The Forgotten Children's Health Resort

mART, art association from Makarska, Croatia

The Children’s Maritime Health Resort of Military Insured Persons, for a long period of time, was controlled by the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), first as a children’s health resort until 1973, then as a vacation resort for military persons and their families. With the outbreak of war in the former Yugoslavia, the JNA left the building in 1991, when it was put in use to house the refugees, and to train special military units. In 2000 the establishment was “demilitarised”, and put in control of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, and in the “care” of the Club Adriatic, a state agency. The Children’s Health Resort, among many other exceptional military facilities, during the transitional period of rejecting the socialist heritage, entered its chronic deterioration phase that lasts until the present day. The current status quo, in which the building is listed as a cultural heritage, in the reign of the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets, is up for sale – and its destiny unknown. 

Many civil initiatives to restore the building happened in recent years, especially to regain its primary function as a health resort for respiratory diseases during the pandemic times. One of the many endeavours was a public program To Cure a Place of Care.  It was organized within the international CITY≤ ≥HOSPITAL project, by the association f.act from Graz, through a cooperation with associations Intermundia from Zagreb and mART from Makarska. 

The idea and the need to clean up the children’s health resort in Krvavica have existed for a long time in the minds of the locals, and it was finally realized in Oct 2021, within To Cure a Place of Care project. The pedestrian access, ramp and circular passage through the building were cleaned of the broken glass and debris. The following day a participative programme involving the local community was performed. The participants engaged in a natural environment and with the architecture of cure, to think about the potential transformations of the establishment in Krvavica together – through a photographic walk, collective performance, architectural “side-guided” tour and a creative visualisation workshop.


Dr. Boštjan Bugarič

Shared spaces are the future of our common life in the city. During the modernist era a term public space was used to define such places but the constitution of them were much more based on local economic and anthropocentric criteria, which allowed a strong touristification of public spaces and their transformation into the places of the production of private capital. As the so popular business construction PPP (private public partnership) didn’t deliver to the community realities, needs and/or desires for people inhabiting stressed circumstances of the area. As Marjetica Potrč states “the communities imagine the future city as a network of neighborhoods and neither group was interested in public space, but they were all interested in shared space, community space,” it is important to follow some of the main paradigms of the changing world to therefore make a new agreement that is not human centered. Decolonizing methodologies can change the perception of ownership into caretaker. The first step is a definition of a new vocabulary  based on trust and creating a ritual of transition within structuring new relationships in space.

Dr. Boštjan Bugarič is an architect, researcher, curator, critic and editor. Since 2014 he has been an editor at the open source community Architectuul in Berlin. For the University of Primorska in Koper he coordinated the accreditation and established the Faculty of Built Environment (2008-13), where he took a position of the acting dean (2011 – 2013). In 2017 was a research collaborator at Faculty of Architecture Ljubljana. He is a professor at the Visual art and Design department at the Faculty of Pedagogy in Koper. He exhibited at the U3 Triennial of Contemporary Art in Slovenia in MSUM+ Ljubljana (2013). Since 2016 he has been coordinating the Architectuul’s associated partnership at the Future Architecture Platform. Architectuul is a member of the LINA research project. 


Dr. Mika Savela

The celebrated total design of the Paimio Sanatorium was originally crafted for the care of a single illness. More accurately, its highly idealised and aestheticised view of modern care became the basis of its architectural fame. Suddenly, in June 2018 the Sanatorium was put on the market. Unusable for its original, singular purpose, all that was left was its legacy. Today, salvaged by the Finnish state after an international publicity campaign, Paimio is in the process of reimagining its future as a cultural foundation. In some ways, the story seems to have a happy ending. But is such architectural salvation and smoothness of canonisation the only storyline we should follow or imagine? Is the architectural iconography we associate with Paimio (or perhaps any building within the modernist canon) ultimately a repetition of the same mechanics - of modern architecture as mass media - occasionally saved by its own replicated image? As an exercise in subversion we turn to explore such iconographies further within our regional and global radar through generative creation, recreation, and queer inspiration. By working with the archival and technological commons, we hope to open more unclear and fleeting storylines for Paimio. For all its sedimented fame and architectural lore, we want to see if for the Sanatorium, the drama is not over.

Dr. Mika Savela is an architect, curator, editor and designer. Together with architect Henrik Drufva he is co-founder of Selim Projects, a Helsinki-based platform for projects navigating the off-context, margins, representation, and approaches between the historical, the modern – and the digital. He has practiced professionally in architecture and urban design and holds a doctorate from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), where his research focused on global curatorial narratives around the Asian megapolis trope. He has subsequently worked in several capacities in research-led curatorial projects, including at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA). For the 3-year term 2018-2020 he served as editor-in-chief at he Finnish Architectural Review. Currently, he works with national architectural policy and public art advisory at Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) and the Finnish State Art Commission.


