Pope John Paul II Hall / Randić & Turato

trsat- franjevci

Architects: Randić & Turato / Saša Randić and Idis Turato
Location: Rijeka,
Project team: Sinisa Glusica, Gordan Resan, Iva Cuzela-Bilac, Ana Stanicic (Technical Architects)
Contractor: Aljosa Travas
Client: Franciscan monastery Trsat
Total built surface: 1,048 sqm
Design year: 2003
Construction date: 2008
Photographs: Robert Leš

trsat - djeca trce na trgu trsat--predavaona trsat-gospa8 trsat-panorama2

The Church of Our Lady of Trsat is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Croatia. According to the legend, angels transferred the Nazareth Tabernacle of the Holy Family to Trsat on 10 May 1291 where it remained until 1294 when angels transferred it to Loreto, Italy.
The first church was built at the end of the 13th century, and in the 15th century a new church and the Franciscan monastery were constructed. It was enlarged and re-constructed several times since.


The idea to add a Great Hall building to the complex is connected with the Pope’s visit to Rijeka. At the beginning of June 2003 Pope John Paul II has arrived in Croatia for the third time. Being only the second Pope to visit Croatia (the first, Alexander III has been shipwrecked in 12th century), his visits had a broader social significance.

trsat- franjevci11

During his stay in Rijeka he has visited the Trsat church for a private prayer, and on that occasion he blessed the construction of the Monastery’s new building that would serve the pilgrims and house cultural activities of the monastery.

The new building is situated by the eastern wall, where service buildings were previously located. With this reconstruction a new major entrance for the pilgrims has been created at that part, and in order to accommodate the pedestrian flow the whole wall has been recessed creating a new public walk on the outside.

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The new construction consists of two elements: a generic volume of the hall and a columned portico that creates a new public square within the monastery. The Hall is cladded in a single terracotta- surface with a pixelated structure created by the changing gap between the elements, bringing the light in the hall.


The portico is supported with a series of short concrete walls, whose functional use was recognized during the August 15th pilgrimage in 2007, when these spaces have been used for confessions.

Cite: "Pope John Paul II Hall / Randić & Turato" 17 Nov 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=40969>
  • Tosh

    This is really awkward place to confess :)

  • name

    simple pure beauty

  • Balkan

    Fantastican rad! Svaka cast komsije:) Pozdrav iz Srbije

  • lisa

    the glass and the brickwork really are not working together well. if the glass was the voids between the brick, that would be something

    • emcee

      that would be exactly what a 1st year student would have done.

  • Dijana

    Excellent architecture! One of the best works I’ve seen this year! Somehow seems like they have reached the very essence of what they have been building!

  • INawe

    nice building but there doesn’t seem to be any correlation between this inside and the outside. such a missed opportunity if you ask me.

    • three zed

      and why should there be any correlation between the outside and the inside? this is a church, a place where one should feel protected, safe and calm. not a place to kick back your shoes, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the view.
      i think that they did a great job in defining different spaces having that in mind. the courtyard – open, clear, the outside; the hall – closed, private, the inside and that columned portico that is everything in between.

  • cad

    Monopoly Hotel

  • E

    I enjoy the effort to transform brink into both a traditionally solid and uncommonly transparent facade. However, I unavoidably think of deterioration (flesh eating virus?) whenever I see it. Perhaps they could have created a more elegant patterning system with the shadows of the voids against the solid?

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  • eeh

    i’ve been in love with this project since i first saw it. the only thing i don’t quite like about it is the pale yellow color used in the interior…

  • god

    rather build home for homeless
    hospitals for sick
    schools for pupils

    place of worship is your heart

  • CaioM

    Unfortunately the interior doesn’t reflec the exterior, with that really good work in terracotta-bricks.
    the interior is an ordinary house…

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  • jiemo07


  • fede alvarez paccioretti

    hello is realy interesting the construccion with the brick, great!!