Architecture in the Garden of Paradise (Maribor)


The exhibition that opened in Maribor on July 31st clearly shows that cultural events aren’t necessarily sleepers during the summer. This is an exhibition entitled Architecture in the Garden of Paradise: Alternative Morphology of Contemporary Croatian Architecture, which opened in Maribor – this year’s cultural capital of Europe, following its premiere in London and guest appearance in Tokyo. The exhibition opened at the Maribor Mestni Park, and will be available to the public for viewing until August 21, 2012.

In this exhibition 40 architectural projects have been presented, all exploring architecture’s specific relationship to the environment, where a symbiotic relationship is trying to be created between the structural form and the terrain. The exhibition’s curators are Leo Modrčin and Maroje Mrduljaš.

The included projects make use of biomorphic and geomorphic structures as a starting point for a specific taxonomy of structural bodies or concepts of architectural solutions. Research of such architecture goes above and beyond formal, form-fitting elements i.e. biological and geological morphology and attempts to recognize projects based on models of “growth” and interior organization of space by way of natural prototypes. Thus “organic” tendencies in Croatian architecture are approaching contemporary discourse in architecture or, at the very least, aim to anticipate it.

The selected architectural projects range from early experimental projects researching various organic and kinetic structures up to the most recent Croatian architecture highly visible on the international architectural scene.

Some of the projects included in the exhibition are among the most significant projects of modern and contemporary Croatian architectural production characterized by a clearly defined modernist canon, but here they’re given a new reading on the trail of contemporary architectural discourse oriented towards the fusion of architecture and nature.

This exhibition joins a series of overviews of recent Croatian architectural production with its research-based approach towards a narrowly defined critical focus of the relationship between architecture and the environment. Both realized and unrealized projects are represented among the selected works, while their pairing is free of generational or typological determinants.

Croatian architects were joined by several leading world-class architects such as Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Lebbeus Woods, whose projects touched upon various Croatian current architectural and art topics, reinterpreting them, thus contributing to the corpus of Croatian architecture.


To name but a few Croatian architects whose works were presented at the exhibition: Andrija Mutnjaković, Igor Emili, Vjenceslav Richter, Goran Rako and Bojan Radonić, 3LHD, Saša Randić and Idis Turato, Branimir Medić and Pero Puljiz, Alisa Andrašek, Hrvoje Njirić, Helena Paver Njirić, Veljko Oluić and Tonči Žarnić and others.

We featured the selected projects at the time of the London exhibition.

The selected projects were presented on 20 plexiglass panels, similar to signposts in botanical gardens, seeking to grow together with the natural environment.