Motel Trogir was built in 1965 and designed by one of the leading architects of the Socialist Yugoslavia Ivan Vitić. It is situated at the western entrance to the city of Trogir on the Adriatic coast (25km from the city of Split). The motel was inaugurated the same year the Adriatic Highway.
Position and Location
Vitić designed his motels in terms of the needs and requirements of a motorist passing through. instead of setting up a single large structure, he divided the functions into several compact elements: a main building with reception and restaurant on the ground floor, and two annexes with further motel rooms. These elements can be accessed individually by car and are connected by covered paths. A characteristic feature of this motel are six additional detached bungalows, each with their own parking space. The stone wall is a major design element.
Previously owned by workers, the motel was sold during the privatisation process of the 1990s. Today different owners lay claim to it. The building has been left to decay with occasional informal use since. Today it marks one of the neuralgic points of the town and for many years it has been standing devastated due to unresolved ownership issues (due to the non-transparent privatization of what once was ‘societal property’, in the beginning of the 1990s). Built at a time when the character of tourism in Trogir was mostly transitory, the motel was conceived in parallel with the construction of the Adriatic Highway. At the time it was seen “as one of the performative elements that would fit into the utopian vision of this road imagined as a feature film that would be “shown to the passengers on the screen of their car window.” The motel is, in general, an exception to the typology of Adriatic tourism, and it is argued that the idea of such buildings in the Yugoslav socialist society came through American movies.
Motel Trogir Project
In 2013 the NGO Loose Associations initiated the project Motel Trogir, which aimed to obtain monument protection status for Vitić's motels, as well as to raise awareness of the architectural legacy of post-war modernity. The motels in Trogir (2013) and Rijeka (2015) were listed as cultural heritage thanks to the initiative, while the motel in Biograd was demolished in July 2019.