Dinko Kovačić arrow Boris Magaš: About the origins
About the origin

Those were the days of far gone youth of the sixties when in the room 408 at the Faculty of Architecture the never ending story of architecture to which we were dedicated and in which we believed was revolving in endless cycles. The Croatian architecture of the time carried the present power of will to compensate for the tragic state of the possible. A fundamental base of everything going on in these rooms was identification with the most recent and the efforts to outdo this most recent. The Croatian architecture or to be exact the Zagreb Faculty of Architecture with its best generation of professors was intensively breathing with contemporary world events in spite of the fact that to get hold of any architectural magazine presented a real feat. Practically all the time of personal ambitions of an assistant were spent on working and meeting with students.

There was a young man amongst those students whose questions always aimed at discovering that hidden underneath the skin, that which would represent the essence from which the thought would emerge, bringing with it the series of sketches and drawings. This search often took more time than expected and open cabinet doors served to clear the dilemmas and to return the roads to the reality of the possible. This entering underneath the skin of architecture, this seeking after a fundamental moving stone, this frequent wandering to find suddenly open the doors of conscious will, long talks and eternal dilemmas, this was all sunk into interminable hours that youth had at its disposal. And the result was always promising, proving that the time spent in search was not lost in vain. The young man we are talking about was called Dinko Kovačić.

The leading thoughts of the Zagreb architectural school were at those times very clear. Striving after purity of expression based on parallel streams of Le Corbusier, Mies, Wright or Bauhaus characterized various studios which, depending on a teacher, followed reflections of those paths, the question of particularity as an ever present imperative, all this made for richness of events from which a talented soul could extract the essence of values that the time characterization offered at the certain point in time. To be quite frank and it is difficult to talk of those days without a touch of melancholy, we were so sure of ourselves and of our time that each discussion was turned into the food of life. This was valid as for the teachers so for the students.
Split was at that time facing large building enterprises. The awareness of immense qualities of historical architectural heritage was integrated into the ambitions of realizing that what should come. And then two housing towers appeared in the Gripe district, of pure format, clearly defined edges and vertical cuts following, almost to the letter, the theme of vertical growth. Clear angle cuts, thin partition verticals between the French windows and simple and clear, again quite vertical, balustrade to be used later by the tenants for everything that should be put in touch with sun. As if the faculty students literature became a part of the new conception of Split. The Zagreb architectural school storv was being transformed into the autochthony of the Mediterranean region. The person who was heading those atempts proved that he was right in his choice of profession: by incorporating his thought into Split spaces he confirmed "that he could". An opus was started hardly to be matched by anyone in its quantity.