architect Danijel Marasović
project Residental Building, Zagreb, Croatia
written by Saša Begović


The context


From the very first glance, this building stands out from the rest of the Borovje housing development “under construction”. It is not only the peculiar roof sloping in the “wrong direction” that distinguishes it so much, but also the restraint and rational approach to the shaping of the façade and the use of colour. The appearance of the building is both strongly embedded in its context and determined by it.


The Borovje urban design is a strange mix of the “slab” CIAM-inspired design of Novi Zagreb and the later compromises with the curved blocks in Dugave or Jarun. Yet unlike those developments in which the “peanut” shape at least created the post-modern street which is liked and lived in, Borovje has completely lost that picturesque asset. The un-readability of this housing development is underlined by an unintelligible road network and a lack of designed public areas. Such an urban context, made distinct only by the “peanut” shape of the buildings which determined both shape and height (basement + ground floor + 4 floors +  roof), imposed additional limitations on the architect.