The hotel complex “Zagreb” is located on the eastern edge of Split, on Duilovo. It covers almost 60000 m2 and includes a unique building of the old and new hotel “Zagreb” in the north of the parcel, several detached houses for tourist catering purposes, twenty bungalows on the east side of the plot, thick pine forest with promenades, ball games, mini golf and children’s playgrounds, a beach facility, and beach on the south side of the plot.
The complex was built in several phases of the JNA as a resort for the army. The construction of the old part of the hotel, as well as the beach object, began in 1968 to make the building already adapted in 1976 for the organization of the Mediterranean Games in Split (held in 1979). The hotel building today has its shape from 1982, like the adaptation from 1976 that Boris Bego worked on.
The Army had its standard of construction, and one of them was that the lobby of the hotel must have 1 m2 per guest. Likewise, the architect met with the requirement that all guests should be served at the same time in the restaurant so that the waiter would not violate the hierarchy of military ranks. Such requests resulted in a large overall usable area of the building that does not meet today’s standards.
On the other hand, the rooms of the hotel are small, and in order to achieve better categorization, two rooms should be merged into one. The central air conditioning system also influenced the overall volume of the facility. According to a study commissioned by Bego on the order of the City of Split, midway through the two-dimensional adaptation to modern standards, the hotel could receive up to 10000 m2 of usable area within the existing ranges.
Another problem with the hotel was the sudden cessation of construction. Just as the central part was built with a reception, restaurants, kitchens and other accompanying facilities on orders from military tops, the construction was suspended. As a result, the hotel lacks 500-600 rooms that are key to having a successful business.
Local artists also participated in the design of the hotel. Today, in the interior of the hotel, there is about a half a meter long display of the history of Split from the era of Diocletian to the Mediterranean Games. It was made by Josip Botteri Dini, a painter famous for his sacred themes.
Architect Ante Svarcic
The life of the resort in the hotel complex continued until the nineties when the hotel moved into the hands of the MORH and accepted refugees. Some of them still live in the old hotel wing, and all of the bungalows are occupied. Since the nineties, the whole complex collapsed, and the largest devastation was experienced by smaller self-contained facilities and beach property.
All photos: Ante Svarčić, Boris Bego, Tonči Kranjčević Batalić, archives