Supressed Monumentality

architects Vinko Penezić, Krešimir Rogina
project St. Michael's Church, Dubrovnik, Croatia
written by Zlatko Jurić


In 1987 the design by architects Penezić and Rogina won the public competition for what is now St Michael’s church in Dubrovnik. Construction took longer than expected, from 1989 to 1999, due to military operations in the area and recession in the country. In those years of Serbian aggression, the baptistery took a direct hit from enemy artillery. In the teeth of all adversities, the building has been brought to completion with few modifications of the original project, and the interior decoration is under way. A substantial number of sacral buildings and projects stand behind architects Penezić and Rogina, but none as complex in meaning and composition as St Michael’s church. For Rogina and Penezić, the 1980s were the years of critical re-examination of the modernist myth of the unquestionable concept of tabula rasa in the morphological and historical context of the town. The 80s saw the birth of an important theoretical project investigating the validity of timeless typology that received an award in Japan.