Cascade Commercial Center / Radionica Arhitekture

© Boris Cvjetanovic

Architects: Radionica Arhitekture
Location: Zagreb,
Project Team: Blanka Gutschy, Vedrana Ivanda, Kristina Jeren, Goran Rako, Nenad Ravnić, Josip Sabolić, Marusja Tus
Structural Engineering: Branko Galic
Project Area: 18,000 sqm
Project Year: 2004-2008
Construction Year: 2009
Photographs: Boris Cvjetanovic

© Boris Cvjetanovic

Cascade commercial center is situated in the center of Zagreb, about 500m to the north of the main city square where the flat lowland part of Zagreb meets the elite housing covered city hills. The architectural concept of the building is in our opinion contextual as it appreciates the topography which suggests building terraces between two parallel streets each on a different elevation.

It’s easy to conclude that the center got its name from its cross section. As you walk along The Tkalciceva street, one of the important streets of Zagreb, the section of the building ensures visual contact with four streets/terraces of the center. They are filled with people sitting in cafes, people shopping or just window shopping.


If you approach the center from the south, from the Mikloušiceva Street, streets/terraces also let you just walk through the Cascade and continue to the north, to another Shopping center. The private streets/terraces become a part of the public city space. To the south of the center, near the Mikloušiceva Street, a small chapel is going to be restored and presented to the public.

© Boris Cvjetanovic

The facades of the terraces are defined by the shop windows. The shops are entered either directly from the terrace on one side or over a small bridge crossing on the other. The terraces are spacious enough for both communication and use as an extension of the shops/cafes. The last two terraces are covered with a translucent roof.

The east part of the center is reserved for four apartments looking to the gardens of the residential street to the east of the center. The apartments and their entrance are completely separated from the commercial part of the building. On top of having a big garden in front of them, each of the apartments has a small garden of its own.

© Boris Cvjetanovic
floor plan

The rest of the building is occupied by shops of different sizes separated by shopping corridors. The garage with the capacity of 180 cars and the technical part of the building are under the ground level. The gross area of the building is around 18,000 sqm.

The shape of the building was derived from its future use and it became its attraction. We assumed that other architectonic elements weren’t necessary. The architectonic frame is filled with ambitiously designed shops and cafes. The building was opened in the end of the 2009. in the middle of the economic crisis but the situation is improving. The center is becoming a kind of meeting point of the younger urban population.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Cascade Commercial Center / Radionica Arhitekture" 18 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • hateugliness

    What a job! Everything is intelligently thought through. Outstanding & yet modest. Balanced & not overdone. Modern architecture in its very best. Why f***ing Walmart wouldn’t do the same type of projects instead of WalMarchitecture

  • Modonaut

    It’s encouraging to see such a toughfull and well designed project in the modern spirit and materials, coming from our former Yugoslavia neighborhood. Too bad serbian architecture scene is mostly atrocious and kitsch.

  • Katsudon

    Really really nice and smart layout design.
    I just miss a slight something on the facade treatment…

  • 420

    I’m glad people recognize that progress in Crotias architecture, but I have to tell you this Center is not so clever as it looks on the pictures. Its facade is too big for small street in old city like Tkalciceva street and whole Center is unpractical in its organization of space. That’s the reason why it’s empty and without customers and therefore uneconomical.
    Social part of it is worse, because Zagreb is full of mega Shopping Centers couple of times bigger than this one, with very small number of new, but cultural significant buildings.
    This one, for example is great

  • Manuel Malagon Alvarez

    Great work!