RIDING HALL * Land Registry Department of the Municipal Civil Court in Zagreb

Riding Stable was originally part of the Austro-Hungarian military complex and is transformed into contemporary space for the Land Registry Department of the Municipal Civil Court in Zagreb. Building is located in the southern part of the forthcoming Justice square which is a winning design from an urban and architectural competition for the location.

The reconstruction of the Riding Stable into the Land Registry represents a significant and first transformation of the future Justice Square. Original floor plan dimensions and proportions of the protected building were not sufficient to accommodate new use. The emphasis was placed on preserving the original composition of the existing Riding Stable whilst adding a new annexe. The new transparent steel-glass extension creates a contrast to the existing red building and preserves and showcases its characteristic composition and typological uniqueness.

Former Riding Stable consists out of two parts: large riding hall and small entrance volume. Reconstructed sturdy brick building gains its counterpart in light and transparent steel-glass structure. Former entrance volume becomes a house within the new house. The entrance hall at the junction of the existing building and the new annexe functions like a covered outdoor space, with entrances from south and north, forming a passage between the busy street and the forthcoming Justice Square. This conceptual approach interprets the entrance space not just as an entry into the building but as an urban passage.
Structure and space proportions of the Riding Stable informed the concept of program distribution in form of strips combined with voids that provide natural lighting. Inserted strips follow the structural grid of the old building and create a spatial and structural rhythm for the new extension.

The project maintains a delicate balance between robust old structure and careful insertion of the new one, both in terms of programmatic and constructional aspects, as well as in the selection and design of used materials. The light plays the crucial element in the organisation of the space. The layout of Riding Stable influenced the concept of the primary spatial disposition, establishing a rhythm of programmatic strips combined with voids to provide natural lighting to all workspaces. The existing brick walls of the old building are reflected in the glazed brick of the service cubes or in the translucent membranes of the courtrooms, which are bordered by glass bricks. Wrought iron beams that have been restored support the roof of existing building. These beams find their counterpart in the form of steel frames on top of the new annex. They do not only support the roof and the facade of the building but also carry the second floor of the structure.