Parish Church of St Luke the Evangelist / Roman Vukoja & Robert Kriznjak

© Ivica Bralic

Architects: Roman Vukoja &
Location: Zagreb,
Collaborators: Martina Križnjak, Ana Iskra (Ured ovlaštenog arhitekta Robert Križnjak, Croatia)
Structural engineer: Pero Šarušic ( Pprojekt d.o.o., Croatia)
Contractor: Josip Švenda (Team d.d., Croatia)
Client: Mr Josip Horvat (Zagreb Archdiocese, St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Travno quarter, Zagreb)
Project area: 2,100 sqm
Project Year: 2002
Construction Year: 2006-2008
Photographs: Ivica Bralic

The Church Parish Complex has the intention to provide with its contents a new life quality to the New Zagreb part of the city, particularly Travno quarter. In the course of process of creating this project, a particular attention has been dedicated to sacrality as a universal architectural topic. The essential issue is that the church is not only a building but an “alive“ believers’ community – meeting point and a “house of prayer”.

© Ivica Bralic

The disposition of the building volume has been generated by the influences that are arising from the context – proper structure of the existing urban surrounding area. The building is positioned on the western edge of central green area in the interspace between „megavolume of the housing building so-called Mammoth–the largest housing block in the South –East Europe (approx. 5000 residents)“ and a green park area of the central part of this quarter. Thus, it proceeds with the urban sequence of grouping quarter public buildings (school, kindergarten, culture, media centre, church) in the border area surrounding park.

ground floor plan

The building is composed of two main volumes. A dominant volume containing the main church hall, i.e. sacred space conceived as a central building in compliance with the Second Vatican Council Reform. In the spatial concept, the idea of alive community is dominant, i.e. the believers are surrounding the altar.

There are service rooms beneath the sacred space in the basement, among them there are halls for movie projection, organization of seminars, lectures and the like, then Internet club for young parishioners as well as a storage room and sanitary facilities.

© Ivica Bralic

From the west side next to the Church corpus, an annex of Parish House is located with its contents related to the social community life. Inside the Parish House premises, the following premises are envisaged: religious teaching classrooms, Caritas offices, Parish Office on the ground floor, and a living area, including the apartments for the Parish Priest and chaplain and a big dining room and kitchen on the first floor. Both parts of the building are connected by the glass bridge on the first floor which allows a direct communication between the sacred space and housing part of the Parish House.

© Ivica Bralic

The volumes of the Church and Parish House form, from the southern entrance side, plateau of the square in front of the entrance to the Church. The square plateau is lightly extruded in relation to the surrounding area.

In a process of creating this project, a particular attention was dedicated to the treatment of light as an architectural medium. An important characteristic of the Church interieur is the penetration of light (cross carved into the wall, roof light cubes, stripe of light over altar, way of cross, tabernacle, etc.) by which the architectural idea is emphasized by the play of light and shadow, as well as the sacrality of space. The building substance of architecture (wall, column, ceiling) makes the architecture enliven in the context of interrelations of lights.

Cite: "Parish Church of St Luke the Evangelist / Roman Vukoja & Robert Kriznjak" 04 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • rsantosfernandes

    The secret to a successful chuch architecture should be all about light and emotion….could be the most simple church but must have this!
    somehow i think this example lacks of it.

  • word

    Pretty nice, I like it. I know it’s awkward to take photographs during a service, but I’d love to see the building full of people to get a better sense of the character of the spaces.

  • George

    Yeah but the cliff of panelaks behind is cool!

  • wong

    i found the surrounding super long housing blocks are much more interesting than this…

  • detour

    this church was built on the location by force and despite huge civil protest for it not to be buildt in a protected city park.

    local cizitens were not against the church but against it being buildt in a park.

    final decision was made by the corrupt city govermnemt of zagreb and the roman chatolic church which insisted for a building to be buildt in the center of the neiborhood, rather that on the side where there would be no problem.

    as a result a large portion of the park is no longer public park, and the church itself is protected by a fence that banns access for general public.

    • ghie

      What are you talking about?
      Just look at site plan… It’s pretty green, don’t you think. ;)

    • Pia

      It is not true what detour is saying.I live in the Travno quarter. The church complex is completly open, without any fence. Anybody can use public space of the church complex.
      The church complex occupies less than 10% of the central green area as it can be seen on the siteplan. Thera are lots of contents in the complex related to the social life of the community. Caritas is helping poor families, there are workshops hor handicaped people etc.

  • Archline

    I like this style!

  • terax

    Good example of minimalistic church!

  • Miss.Mug

    it reminds me of the Church of the Light…

  • go

    excellent design. nothing negative to write … one is to congratulate the designers.It is the best space for worship I saw in this publication, phenomenal!

  • enrico

    I am a bit confused about this architecture. A great building, beautifully done… it would be perfect for a gym! It is quite common nowadays to see these beautifully shaped spaces, modern and simple, full of light, but this is not enough to make a Church. The Church-as-a-gym worries me.