Zagreb’s city center terminates in the south at the train station. Lying further south and to the east of the station, and still close to the railway grounds, is an open 10,480 square-meter lot. The surrounding vicinity displays uses typical of such areas: railway operating halls to the north, a small park to the east, a sort of perimeter block with multi-story residential buildings to the south, and a factory where locomotives are built to the west.
The soon-to-arrive migration of industry to the city outskirts and the proximity to Zagreb’s city center provide the district of Trnje—in particular the area directly behind the train station bordered by two wide west-east streets—with the potential for rapid development. Clever planning will ensure that the opportunity to design mixed-use neighborhoods is not squandered. Without question, the establishment of service providers is the need of the moment in this location. Quartier an der Strojarska Cesta Zagreb, Kroatien 2010–2016
Akin to an implant or incubator among dispersed structures, the district on the Strojarska Cesta is in a position to give the entire area a significant boost, that is, set the hoped-for development in motion. The arrangement of the seven buildings on the site has an effect that is as closed as it is open: closed because it forms four clear edges, and open because it grants passage both from north to south and from west to east. It even configures two small public squares between the buildings.
A tower with offices rises up in the north, a hotel and two office buildings in the west, and three residential buildings in the east. Shops occupy the ground floors of the two office buildings and the three residential buildings; these serve to enliven the design. Diversity and density, desirable qualities for all the neighborhoods behind the train station, could be realized on the Strojarska Cesta in an exemplary manner in anticipation of future events.
The tower has thirty stories. The other buildings have either six or eight stories. On account of their structures and façades, each of the seven buildings exists in a state of tension with each of the other six— a tension between solitary unit and ensemble, and between singularity and composition. In this context the specificity of the architecture is not purely aesthetic. It also expresses functional differences.
While the tower is defined by its smooth, soft forms and, on the topmost stories, by concave façades, the remaining buildings are distinguished by other exterior features, for example: the meandering elements of the hotel; the vertical linear differentiation of the office buildings; and the framing and box-structure of the residential buildings and their fifty-, seventy-, or ninety-square-meter apartments, whose exteriors overlook a small park and seem to draw on the work of Paul Rudolph.
Beneath the site is a three-story garage that connects all the buildings and provides space for 750 vehicles.