vitić Archive

Dom JNA means "Yugoslav People's Army", was a cultural centre run by the military. Situated on the edge of the historic Gothic-Renaissance city, Vitić's design integrated the old city walls into the building. Ivan Vitić designed one of the key works in his rather fruitful career. It was interesting to find out that Vitić made a study 10 years prior to the realisation of the final project of the Army Hall. This previous study of the redevelopment of the entire space between Poljana and St. Francis’s church represents some kind of creative initial vision located between the demands of the preservationists and the imperative of powerful modernity, which would be realised later on. The said study clearly shows the intention of including a new primary school as a separate extension, and the need to retain the former city coffee house on the location of the future Army Hall was being questioned. By uniting the task of the re-evaluation of the city walls with his own architectural ambition, Vitić created a work of new spatial energy in one of the most important public spaces in Šibenik. After it's abandonment by the army, it was turned into a City Library in 2005. It was one of the first official transformations of former military buildings for civilian purposes.