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City of Zagreb
City Office for Physical Planning, Construction, Communal Affairs and Traffic


Faculty of Architecture
University of Zagreb


City Acupuncture


Oris - House of Architecture




City of Zagreb
City Office for Culture, Education and Sport


Republic of Croatia
Ministry of Culture

Work title: Mass man

The subject of public space is actually a subject of society. Public space as such does not exist without its consumer - society. Because of this, the problem of public space, or at least its modern paradox is really a paradox of today’s modern society. We became what Rob Riemen called "mass society". A set of disinterested nihilists convinced of our own importance, paralyzed by the fear of liberating freedom and eternaly amused by our desires and lusts. The pursuit of universal truth and universal beauty has vanished, as well as humanism and tradition of liberal democracy. Many great thinkers like Goethe and Tocqueville already reached these conclusions before him, and soon Ortega y Gasset, who named the problem itself. However, Riemen synthesized the equation and put it in today’s context. The most important atom of such a society is an individual called "mass-man". The name refers to the quality, not the quantity. Public space planning that defies these contemporary social analyses doesn’t want to expand its aura vernacularly, to extend these same planes and streets, but to thicken the atmosphere of public life in just a few square meters. To intensify this molecular public moment of meeting with a close friend, casual acquaintance, a protester’s march or an artistic performance. That is why we shift this whole platform upwards, in the air. The very choice of the vertical is not solely due to the obvious visual stimulus which is imposed to us. It is there because of its graphic symbolism of a city that can take us from this stale and stagnant piazza to a whirl of vertigo or cause nausea. Its whole point is to affects us, emotionally or physically. By placing a symbolic obelisk we define the space. In the manner of Pope Sixtus V., we change it succinctly without letting it cry its dead or get over its tight paths and roads. By setting up a landmark in such a violent fashion we make clear that since that moment the space is occupied by public. The tower appears as a spot, focal point in the surface by which cities are defined. External areas - squares, parks, platforms, runways, or interior - living rooms, shopping centers, theaters. Cities are also defined by lines and strokes. The streets, directions of movement, tramlines. These are dimensions that create boundaries, produce visual and physical barriers or motivate us to seize and grab them. What type of architecture fits erected public space? The type that is formed by "action", changes its shape and location, finds its meaning in more places at once and is not interested in local-patriotism. The type that abruptly leaves its next-door neighbor, ruinous facades and goes into the shade of the linden. Then it finds itself tucked in by the crying sea, or awakened by a landing airplane ... The tower is a modern nomad and adapts to occasion. But also fits the opportunity to itself. It brings good things to a new location, a space to talk, for a reunion with a stranger. Delivers theater, forgotten scenery for a public man who once lived. Premises that are in motion around the main vertical lead to different appreciation of the space, atmosphere and people around. Their purpose is for the man to discover. Tower is trying to throw out homo faber out of his comfort zone and into the vortex of something new, something that he yet doesn’t know he needs. Aggravation of the very act of climbing in each step also contributes to the feeling. Reaching the top, it is necessary to strive; not to the sky or the horizon of the city, but downward, towards ourselves and what we’ve learned through the experience. An attempt to transform a responsible and engaged homo faber, a “man who has no time” to a “man curious”, prone to play and discovery of what we all innately did with first breath. Play. Homo ludens is an important part of our person who we constantly deny because he doesn’t make money, or is wasting time. But the concept of play and the different roles we interpret in it are necessary for us to be expressive to others and enjoy the company of each other, and that''''s what the city wants us to do. The tower invites us on a play-date so we could recall the first step of sociability: question, greeting, introduction, chat and restores the lost "geography of the public".
Work details
Application Number 0000703074
Author Krmek, Anita , Croatia
Coauthors , ,
Bartolić, Kristina ,
Kolendić, Marja Mia,
Medoš, Maša ,

Juror Comments

  • Juror @ 03/08/2015 21:46:04
    An event creation as a generator of public space, but what does it do for the society?
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