(by Dario Travas)
The design of the building and of its interior reflects the combination of a certain rhetorical and narrative approach with a functional and architectural task which is, in effect, somewhat minimalist. In this, the architectural design becomes an aesthetic reinterpretation of practical reality.
The spatial principles behind the building switch between the special and the commonplace as if switching between a shopping temple and a bazaar. A key tool here is functional integration, whereby shopping is mixed with sport and entertainment.
The three mall areas take their themes from three distinct Croatian landscape types: coastline, mountains and the Pannonian plain. As well as improving orientation, the use of these three themes also helps to entertain and surprise – as well as enhance the shopping experience of – visitors and customers. This integration into the architecture of the notions of TOPOS and MAN creates emotional added value in all phases of the design process.
(by Andreas Schaller)
The thermal skin of the façade reinterprets the bar-code - the symbol of the shopping experience - in the form of a two-dimensional surface. In line with an EAN code, such abstracted numbers traditionally contain birthdates or other important information. This bar-code façade is further filtered through a perforated steel band in the form of a scarf, the French translation of which - “cravatte” - is derived from the use of the phrase “à la croate” to describe a colourful knotted scarf wrapped around the neck. This steel 21st century scarf is wound around the centre in much the same way as the soft historical original with the knots marking the entrances to the building.
The naturally lit shopping centre is divided into three mall areas which meet at plazas which combine to create a sensually urban whole and whose forms owe much to the interesting geometrical possibilities offered by the triple cone. These plazas form sub-centres within the complex and enjoy their own identity. The entire internal space – with its distinct zones - has something of a Mediterranean flavour. This is due in particular to the beige stone floors and ceiling and appropriately dynamic greenery. The choice of plants seeks to reinterpret the Croatian landscape within the artificial world of the shopping centre as a means of creating a natural and sympathetic internal environment.
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