Dinko Kovačić arrow Boris Magaš: About the origins
About the origin

The needs but also the Split the ambitions were great. The town was rapidly growing and large areas intended for new construction were opened. On the town planning competition for the so called "Split III" the winning was a Slovenian team with the then actual theme of returning "to the street". A clever connection with centuration was crucial in convincing the jury that the right choice was made. Model of the new low rise structure forming at its back a space that could be conditionally called "the street", to be along its full length closed by a very high continuous building and where a view of the sea was to be secured all one above the other, became the theme of the new construction. A series of such model complexes will form the part of the town in making. The theme, at the time of its inception, undoubtedly carrying initial qualities is, if nothing else, representing on attempt of trying to find the way out from technocratic understanding of the up to date urbanization whose zoning was turning the town areas into the remains of the inter-play of single buildings. The task posed before the Split architectural forces was not an easy one and was requiring, besides understanding, also a talent. But the first agglomeration of the new urbanity was realized: Kovačić, signing the scheme with architect Zorić, built the Brothers Borozan street, i.e. the Street of Šime Ljubić.
Ulica braće Borozan
All that was clear and verified in the first realization has been retained. But this is not a verification on the level of school clarity: pure, vertical planes are heading towards the sky, but in a free, dynamic sequences of creative aspiration with plasticity of balconies jutting out. The high building is not a continuing block of dwellings but modulated plasticity whose play under the sun is bringing along the richness of experience and characterisation. Vegetation is in every place where concrete "did not destroy an olive tree". The so called "street", without the beginning or an end, is acquiring in its stepped modulations its own ambiental values. There, the children will find themselves as well as the persons dependent on the idea of the neighborhood. Modest modulation of balcony railings, as an attempt at enrichment without a foothold in experience, clearly demonstrate the shortcomings of the Zagreb school of that time. But also some themes that the Zagreb school was not teaching were started: besides the architecture in a clear dialogue with the sun, a dwelling for the Mediterranean way of life was developed. The flat that in the conglomeration of some ten staircases, lifts and entrance doors is recreating the contact between persons sharing their existential spaces. This is not a flat within a model of official categorization of typological construction. The table space is becoming a central point of happenings in the closest contact with the housewife and her kitchen duties, but also in the closest contact with the living and TV room. This dwelling represents the sum of ambiental qualities not only connected by functions, but joined together by the life itself. It is difficult to avoid the association with an ancient English hous of the Shakespearean times that Kovačić did not know at the time. The examples of such houses are today shown to the tourists as a special attraction of Stratford upon Avon. The table is in these cases turned into a symbol of the house itself and its goings on, the place of life and death, of the quest and the host, and from which a modern terminology is extracting the whole range of internationally present and used expressions within dominating influence of the English language circle (board in, out, with, boardinghouse, board a train, Board of Education, Trade etc., etc., down to the chairman of the Board or chairwoman).
Novi Split
In this concrete Split example, without any connection with English historical examples, it has its own roots in the life of Dalmatian people and it acquires its specific, domestic character. This flat is a continuation of ambiental qualities meant for the life of those inhabiting it., to enter a little into Heidegger's terminology. Those thoughts that were leading a young architectural student of the Zagreb Faculty in his search and conceptions are here beginning to be realized. So the first built block became a synonim for "New Split" but the same time the culprit for the perpertuation of the Slovenian thesis in Mediterranean surroundings. The talent of the author has turned the Slovenian theme into the story of a new conception by creating a relationship with the sea and blending it into the maximum play of vegetation. The continuation of the theme will raise all the questions present up to these days.