Above All, Landscape
The architects Helena (1963) and Hrvoje Njiric (1960) went to live and work in Graz, following their graduation from the University of Zagreb, to sit out the war that tore the old Yugoslavia apart. Several teaching contracts with the university here have kept them in touch with the Austrian city after their return to Zagreb, where they set up their current practice in 1996.
Perhaps in an unconscious attempt to help suture the damage suffered by their country during the course of the war, the buildings of this couple wish to take on the nature of a landscape – one that is capable of weaving housing together with work and farm activities around a concave topography, as in the urban planning of Viskovo. A compressed landscape such as that proposed under the motto ‘Hortus Santitatis’ for the Pharmacy Faculty of the University of Zagreb, presents itself as a condensed extension of the neigboring botanical garden, organized along three paths: the daily route for teachers and students, the visitors’ walk, and the homeopathic path – a footbridge which crosses the hanging gardens of medicinal herbs...[+]