project Špansko Oranice Elementary School, Zagreb, Croatia
architectural office STUDIO UP
authors Lea Pelivan, Toma Plejić
written by Maroje Mrduljaš


The beginning of the 2000s brought a short-lived air of optimism in Croatia. After the angst-ridden 1990s, the general impression was that the society was normalizing: a certain level of economic consolidation was achieved and a number of public works benefited the construction industry as well as the architectural discipline. Public investments and architectural culture acted in synergy in the domains of social housing via the State-Subsidized Housing Construction (POS) and social standard buildings, mainly kindergartens and elementary schools. Intense research in both domains was ensured by architectural competitions which contributed to the scene's vitality. State institutions conducted the competitions for the POS buildings with the limited influence from the architectural community. However, professional associations, mostly the Zagreb Society of Architects, managed the pedagogical buildings. At that time, professional associations still had influence over spatial policies as well as enjoyed the reputation within the discipline of architecture and the general public.