September 17, 2020 – Hotel Marjan in Split, which has been out of function since Zeljko Kerum took over in 2006 and was bought by Rovinj’s Adris Group at the end of last year, will be completely demolished.
T.portal writes that the investors have hired 3LHD studio from Zagreb and the famous Italian architect and designer Pier Lissoni to lead the new hotel project, and they are currently in the process of obtaining a location permit.
After its reconstruction, the former Split tourist pearl and one of the recognizable city symbols will be equally as tall as the building today, but with one floor less due to the desired higher floor height. According to unofficial announcements, in this renovation, the hotel will be reduced by about 6.5 thousand square meters and for the most part, aim to be closer to the original form from the 1960s, i.e., an attempt will be made to neutralize the consequences of the never completed renovation fifteen years ago, when the investor was Zeljko Kerum and designer Jerko Rosin.
Among other things, two large hotel annexes, which are called apartments, will be removed, and there will no longer be the eyesore that is the double glass facade. A large inner courtyard, or atrium, will be formed, and the facade itself will follow the ideas during the original design of the West Coast, which includes even the color of the stone.
Adris Group said only briefly that in cooperation with the City of Split and the relevant institutions, they are preparing the necessary documentation for the renovation of Hotel Marjan. After the renovation is completed, it will be in the group of their luxury hotels (Grand Park Hotel Rovinj, Lone, Hilton and others). Still, they did not want to reveal the planned amount of investment and completion deadlines.
As it was unofficially found out, the original plan was to complete the documentation by the end of this year and start work next year, in which most of the planned two billion kuna of the company’s investment in the tourism sector would be spent. As the decision was made at the group level to postpone it for a year due to the corona crisis, it is realistic that Adris Group will take its first major step into the Dalmatian market in 2022.
“The fact is that the coronavirus pandemic affected the course of our investments, but we will be able to talk about the deadlines and details of the project itself, which 3LHD and the famous Piero Lissoni are working on, when the project is completed,” the Adris Group confirmed.
Leading Split conservator Rade Buzancic said that talks had been held with investors and designers and that his service was so far satisfied with what they had seen and heard.
“These are top experts who have set themselves the task of making a serious redesign, but almost reminiscent of the original project. They want to get closer to the original of the Marjan hotel and focus on quality instead of quantity, and that is a novelty in behavior in our area,” Buzancic said.
Hotel Marjan itself is not individually protected as a cultural asset. Still, it has become part of the recognizable image of the city, especially from the sea, and an actor of a kind of subtle dialogue with Diocletian’s Palace – both in area and height. According to the project of Lovro Perkovic, the former industrial zone with quarries and cement plants on the West Coast has been ‘sanitized’, and as Buzancic explains, in a successful modern style.
“The recent intervention was not particularly successful, and the construction of the double façade even increased the size of the tower and lost the cantilever, which gave the impression that the tower was floating in the air. Investors are very cooperative and are willing to restore most of the delicate image lost in the reconstruction fifteen years ago, and even balconies with bars. The project is currently going in the right direction,” confirms the leading Split conservator.
Hotel Marjan, the former pride of Split tourism, was bought by Zeljko Kerum fifteen years ago for 170 million kuna, paying three times more than the requested starting price. He promised and announced a renovation, even signing a contract with the Hilton chain, but it turned out that this investment ran his entire business empire to the ground. The purchase was guaranteed by his retail chain Kerum d.o.o., which the banks blocked, and he announced lawsuits against them.
At the end of 2017, Adria Resorts from the Adris Group bought receivables secured by mortgages over Hotel Marjan from the Austrian Heta Asset Resolution Group. They previously did the same with receivables from hotel annexes and claims of 72 former hotel employees. Therefore, at the end of last year, Marjan was bought for three-quarters of the estimated value, HRK 324 million, by an electronic auction.