The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Events Archive

Zoom Event: Sunny Side of Modernism: Tourist Architecture in Croatia 1950-2000 Lecture




Zoom Event: Sunny Side of Modernism: Tourist Architecture in Croatia 1950-2000

Monday 30 October 2023 at 6.30pm

Maroje Mrduljas, Assistant Professor at the University of Zagreb will discuss the architecture of tourism in Croatia between 1950 and 2000, its experimentation in modernism and its legacy.

Encouraged and subsidised by the socialist state, mass tourism became the main driving force behind the modernisation of the economically deprived coastal region of Croatia in Yugoslavia in the second half of the 20th century, with architects and urban planners successfully operating as critical mediators between economic demands and social responsibility.

The Croatian/ Yugoslav model of coastal urban transformation was remarkable in several respects, chiefly in its establishment of a sensible interaction between tourist development and sensitive urban environments while fostering the preservation of nature.

Simultaneously, design of tourist facilities became a field of experimentation which addressed some of the central cultural dilemmas of the time: “high” culture versus the “banal” or “popular” social practices of leisure, accommodation of masses versus individual comfort, and mobility versus sense of place.

Croatian/ Yugoslav hotel architecture coaxed spatially diverse structures out of the highly standardized and commodified typology, proving that unique spaces are not necessarily a privilege of the few but can be designed for the greatest number.

Today, modernist tourist architecture is either absorbed by the contemporary tourist industry or neglected and left to decay which clearly illustrates the ambiguous status of socialism's legacy.

Maroje Mrduljas, is Assistant Professor University of Zagreb, Faculty of Architecture. He has worked a lot on tourism architecture, including publications, exhibitions (contributing to a MoMA, New York, exhibition) and films.

Zoom Event - C20 Society Members:  £ 4    Non-Members: £ 6

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Note: This event is hybrid and is being run both in-person at Cowcross Street Gallery and online via Zoom. The event will be recorded and offered as a catch-up lecture for those who have booked, and will be available for two weeks.

We will send you a Zoom link by email after you book, which will enable you to “join” the event. You should receive an automated link within an hour of booking so please check your spam/junk emails if you haven't received this. Any further problems please contact

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The Twentieth Century Society is an IHBC (Institute of Historic Building conservation) recognised CPD provider.

The Twentieth Century Society is a registered charity, no 1110244

Above: Hotel complex Haludovo - Boris Magas (1969-72). Image: Malinska