A Courtyard Fulfilled

architects Ivana Dabrović, Ivana Žuanić /ecoing, Damir Gamulin
projectThe Fast Food Restaurant Ham-Ham, Zagreb, Croatia
written by Maroje Mrduljaš


The entrails of blocks, the inner courtyards of the Lower City of Zagreb, have traditionally been a sore point of the Croatian metropolis, an object of numerous urban planning deliberations, especially in the 80s, when there was more frequent talk of consolidating the city tissue and maintaining an urban morphology. All those speeches and studies were mostly fruitless, while internal courtyards remained neglected with no attractive contents: inverse urban slums contrasting with civil streets, like the darker side of their citizens, turned into spaces of bad conscience and untidiness swept under the carpet. Still, even such squalid and unhealthy inner courtyards do make up the identity of Zagreb. One block provides the intimacy for a kindergarten, the other offers a surprising park, yet another contains a cozy family house…