The Kornati Memorial

architect Nikola Bašić
project Field of Crosses, Fallen Firemen Memorial on Kornat Island, Croatia
written by Dietmar Steiner


When we chance upon a mound in the woods, six feet long and three feet wide, arranged with a blade in the shape of a pyramid, we frown and something inside us says: someone is buried here. This is architecture.’(Adolf Loos, ‘Architecture’, 1910)


This legendary quote of Adolf Loos is rarely as appropriate as when looking at the memorial site created by Nikola Bašić in the Kornati archipelago. It marks an event that touched and shocked all of Croatia. On 30 August 2007, a group of young firemen was flown by helicopter to the island to participate in firefighting. After they landed, a sudden firestorm took the lives of twelve young men.