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Architecture and urban planning of Split in the 2nd half of the 20th centuryquality label

The architecture and urbanism of the 2nd half of the 20th century were supposed to be a catalyst for the transformation and modernization of society. In Croatia, the designs were extremely ambitious and created some of the most beautiful works of modern architecture. However, modernization remained unfinished. Residential architecture is one of the most important goals of the modernisation of society after World War II for the increasing number of people who arrived in cities. Large residential areas have been built almost everywhere in the world. The most difficult task was to design a home that would not become just an alienating dormitory. In Split, the largest city on the Adriatic, intensive urban expansion took place in the post-war period. The city of 40,000 inhabitants grew 5 times and reached 220,000 inhabitants by the 1980s. Split was expanding in stages, creating the most comprehensive project of urban architectural culture in Croatia. It was the result of knowledge and experience from different sources. The grand expansion was named SPLIT 3.

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Split 3 is a common name for a cluster of Split’s modernist neighbourhoods (the third city district) built during the 1970s for the growing population of the industrial center at the time. It included Smrdečac, Trstenik, Križine, Mertojak, Visoka, Žnjan and Dragovode. Designed according to the revolutionary urban planning idea of a team of Slovenian urban planners consisting of Vladimir Braco Mušič, Marjan Bežan and Nives Starc, Split 3 became a classic of Croatian and Yugoslav modernist urbanism. In the next decade, Split planned to build 16,000 flats for around 50,000 inhabitants, which made the city at the peak of industrial development grow by a third at the time: hence the name Split 3. Split’s urban planners were aware of the urban planning problems of the new neighborhoods at the time and wanted to avoid them. As an urban planner, Mušič dealt with the issue of how to build neighborhoods that will satisfy the hunger for housing with enough space and flats, while at the same time preserving the identity of the neighborhood and avoiding alienation. Split 3 – contrary to popular opinion – is not just a single neighborhood, but a series of neighborhoods designed by different architects.


Slobode 2B, Split

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