Interviewed in Rijeka, October 10th 2006
Saša Randić and Idis Turato are architects of the middle generation, from Rijeka whose professional life began in the turbulent days of the initial phase of social transition. Their work, including quite a number of realized works, their authenticity and convincing design solutions have put them at the top of contemporary Croatian architectural production. Randić and Turato are intimately and professionally tied to Rijeka region, but their work follows international trends applied to the local context which they take as flexible work frame conditioned by specific economic, social and technical circumstances. Precisely due to their mastering of this extended context and ability of intelligent adjustment to ever changing construction requirements, Randić and Turato manage to mantain a high rhythm of quality production which does not have to find its justification in hard or unfavourable circumstances, serving as a role models of how author's architecture is also possible in Croatia, in the widest range of programmes.
ORIS — Some fifteen years ago, Koolhaas asked an almost rhetorical question: is architecture a conceptual discipline or is it completely left to the rules of the market? This dilemma has no unequivocal answer today, especially in Croatia, with its post-transitional situation. Since you are doing well in such circumstances, what answer would you give to that open question?
Randić — It is an interesting question, since it comes from an architect who legitimized the role of capital in architecture - a radical move away from the traditionally leftist understanding of this profession, which was based on the generation of '68 in Western Europe and on the socialist state here. By definition, architects shrink from the idea of profit and market. Koolhaas partly retains the traditional concept of the architect's public role by talking about public intellectuals, persons with the socialist gene, he does not identify it with the American model as embodied by John Portman, but anyway, he places the architect in a different position from his Dutch predecessors.