Abandoned buildings made-over for Design District Zagreb

Written by
Beth Ryan

The inaugural Design District Zagreb festival is off to a colourful start , with all kinds of creatives filling the city's east-central streets with art.

Among the participants are architects, urban planners and landscapers, who are running a range of spacial interventions during the festival. They take over deserted or shabby areas of the streets around Martićeva with installations: the first saw the roof of Zagreb's Wooden Building reconstructed as an urban garden.

Here are some of the most exciting interventions which you should make sure to see during Design District Zagreb, which runs from June 16 to June 19:

 Deserted Spaces 

This project sees Marija Ančić paint and Irena Frantal write on giant paper pasted across the abandoned military hospital at Vlaška street 87 - it's all about our strange tendency to turn away from the spaces we once occupied.

Textile Manipulation

Martina Franić takes over capacious spaces with fine textiles, in this absorbing intervention that'll make you feel like you're walking through cobwebs. At Petrova 1. 

Endless Movements

Vanda Jarković's embossed card and paper sculptures will cover the walls of local bars at Tomašićeva 3, lending their exteriors a beguiling abstract appearance. 

 Cinema in the Hood

Zagreb's latest film happening - following Animafest and Screen on the Green - will occupy the intersection of Vojnovićeva and Brešćenskog, where a wall will serve as a projection screen and a lawn will serve as the seats. From 9pm each day of the festival, feature films and documentaries about urban life will play. 

 RE: Again/ Anew/ Return

Students at the Faculty of Architecture have been researching the mysterious old military hospital on Vlaška street; learn about their findings on a tour of the complex, which stops by four different artist interventions on its path. 

Picture of Sound in the City 

Evelina Turković curates a fascinating exhibition of sound art that'll have your ears inspired, at Vlaška street 87

Temporary Design Museum 

Design (in the form of posters, smart packaging and household appliances) come out of their hiding places and back on to the streets in the pop up window displays that will occupy Ratkajev prolaz, Tomašićeva and Bulićeva


These OSB board and plant installations - or urban equipment systems - make it easy to bring greenery into urban spaces in a stylish way. Take a peek at them along Martićeva street.


Design collective Numen/ For Use bring their globetrotting net installation (which has been to Yokohama, Berlin and Moscow) to 100. brigade Hrvatske vojske park.

Romantique Noir

Dora Filipović's objects are delicate with a gothic edge. See them used creatively as light decorations at Tomašićeva street 3.

Animal Friendly City

One to get tales wagging: architects Vinko Penezić and Krešiir Rogina have teamed up with design studio Fliktiv to fashion a kind of urban zoo. The residential pet area will have little houses for dogs, bats, birds and bats.

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