Alessio Rosati

Founded in 1800’s the Marchiondi Spagliardi Institute was dedicated to the education of difficult boys. Its original premises were located in a central area of the city which was bombed during World War II.

While the educational institution was being relocated to the outskirts of the city in 1952, the old legal structure of the reformatory was being rethought with the idea of transforming it into a sympathetic village. It is for this reason in the early 1950’s the new Marchiondi Spagliardi Institute was designed by the Italian architect Vittoriano Viganò not as a reformatory but a “school of life”, a civilized environment based on spaces aimed at encouraging democratic socialization.

Praised at the time by Reyner Banham as “one of the major surprises of European architecture in the late fifties”, the model of the project even became part of the New York MoMA architecture collection.

In 1970 the complex was partially closed, becoming permanently disused about 30 years later. Since then it has been abandoned, squatted, vacated, listed, as well as subject of ambitious projects that have gone nowhere.

Today its possible recovery raises paradigmatic questions for many other modern buildings around the world.

Alessio Rosati was born in Rome where he studied at the local architecture school. He founded an independent design firm while working for some of the main cultural Italian institutions, namely the Auditorium Parco della Musica and Rome International Film Fest.

In 2010 he started his collaboration with MAXXI - Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo (The National Museum of 21st Century Arts) where he headed the Research Department, curating exhibitions and editing publications. Currently he's the Head of Institutional Projects, curating events ranging from art to architecture, literature to film and more. 

He regularly gives lectures in both Italian and North American architecture schools and engages in the architectural design process, either entering competitions or designing and building spaces.


Tamara Bjažić Klarin

Like the Children's Health Resort in Krvavica, its architect Rikard Riko Marasović (1913-1987) was excluded from previous analysis of history of Croatian architecture of the 20th century. Marasović received his first biographical unit in the editions of the National Lexicographic Institute only recently, in 2021. In both cases, it is, of course, a big mistake.

Rikard Marasović is a shining example of an architect of "the new kind" with wide interests and fields of professional work. He is a painter, designer, publicist, urban planner, educator, conservator, but also a socio-politically engaged expert. After the Second World War, he participated in the reconstruction of the destroyed Yugoslavia, defining tasks and roles of the profession in the new socialist society, the establishment of educational and professional institutions, while continuously practicing as an urban planner and architect of public and residential buildings. 

Despite the great design potential and enthusiasm, the exceptional ease of designing, Marasović, however, realized a small number of buildings after the WW2, which is also the main reason for his neglect. In addition to tracing the "parallel tracks" of Marasović's work, especially his projects that have been preserved in fragments, the lecture will also try to answer the question why an architect of such high position in the political and professional structures of Croatia and Yugoslavia left behind a modest realized oeuvre.

Tamara Bjažić Klarin  is Senior Research Advisor at the Institute of Art History in Zagreb. Graduated in architecture and received a Ph.D. in History of Art. Her field of expertise is a 20th-century urban planning and architectural history with a focus on the mediation of knowledge and public engagement by architects. She authored the books Ernest Weissmann: socially engaged architecture, 1926-1939 and Za novi, ljepši Zagreb! – arhitektonski i urbanistički natječaji međuratnog Zagreba, 1918. – 1941. She co-authored scripts for several documentaries on 20th-century Croatian architecture produced by and for Croatian National Television. She was an expert adviser for the exhibition Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980 (MoMA, New York, 2018-2019).


Sonja Leboš

What were the features of a place that once healed children with respiratory diseases? What kind of a relationship between humans the built environment facilitated in Krvavica? By applying transdisciplinary analytical tools on a film which was made in a place similar to Krvavica, located in nearby Montenegro, in Igalo, where children were cured of rickets, Sonja Leboš will try to answer these questions while having in mind the politics of the possible futures of Krvavica drafted in a time-based media. 

Croatia based cultural and urban anthropologist Sonja Leboš, PhD in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology(University of Zadar); MA in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish Language (University of Zagreb), Expert in Cultural Tourism (University of Bologna&UNIADRION) and Educationist in Art (Freie Hochschule Stuttgart). Cultural practitioner with broad interests in performative strategies of humans in space, a founder and chairwoman of the Association for Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Research (AIIR, where she initiated and carried out a number of interdisciplinary programs and platforms since 2002, tackling urbanology, politics of remembrance, and relational tactics among the fields of art, architecture, design, and time-based media; Coordinator at AIIR since 2019, Researcher and Production Manager at grey)(area – space for contemporary and media art ( from 2014-2021. Regular contributor to Vizkultura and Vox Feminae, which, together with Kulturpunkt, are the leading independent media platforms in Croatia. Mother of one. 

fotogrami iz filma "Otkopčati dugme", režija: Bogdan Žižić. Produkcija: Zagreb film, 1968.
fotogrami iz filma "Otkopčati dugme", režija: Bogdan Žižić. Produkcija: Zagreb film, 1968.