Interview: Zlatko Ugljen

architect Zlatko Ugljen
written by Stjepan Roš, Andrija Rusan

Hotel Ruža, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1975

ORIS: This year is the 100th anniversary of Juraj Neidhardt’s birth. As you have pointed out on several occasions, he played an important role in your decision to take up architecture. Your engagement in organising a jubilee celebration worthy of his name seems to confirm this. What did he mean to you?


Ugljen: Professor Neidhardt came to Bosnia in the thirties from Le Corbusier’s studio, accepting the invitation of architect Dušan Grabrijan who was then teaching at the Secondary Technical School in Sarajevo. Grabrijan studied the adaptation of the oriental house to the requirements of the local climate and was the first to recognise the application of a series of principles proclaimed by the pioneers of Modern architecture as the basic tenets of contemporary architecture in the design of local dwelling units. To cut a long story short, some of the principles were multi-functional space, space cleared of superfluous furniture, built-in wardrobes/cupboards, then spatial interpenetration, interior and exterior interpenetration, lots of light, a view, a green environment and nature as an element of composition, and external appearance reminding you of a cubist sculpture.