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

It would be difficult to mention here all the Kovačić's realizations and projects. His opus colud hardly be quoted by any other architect. Numerous private buildings, shops, and restaurants followed by the buildings of schools, faculties and offices. Each and everyone has its own story, its "law" and its truth. In each of them the finnesse of details, sought after and worked out to the minute detail, is being interwoven with the concept of the whole and with the pure characterization of the times to which it belongs but without negation of the past. Where some are striving after future, in others the elements of the romantic concept of the joy of life are turning into a story approaching a fable. So, let us keep ourselves to the essence of his approach, to that what makes Kovačić himself, to that what is most accurately showing the intertwining of his soul and his talent.

Školski centar u Splitu
It is almost as if Kovačić had attended the Kahn's lecture at the last CIAM Congress in Otterlo, though at the time he could not have heard of him. The Kahn's question: "A school? What is the existence-will of a school? and the answer" ...a school is a series of spaces where it is good to learn... "Kovačić enlarges on that statement: a school comprises a series of functions that could be spatially organized. In a school there are spaces for preparation, spaces of theory and spaces of application. And spaces which connect, which bring together: the public spaces. To fully understand the problems of a school, Kovačić is talking to professors, pedagogues, and psychologists. And finally he asks to be given one class lesson so that he could ask the pupils: "Write in short what is a school for you?" After getting the answers he was impressed by the text of a girl: "Write at the entrance door "Good luck!" as it is written for the miners above pits' entrances". Again, a reflection is being aroused as to what is standing behind this sentence of a young girl's soul. So, the school he is designing (with four different schools within it with defferentiated programs) is starting to get the answers like: a large entrance hall, where all the spaces are coming together, has become, in fact a public space with even a pedestrian route for the tenants from the neighbourghing houses passing through it. And there is a bench under the tree while the large birdcage connects again this public character with the presence of life. Communications are the streets of circulation, and their niches spaces of preparation and verification. Thinking the school, thinking why a girl asked for "Good luck!" to be written above the entrance and thinking how to transform this happily into the spaces loaded by themselves with the idea of happiness, remained the theme not to be avoided.

Write at the entrance door "Good luck!" as it is written for the miners above pits' entrances

Perhaps someone would ask the question what conditioned formal interpretation of such a school. As if the slopes forming the outer spaces as well as the treeless grass surfaces stand in contradiction with the former themes of architectural approach. The answer is in the architect himself whose developing vocabulary is inevitably reacting to the time of the realization and transponding it into the experiential world. Because a distorted, "order" of the mixed-development corner building of "Dvornikovi dvori" could pose the same questions. And the projects for the "Plaza" hotel in Omiš or the ones for the Faculty of Economics will also demonstrate a distinct liberation of the author from predetermined regularities and so the origins of the "starter stone" will acquire flows freed from architectural interpretations in which partially supported hovering, striving after suprematic structuration by help of differentiation of structural interpretation, will become a new story of the Kovačić's architectonics.

iznad oblutaka...
In contrast to my person who in his life spent rolls and rolls of sketching paper and who taught its own hand to "think subconsciousness", Dinko Kovačić did not need such paper at all. He is not acting until he has not "seen" everything that will happen. Until a "starter stone" turned into visualization of shapes. And so the connection between the thought and materialization become the essence of creativity. With some sparks and some strayings, the beginning of coming to life of the "philosophy of reasonableness" and the ever present life is running on. Because for him the architecture is not only "a play of volumes under the sun". It is becoming a value only when reaching its fulfillment of being in its complete existence connected to a certain theme. To create, for example, the "Hanibal" restaurant on the island of Hvar, to transform the rest of the outer areas into the ownness of the focus, to turn the exterior into the interior, could be accomplished only by help of reflection springing out from the soul of the deep wish for it to happen, not without ambition, in a manner of one's best self. And in this way an aspiration after the best in a given task. The axis of wooden floor laths hovering above the pebbles, its direction determined by hand rail on both sides leading into intimacy of dining, roughly-cut stone pillars supporting the roof, almost coming from the Roman times, all this is a part of the story of the experiential world of a great but not less ambitious intention. Or in his own words: "In all my efforts I was trying to find agreement and measure. An agreement between the Contemporary and the Traditional, a measure between Contentment and Happiness". Because contentment is only superficial, it is only part of that which could be bought. But happiness is the essence, it is transforming reasonableness into the value of existence. To pepole and birds, to stone and tree. To flowers and olive tree. So when, on the boat sailing along the shores of Brač with the summer school students, he starts with his high pitched tenor to lead the song "Sveeeeeeeeeetivaneooooood moga Trogira..." this happiness and humanity is bursting out in all the pores of a dialogue with the humming sea, rocks and agaves carrying the flower of so much beauty as of tragedy of humanity.
Boris Magaš