A Morphology of Single Volume Buildings

architects UPI-2M
project AGMAR, A Center For Distributing Medicines and Medical Equipment, Zagreb, Croatia
written by Ante Nikša Bilić


The warehouses or rather small distribution centers built in recent years on the outskirts of towns (because of land prices and fast roads) can be called a second generation of this kind of architectural realization, primarily because of the free typologies and purposeful financial program. Common features of all such buildings are:


  1. Structure - mostly skeletal, prefabricated (enables greater manipulation of space and storage. In warehouses, cubic meters are as important as square meters.)
  2. Coating or shell covering the structural framework.
  3. Various functions related to distribution, with all the related infrastructure.

The first generation of those centers was built at the onset of turbo-capitalism in Croatia and after the fall of the socialist economy, a period poetically called “transition” by European analysts. The architecture born under those stars is a kind of a bastard that must prove itself. Some used the workshops of bankrupt socialist giants, which underwent a degree of face-lifting that depended on the wealth of new investors. Centers of this kind can be recognized only by awkward advertisements.