City of Split; managed by the Multimedia Cultural Center
Hybrid Institution: Split Youth Center is an amazing and at the same time unusual building. This is true both in its conception and appearance, and in its destiny, which, from the halt of the construction works in 1984 to the present, exists in the specific gap between the extraordinarily ambitious program and the inability to actually finish this building, which has been mostly completed.
Authors: Dinko Peračić, Miranda Veljačić
Contributors: Nadia Obukhova, Andrea Mueller, Viktor Peric, Hrvoje Kedzo, Jasna
Bajlo, Ivana Katusic, Lovel Culic
Design year: 2007.
Status: under realisation
Investor: Multimedia Cultural Center Split, City of Split
Land area: 9000 m2
Floor area: 2907 m2
The somewhat awkward building of the Youth Center was programmatically and spatially defined and completed by the rohbau phase, when a radical alteration of the content structure was already difficult to accomplish. The core of the spatial configuration is an interesting stage structure with two-sided amphitheaters with a capacity of 350 or 650 seats and a technical space of 23.5 m height, which are impressive today. The Youth Center also contains numerous other rooms that are regularly occupied and used for various permanent or occasional events. From today's perspective, it is unnecessary to discuss the aesthetic-conceptual properties of a building. It is however indisputable that it can accept public events of various characters, from stage performances, through workshops and exhibitions. It is undergoing a gradual adaptation and renovation, which is carried out at a slow pace. In parallel with the use of space, whether or not it is completely completed the entire building is already a potentially usable space.
In the book “St. Peter and St. Sava. Sacred Symbols as Metaphors of Historical Change ”by Vjekoslav Perica, in which two sacral buildings in Split become symbols of nations and people, we also discover the political context in which the idea of building a home was conceived. In the book the author also traces the relations between the state and the church. Although the church in the socialist state was not entitled to the construction of new sacral buildings, based on the demolished church of St. Peter on the Split market it was granted permission to build a new cathedral. They bought land in Plokite, but the local community at the time opposed it and came up with the idea that a Youth Center should be built at that location instead. Thus, in the tense relationship between the state and the church, the idea of the Youth Center was born, an idea that was never fully brought to an end. The Center in today’s state is an unfinished rough construction where the last works ceased in 1984. The building is architecturally conceived as a series of spaces centered around a central volume that comprise two amphitheatres located around a stage above which stands today an impressive stage tower nearly 25m high. The theatres also anticipated over 1,000 visitors, and the accompanying venues were intended to accommodate the ensemble and staff and give the audience access. The idea of a megalomaniacal architecture that accommodates an equally ambitious program was never realized and the building of the Center was empty for years without content.
The Youth Center is an unfinished cultural center created in the early 1980s. From the time of its creation, parts of the space were used for cultural and artistic programs, in a more or less organized form, in inadequate and sometimes dangerous conditions. In the last 8 years, systematic landscaping has been initiated and the cultural scene that is its beneficiary has been established. The concept of a centrally organized building with a focus on one stage has been replaced by a logic multimedia set consisting of a series of production and presentation spaces. The concept of a large public cultural institution with a large number of employees and a permanent ensemble, as the dominant occupant of the building, has been replaced by a hybrid model that relies on numerous initiatives that have, in different regimes, implemented their programs, used space and took responsibility for the functioning of the center or parts of it. This innovative model of space-organization-program in culture is being developed with the support of the city of Split, which owns the building.
The Multimedia Cultural Center’s platform today addresses the relationships between users and their relationships with space. Fragmental use of space meets today's cultural needs, but a complete architectural solution is required for long-term planning. Socio-cultural centers are a fairly broad concept, but the Youth Center is working on a strategy in which, apart from the management process, the program profile but also a management model will crystallize.
A strategic plan for the Youth Center is under development, based on a hybrid model that relies on a number of initiatives that implement their programs in different regimes, use space and take responsibility for the functioning of the center or parts of it. Emphasis will be placed on an innovative collaborative model of work in self-governance and partnerships within the Youth Center, to provide a spatial, organizational, programmatic and financial platform to create, participate, use and experience contemporary and advanced arts and culture and related social processes - lifelong education and social inclusion. In this way, the Youth Center would be affirmed as a production and presentation center of contemporary culture and art, a contemporary socio-cultural centre, with a high level of quality of artistic production, and a wide impact on the cultural sphere of the city and the region. It would become an actor in the international scene of advanced cultural centers.