Architects: Hildegard Auf–Franić, Tin Sven Franić, Vanja Rister
Location: Rijeka, Croatia
Client: University of Rijeka
Collaborators: Ana Aščić, Marina Bertina,Tamara Brixy, Tajana Jaklenec, Vedrana Jančić, Luka Korlaet, Mia Roth Čerina
Structural Engineer: Eugen Gajšak, G.I.F. d.o.o., Zagreb
Mechanical Engineer: Ivan Cetinić
Electrical Engineer: Elag d.o.o., Zagreb
Contractor: Lavčević–inženjering d.o.o., Split
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 21,000 sqm
Photographs: Robert Leš
The immediate context of the building of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Faculty of Teacher Education in Rijeka is shaped by the zoning plan of the new University of Rijeka campus, taking the place of the former army barracks in the district of Trsat. The program is complex: there are two institutions with a dozen study programs and the same number of departments, a student counseling center and a large garage.
The building’s structure is clearly shaped, articulating a vital interweaving of numerous activities and users. It can be read through the cross section and the floor plan, and primarily enables a more efficient communication and flexibility. The cross section shows the lower part of the building with the internal street that unites public spaces (lecture rooms, library, common areas, atriums), and the upper part that contains quiet working spaces (offices, department meeting rooms, seminars, “hanging gardens”). Also, the floor plan defines three entities: external gallery; area of faculty departments and lecture rooms; and rooms for student seminars and administration, located along the longitudinal communication.
The created structure can also be read through materialization: the upper part of the building is clad in Eternit panels of recognizable color; the lower part with the aluminum glazed façade is transparent. The open gallery has a texture of grid-like treads, and the lecture room groups are clad in perforated sheet metal with green dome roofs.
A series of characteristic public and intimate spaces are created within the compact volume including: shaded yards, transparent lobbies of lecture rooms along the atriums, introverted tracts of individual departments along the hilly green roofs, floating common areas of the departments that also connect them, longitudinally placed corridors of the library and the classrooms where seminars are held, airy, longitudinally placed terraces of external fire escapes, and the staircases as rest areas in the open.