The Dalmacijavino building

Obala kneza Domagoja 15, Split, Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia
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Industrial building
Year of build:
Original name:
International modernist
Stanko Fabris
Past and Present Ownership of the Building/Site:

Past: Private, Dalmacijavino Company; Present: Private

Typology and Style

Built from 1959 to 1973. Designer, Stanko Fabris. An industrial building designed in the spirit of international modernity and the distinctive architectural expression of Stanko Fabris, who designed more than thirty wineries and wine factories in the region and emphasized the importance of Split as the winemaking center of Dalmatia at that time.

Degree of preservation and status of protection

Protected cultural property, immovable cultural property - individual, profane architectural heritage, Z-7005

Architectural Description

The central Dalmacijavino winery was built in 1959 in the southeastern part of the port of Split according to the project of architect Stanko Fabris, (and co-designed with Dinko Vesanovic, but only in the first phase of construction). The ground floor and two level building, in the exterior and interior, gives a rational and functional design characteristic of industrial architecture, but also an appreciation of the environment in which it was created. Situated at the foot of Katalinić hill with an emphasized horizontality, from certain vistas it acts as a harmonious pedestal of the verticals of the Lighthouse "Pomorac" in the background, an exceptional work by the author Ivan Caric, completed a year earlier (1957-1958). The geometrically shaped volume of the building is symbolized by a recessed ground floor, treatment of the first and second floor facades on which the offices are located, as well as a flat roof that used to have a public purpose (restaurant) and a pedestrian bridge that connected with Katalinic Hill. The building has all the features of Fabris architectural expression: skillfully balanced full-to-empty relationship, dynamic facades using smooth stone surfaces with rhythmic arrays of windows with emphasized columns, application of the tiled textures of a rustic stone ground floor ("Split embroidery"). This is also a link to Fabris's Split origins and the local tradition, the contrast of light and shadow and the deep shadows of the porch. It is worth mentioning that Fabris’s characteristic color of the facade - today the faded color of the Dalmacijavino building points to a palette of blue tones similar to the color of Fabris' skyscrapers in the Glavičina area of ​​Split.

History and Historical Context

According to Stanko Fabris' project in 1959, the building of the central Dalmacijavino was in the port of Split. The centuries-old grape and wine trade between the island and the mainland thus took on its architectural form, which at the same time emphasized the positioning of Split as the winemaking center of Dalmatia. The building remained in its original function until 2011, when Dalmacijavino went bankrupt and it was confiscated and handed over to the management of the Port Authority of Split. Today, the building is still empty and devastated, but it also houses valuable design material. On the top floor of the building, among the administrative offices, there was a design office, where for decades labels of well-known products such as the famous Pipi drink, thought-provoking advertisements and planned presentations at fairs brought many awards to Dalmatia. When evicted from the building in the port, an extremely valuable archive of design material was subsequently rescued, but should be valorized and treated as a material industrial heritage of those times. Overall, the Dalmacijavino building is an example of Croatian modern industrial architecture, an example recognized by the profession and protected by the preventive protection of the Conservation Department of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia in Split.

Values of the Building

The Dalmacijavino building is a valuable example of Croatian modern industrial architecture, unavoidable in the valorization of the work of architect Stanko Fabris. In addition to contemporary architectural expression, and despite the upgrades, from 1962 to 1973, which are also Fabris' design, the exceptional value of this building is in its dimensions and spatial disposition the dominant horizontal in harmony with the slopes of Katalinić hill, the vertical of the Pomorac Lighthouse and harmonious views from the sea and land. In the Dalmacijavino example, the designer Stanko Fabris realizes a bold and harmonious combination of stone and glass which, on a horizontally set volume of this building, achieves articulation of the facades in the spirit of neoplasticism. The achieved breakdown of floors with windows and loggias, over the recessed and rustic stone lined and pillars of the ground floor, gives the volume of the building a certain amount of ease. The geometric approach to the facade analysis of the building is in accordance with the international style, and the use of materials is local. At the very location, the building makes a logical transition between the Katalinic Hill and the breakwater, but is also a functional meeting point for maritime, road and rail transport for the wine industry. Together with the structures of the breakwater, the Dalmacijavino building creates a spatial horizontal that, with the vertical of the Lighthouse of the Seafarer located on Katalinić hill, behind the Dalmacijavino building, designed by Ivan Carić and Paško Kuzmanić in 1958, creates a modernist vision of the city that is visible to all passengers who enter the city by boat.

Description of the Urban Context and Development

It was built on the site where there were two houses of the Katalinic family, the first dating from 1855 and the second from 1892. It is an interesting fact that this family was involved in the wine trade, and wine storehouses were located on the ground floors of these houses. After the Second World War, only the ruins of both houses remained, and the present-day building of the Dalmacijavino Winery was built on the site of one of them. Construction of this building was after the Second World War, in the period when there was a rapid development of industry and traffic in Split. The city port and the North industrial port were undergoing rebuilding efforts, including the expansion of the shipyard, renovation of cement factories, and construction of new factories, such as the Plastics Factory "Jugovinil" in Kaštel Sućurac in 1947. Post-war architecture is of a very social or industrial character. Driven by the ideology of social-democratic rule at the time, architecture at the time focused on job creation in the form of large-scale construction and the side effect of industrialization, as well as the need to increase accommodation capacity by building high-rise residential neighborhoods. In such an atmosphere, there was a need to build a winery facility in the city port in order to transport the wine as easily as possible by ferries and to bring grapes from the islands. The proximity to the dock and good traffic connections were the result of the decision to build an industrial building at this very site.

As traffic in the ferry port is of a passenger character today, and such a purpose of the building is unprofitable, there is currently a need for public space and public amenities for both tourists and residents of the city of Split

New Cultural Tourist Offer Focused on Selected Building/Site

There area several ideas and visions for this building and the location to include the few:

  1. Katalinic Hill and its natural, historical, defensive and recreational features have always attracted the attention of the citizens of Split, making it one of the most used locations in the city to date. On the opposite side, there is Sustipan, the second green peak, on the west side. This opens a possibility of connecting Marjan and Bacvice with the promenade between Sustipan and Katalinić Hill. Today, this promenade is widely used, from the west coast via the waterfront to the ferry port. However, after the waterfront, this connection declines substantially as determined by transport and the need for people to use the bus, rail and maritime terminals.
  1. Duška Boban, artist and activist of the "For Marjan" initiative, proposes that the building of the former Dalmatianavino house the new Split Museum of the Sea, which would bring together several existing institutions and collections.
  1. According to Marina Botić's diploma thesis, given the lack of a Multifunctional Hall, especially a Concert Hall in Split-Dalmatia County, but also in the area of ​​the wider region, a new purpose of the building was proposed as a hybrid of the multifunctional hall and the accompanying facilities required for that space. Given the proximity of the center city, railway, bus and maritime terminals. A multifunctional hall would nourish that part of the city culturally, while coexistence with other amenities would make the building itself financially independent. In addition, given the particular use in the evening, there is a need for an additional program to activate the building throughout the day. The additional facilities are therefore of catering character on the floors, the ground floor has activities for tourists, and the roof terrace becomes an urban space by merging Katalinic Hill with the city port in the form of a new promenade through the building.