Soft Buffers

Nin (HR) - Winner


Team Representative: Irena Bakić (HR) – architect; Associates: Mirna Udovčić (HR), Iva Jelinčić (HR) – architects

Primorska 12, 10000 Zagreb (HR)
+385 917 367 455 –

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I. Bakić, M. Udovčić & I. Jelinčić

VIDEO (by the team)


1. How did you form the team for the competition?

We formed the team as architecture school colleagues, as we’ve collaborated in various ways during our school years. Initially, there were a few more people planning to join the team, but the three of us remained. Other than this, we don’t usually work together.

2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: the place of productive activities within the city?

For us, productivity meant finding value in the existing condition. We felt like the places we saw were doing okay, so we wanted to explore the ways in which they could reinforce their strengths. Our interventions tried to be soft, just nudging the development of the space in a direction we felt was best. We wouldn’t mind if they led somewhere else.


3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?

Seeing the site gave us a feeling of familiarity. It was easy to look at it and see beauty in existing places and their connections, so we felt the need to validate and reinforce what we saw and felt - the productivity of the place thus became something to find, rather than something to create.


4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?

We have, respectively. In our individual work, there is the topic of productivity and purpose, as well as adjacent themes such as rehabilitation, re-use, and social life of public and private spaces.

5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?

We see the project as an opportunity to express an opinion about the space we inhabit - in a way, that is enough. We are aware of the number of factors that need to come together to implement even part of the idea, so we have focused our efforts to present the project as a slow and patient process, pliable to local circumstance. No need to rush.

6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?

Yes, this is a first-time win for us. Let’s see where it goes.



Office: /
Functions: Architecture
Average age of the associates: 30 years old

Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?

Yes, we have (mostly separately) been participating in various architectural competitions, workshops and exhibitions, with modestly successful results.