Modernism - Both Near and Far

written by Maroje Mrduljaš

Ivan Vitić, Sljeme Motel, Preluk, 1965

Over the past few years, the interest of the professional and, to some extent, general public in Croatia has been focused on the modernist tourism architecture of the second half of the 20th century. An exhibition titled, Holidays After the Fall: Transformation of Socialist Holiday Resorts 
on the Adriatic Coast of Croatia was held at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka. It was curated by Viennese architect, artist and curator, Michael Zinganel, and co-curated by the author of this text. Ivan Vitić’s Sljeme Motel at Preluk near Rijeka was the subject of a student workshop organized by the Faculties of Architecture in Zagreb and Ljubljana, and led by Idis Turato, Goran Rako, and Tadej Glažar. On the initiative of Loose Associations, a Zagreb based civic organization, this small motel has been recently protected as a cultural heritage, which had already been done for Vitić’s motel in Trogir. The Sljeme Motel, once a winner of the Borba Federal Award for Architecture, probably the most influential award in the former Yugoslavia, is also the only protected architectural monument built after ww2 in the area of Rijeka.