ABSTRACTION

Programme: Architectural and Urban Design for the Kaptol + Implantation of 3 museums
Client: City of Zagreb - City Council
Team: Laurent Troost
Location: Zagreb - Croatia
Scale: Urban Design: 7 Ha - Built Area: 20.000 m²
Status: Competition 2008 - Purchased Prize (3rd Place Ex Aequo)

‘Abstraction’ is a project that aims to minimize the impact of the car culture, the over-signage of public spaces, and to minimize the implantation of the 3 new main buildings in the historical center of Zagreb. ‘Abstraction’ is an operation thought of as a purification of an urban context.

To achieve this, ‘Abstraction’ combines, on the one hand, a strategy of connected and sustainable circulations with, on the other hand, the implementation of 3 main ‘anchor’ museums under public spaces spread over the Kaptol.

Completing the circulation/public spaces loops, the 3 main museums are spread over the Kaptol. To comply with their public role of museums, they are located on the most public urban spaces of the Kaptol: the squares. And to respect their environment, they are built underground. The Diocesan Museum and the Zagreb Cathedral Treasury are located under two main existing public spaces in the South (Dolac and Kaptol square), while the Archdiocesan Archives is located under a new public space created in the North.

In addition to the idea of creating three distinctive ‘anchors’ in the Kaptol, rather than a single complex, the idea of allocating the three museums under three open public spaces is reflecting a will of abstraction; a will of letting the void to combine with the historical context. But also, in such an operation, the interaction between open spaces and public museums is more intense, and creates a new dynamic.