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Critical regionalism in the works of architect Julije De Luca


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Tot, Zlatko. (2018). Critical regionalism in the works of architect Julije De Luca. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Art History. [mentor Galjer, Jasna].

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The primary idea of this work is not to go through the overall work of the architect Julius de Luca in terms of mere enumeration, nor sorting his executed architectural works into certain groups and classifications; this has already been done. The main focus and essence of this research is related to the works of the aforementioned architect which have arisen in the spirit of the so-called "critical regionalism", as well as the review and consideration of this same concept. What are the determinants that one spatial entity should fulfill to fall into the category of critical regionalism? Does critical regionalism present a new aspect in terms of style, legacy, or perhaps a revolt and negation of the international craze for geometrical rule that dominated during the 50’s and 60’s of the 20th century? Questions such as these are just the beginning of a research of thought which has also made its presence in the eastern Adriatic coast. Furthermore, it should be noted that literature also mentions the term "new regionalism", which leads to the question of relationship between the two regionalisms. Are they in mutual opposition and negation, or are they simply two different terms that stand behind the same thinking? The discussion about the notion of critical regionalism and its postulates begins from the basic foundations laid out by the British architect Kenneth Frampton in his book Modern Architecture: Critical History, and is further complemented by the thoughts of the Croatian art historian Milán Prelog and critic Antoaneta Pasinovic. These three researchers and their premises make up the basis for my further consideration and possible upgrading of what is regarded under the concept of critical regionalism. After defining the concept and its relationship to an international modernist style, we start to look for the necessary elements that are in line with the requirements of the mentioned artistic expression. For this very reason, the volume of works that are mentioned in this paper is reduced, or rather summarized to a certain number of conforming examples. In addition to the above-mentioned goals, a special focus has been placed on the historical, economic and geographic context that parallels and influences the formation of both the creative ideas and the architect himself. The touristic flourishing of the Adriatic coast during the 60’s and 70’s of the 20th century has initiated a process of mass construction along the entire eastern Adriatic coast. Regional plans involving the modernization of neglected and poorly-connected coastal parts, such as the South Adriatic Plan, have provided the necessary preconditions for further planning of tourism architecture. While the architectural profession provided the best possible answers to the required norms and tried to satisfy the appetite of tourist constructions, critical regionalism, subtly, appeared and settled among the many examples of gigantic hotel architecture. Realizations like the hotel Neptun near Poreč or Hotel International on the island of Rab represent interpolations of modern architecture, which subtly fill out the old cities. They represent the spirit of modernism and new construction, but at the same time continue and maintain the continuity of a certain ambience. In the example from Vinkovci, a business and shopping center, De Luca displays how critical regionalism manifests itself differently in space. Unlike other examples mentioned on the coast of the eastern Adriatic or Isles, this example is built on the Slavonian plain in a somewhat different scenario.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, interpolations, Mediterranean, eastern Adriatic coast
Subjects: History of art
Departments: Department of Art History
Supervisor: Galjer, Jasna
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2018 08:36
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2018 08:36

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