Dugave, 45 Years Later

written by Luka Korlaet


Dugave neighbourhood, planned and constructed in the second half of the 1970s, represents a milestone in Zagreb’s urban planning and multi-residential architecture. Situated in the furthest south-eastern edge of Novi Zagreb, due to its size (14,000 inhabitants in 4,500 residential units on the surface of almost 80 ha), innovative approach to planning and design (non-orthogonal geometry, clear articulation and landscape design of open spaces) and complex organization (more than 40 public institutions, professional companies and building companies involved in the project), Dugave is still used as a reference point in the history of residential housing in Zagreb. This neighbourhood was developed in the political and economic circumstances of the last period of socialism that launched a new way of financing residential construction – Social housing construction.

Dugave area was developed in three stages: 1) final urban development plan Dugave-Dračevica, a concept of the area (done in the Zagreb Urban Development Institute managed by Ivan Tepeš), which was used as the basis for launching the 2) open urban and architectural competition held in 1975, which resulted with 3) the urban development project (done in the Croatian Urban Development Institute managed by Ivan Čižmek). Twenty-five projects entered the competition, with solutions for the centre of the area and three residential zones. The first award was given to the team that included Ivan Čižmek, Tomislav Odak, Zdenko Vazdar and Tomislav Bilić for their solution for the Centre and the Residential Zone I. Three projects for the two remaining zones won the second prize and the jury opened up the possibility for a cooperation of the winning teams in the further development of the competition projects. Croatian Urban Development Institute coordinated the development of the project and united the propositions into an integral urban development plan.