Children Health Resort in Krvavica, architect Rikard Marasovic, 1962-1964
Photo: Saša Šimpraga/ Motel Trogir
Guided tour Zagreb in 20th century (detail)
Photo: Nataša Bodrozic
Koteks-Gripe, sports and shopping complex in Split, architects Z. Jankovic & S. Rozic, 1979-1981
Photo : Saša Šimpraga/ Motel Trogir
The Motel Trogir project was launched in 2013 by Loose Associations (Slobodne veze), contemporary art practices and its associates as a civil campaign focused on the motel built in Trogir in 1965, designed by Ivan Vitic, one of the most prominent Croatian architects of the 20th century. Vitic's motel is a rare example of modern architecture in Trogir, a mid-Dalmatian coastal town with 13,000 permanent inhabitants, of which approximately 1,000 live in its historical centre (inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1997). The project consists of many activities and has developed a specific methodology which can be described as a combination of civic activism and scientific, publishing and educational work, including curating and producing contemporary art projects. One of the main project goals was to ensure the motel's formal recognition and protection by the proper authorities, which was successfully obtained: the motel in Trogir was included in the List of Protected Cultural Goods of the Republic of Croatia in 2013, while in 2015 another motel in Rijeka, a variant of the same original design by Vitic, was added to the list. By insisting on the qualities of this architectural concept and its significance for the history of tourism in Trogir and for the town's community life, the project seeks to oppose the dominant media narrative which views the motel area strictly in the light of its present, dilapidated state, thereby implicitly advocating the radical solutions conforming to the appetites of potential investors. In this respect, the Motel Trogir project has broached the subject of the social valuation of the still often stigmatised Socialist era's tangible heritage - not only for the purpose of canonizing specific structures or architectural complexes, but also in order to preserve the cultural memory and social affirmation of (Yugoslav) Modernism and its influence and current significance.