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Architects Mladen Kauzlarić and Stjepan Gomboš in Dubrovnik (1930-1940)

Antun Baće ; pov. umjetnosti, samostalni istraživač

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (1018 KB) str. 104-120 preuzimanja: 288* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Baće, A. (2010). Arhitekti Mladen Kauzlarić i Stjepan Gomboš u Dubrovniku (1930.-1940.). Peristil, 53 (1), 104-120. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Baće, Antun. "Arhitekti Mladen Kauzlarić i Stjepan Gomboš u Dubrovniku (1930.-1940.)." Peristil, vol. 53, br. 1, 2010, str. 104-120. Citirano 05.04.2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Baće, Antun. "Arhitekti Mladen Kauzlarić i Stjepan Gomboš u Dubrovniku (1930.-1940.)." Peristil 53, br. 1 (2010): 104-120.
Baće, A. (2010). 'Arhitekti Mladen Kauzlarić i Stjepan Gomboš u Dubrovniku (1930.-1940.)', Peristil, 53(1), str. 104-120. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 05.04.2020.)
Baće A. Arhitekti Mladen Kauzlarić i Stjepan Gomboš u Dubrovniku (1930.-1940.). Peristil [Internet]. 2010 [pristupljeno 05.04.2020.];53(1):104-120. Dostupno na:
A. Baće, "Arhitekti Mladen Kauzlarić i Stjepan Gomboš u Dubrovniku (1930.-1940.)", Peristil, vol.53, br. 1, str. 104-120, 2010. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 05.04.2020.]

While they were employed in Hugo Erlich’s offi ce in Zagreb, architects Mladen Kauzlarić (Gospić, 1896 - Zagreb, 1971) and Stjepan
Gomboš (Sombor, 1895 - Zagreb, 1975) worked together for the fi rst time when they did a tender project for the Jewish hospital in
Zagreb in the year 1930. Soon after, they founded a studio and worked together for the entire fourth decade of the 20th century, until
WW2 drew them apart and made them go their separate ways. The work they did in Zagreb, which is highly esteemed in the context
of Croatian modern architecture, went parallel with the work they almost continually did in Dubrovnik. The article offers a chronological
overview of both realized and unrealized projects of the two architects in Dubrovnik with the attempt of assessing Croatian architecture between the two wars.
Thanks to the enterprising activities of art historian and art critic Kosta Strajnić (1887 - 1977), who criticized the architectural
practice employed in Dubrovnik of the time and promoted modern architecture, the local government decided to open a tender for the
construction of the City Cafe. Around ten projects got applied, none of them got the fi rst prize, and the no less praiseworthy second
prize went to Nikola Dobrović as well as to Kauzlarić and Gomboš, whose project was immediately chosen as the one to be realized.
The City Cafe, which was up until then situated in a part of the ground-fl oor of the town hall, was now meant to encompass the
ground-fl oor of the adjacent building where the military bakery used to be. The Austro-Hungarian government built it at the beginning
of the nineteenth century on the ruins of the Great Arsenal of the Republic of Ragusa. Whilst the cafe was being reconstructed
and enlarged (1931 - 1934), the architects also decorated the Ton-Cinema (1931-1932). The project, which was executed on the fi rst
fl oor of what used to be the military bakery, was fi nanced by private investors. Even though the reconstruction of the City Cafe in
Dubrovnik has been regularly mentioned as one of the key moments in the affi rmation of modern architecture on the Croatian coast,
the project itself has never been fully elaborated. The importance of its realization does not lie so much in the reconstruction of the
layered arches of the former Arsenal, whose clearly visible contours were later repeated by the architects, but rather in the inventively
implemented reorganization of a disorganized agglomerate. The architects managed to create a unity of exceptional spatial value and
enable a high level of functionality for the existing content. Spatial and airy, decorated with contemporary furnishings, the interior
of the cafe functioned as a key platform for the acceptance of a new concept of architecture in the Dubrovnik area. This paved the way
for other architects with more modern inclinations such as Nikola Dobrović and Drago Galić, and promoted Mladen Kauzlarić and
Stjepan Gomboš into local authorities.
The City continued consulting the architects in more complex architectural and micro-urbanism issues, and private investors, often
from the highest class, continued asking for their services. However, there are many reasons for a relatively small number of projects
they managed to realize. When it comes to projects for public purposes, their non-realization is often connected to complex social
circumstances, determined by the relation between private and public ownership and the emotional attitude of the public towards the
old city centre, which more than once managed to affect the intentions of the local government and entrepreneurs. When it comes to
the construction of private buildings, the key factor for the non-realization of projects is the discrepancy between the wishes of investors
and a consistency of the authors who did not want to give up on their architectural principles and artistic style. Rich clients in
Dubrovnik, which is after all a provincial town, sought for their status to be confi rmed by the existing elite and therefore wanted that
their houses be built in an eloquent dialogue with historical continuity, a demand that minimalism prone and somewhat restrained
style of the architects could not meet. This is why many exceptional projects by Kauzlarić and Gomboš, like the 1935 project for the
Hedvig Zimdin Regenhart villa in St. Jacob, as well as that for Karlo Banco (1936/7) and Mihajlo Gluščević (1937) on the island of
Lapad, remain unrealized; yet, they would probably gain canonical status within the realized projects of Croatian modern architecture.
Among the projects that were realized, we wish to accentuate the Rusko villa on the island of Koločep (1939). If we compare it to the earlier projects for the Zimdin Regenhart, Banac and Gluščević villas, we can clearly see that the architects now lingered more on the local tradition, especially the architecture of Dubrovnik’s Renaissance summer houses. However, this does not diminish the exceptionality of the project.
When it comes to the unrealized projects for public spaces, as well as to unrealized urban operations, – the City Market in the City
Port (1931), Lazareti Hotel (1936), coastal path in the City Port (1937) and the regulation of the Pile plateau (1937 and 1940), the
complexity of project tasks, as conditioned by the signifi cance of the historical environment, makes it diffi cult to estimate the value of
offered solutions one-sidedly, but they can certainly be praised for their consistency in the appliance of modernist principles and a high
degree of creativity in the approach to the problem. The features of Kauzlarić’s and Gomboš’s architecture for apartment buildings in Zagreb can also be noticed in Dubrovnik. Forming clear, well proportioned volumes, attentively located in a conditioned environment, is in accordance with local peculiarities, as seen in the usage of stone as the building material and the appliance of traditional construction elements faithfully transported in the language of modern architecture. The functionality of the freely organized interior isn’t just a dogmatic condition for the two architects, but it is the potential that can give birth to the creativity that will result in a new artistic and life quality. The opening up and intertwining of
individual spaces was devised with the aim of achieving a free-fl owing, dynamic whole with an abundance of carefully planned vistas.
Such a concept of space is inseparable from the interaction of the exterior and the interior, as achieved by wide windows, and a refi ned
creation of semi-closed spaces like porches, balconies and verandas, always envisaged as areas of transition between the visual and the
physical perception of space, and not as architectural elements that would contribute to their work being a showcase. As a whole, and this is something that hasn’t been recognized as such thus far, the architectural activities of Mladen Kauzlarić and Stjepan Gomboš in Dubrovnik take up a signifi cant amount of their work and at the same time surpass the local contexts in terms of their quality, and therefore represent an important element for knowing Croatian architecture in between the two wars.

Ključne riječi
Mladen Kauzlarić; Stjepan Gomboš; Kosta Strajnić; Dubrovnik; modern architecture; architecture of the 1930s

Hrčak ID: 199537



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