The characteristics of the work of Zoja Dumengjic

The outstanding characteristics of the work of architect Zoja Dumengjic has already been recognized during her lifetime, when her work has been, in its entirety, awarded two most prominent professional life achievement prizes; life’s-work award “Viktor Kovacic” by the Association of Croatian Architects in 1975 and the life achievement award in the field of architecture “Vladimir Nazor” by the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia in 1995. The significance of the work of the architect Zoja Dumengjic, which remained unexplored, and specific design endeavours, as well as the personal affinity towards the work of the architect represented the basic impetus to research, analysis and evaluation of her work in the context of modern Croatian architecture. The doctoral thesis has been profiled to present the complete work of the architect Zoja Dumengjic, to notice the particularities of the individual architectural processes, and to evaluate the architect’s work in the context of modern Croatian architecture. The architect Dumengjic realised her comprehensive professional work during the mid-fifties of the twentieth century. Even though her opus developed during the profoundly changed socio-political and economic conditions of her social environment the detailed insight into her work offers us a clear existential and professional striving.

The structure of this dissertation, after the introductory chapter, includes more detailed chapter The Architect Zoja Dumengjic–Her Life, Education and Work followed by chapter Review of modern Croatian architecture and the work of the architect in that context, which are focused on Zoja Dumengjic’s work in the framework of different social and political systems and organisational relations, i.e. the development of modern Croatian architecture in general. Ten selected capital realisations and projects have been presented in detail in the fourth chapter of the dissertation. The fifth chapter of the dissertation presents The Analysis of the typological entities of Zoja Dumengjic’s Work. In the interpretation of the complete opus that includes almost two hundred projects that are presented in detail in dissertation’s appendix, we can recognize several typological entities that were of great interest to the architect. The final, i.e. the sixth, chapter sublimes the basic elements of her work and the architectural procedure of Zoja Dumengjic and presents the outstanding quality of her work in the context of modern Croatian architecture and her contribution. From the appendix of the dissertation should be emphasised the extensive catalogue of complete works of the architect Zoja Dumengjic.

Zoja Dumengjic’s work represents the specific author’s approach, whose particularity can be recognized in several fundamental components. The genesis of the formative expression of architect Dumengjic is synthesis of the project endeavours for humanisation of architecture, and the continuity of deliberation and reinterpretation of the theme make the architect’s opus unique in the framework of our architectural heritage of the twentieth century. The most prominent contribution of the architect Dumengjic had undoubtedly been in the area of public health service architecture. By inventive articulation of section and by stratification of the building’s envelope she had achieved are well-lighted and airy interiors, permanent qualities of her architectural realisations. Inventive functional solutions and masterful management of constructive component of architecture enable specific multilayerness of the building’s envelope. Early formative articulation of tectonic component presents the specific quality of the architect’s expression within the body of modern Croatian architecture. Interventions in urban and in natural environments alike marks the exceptional sensitivity for harmonious and inventive disposal of urban structures. The architectural activities of the architect Zoja Dumengjic which were defined during the thirties in the twentieth century, firmly based on the principles of modern architecture, culminated after the Second World War in specific deliberation of the space, functional, constructive and urbanistic solutions and authentic architectural expression, and, in an extraordinary way, contributed to Croatian architectural heritage.