OLD MILITARY HOSPITAL
The old Military hospital in Vlaška Street in Zagreb is a former barrack built in 1833. The hospital was abandoned during the 1980's, as was its funding, resulting in the complex being in very bad condition and almost entirely abandoned and unusable today. The oldest part of the complex, the street facing building, is listed in the National Register of Cultural Property, and the idea of this project is to reconstruct the back building and the connecting wing for the implementation of its plans, because the street facing building is already intended for several educational institutions (music and ballet schools).
The project proposal focuses on repurposing the former Military hospital based on an intercultural social centre model as a new institutional model for the utilisation and management of public infrastructure intended for trans-disciplinary and trans-sectoral cultural needs, need of civil society organisations and other fields of society, as well as local communities. Social-cultural centres are and can be important places for community gatherings and active involvement of local communities in various activities. They are places of social integration and through the development of different intercultural programmes aimed for different social minorities, they help to achieve their higher visibility in societies, to actively include them in their communities and to promote their rights. Social-cultural centres can also be a generator of civil entrepreneurship, thus adding to social involvement and employment as well as overall socioeconomic development of a society, like for example ufaFabrik in Berlin, an unique art, cultural and sustainable future concepts laboratory built by the group of young artists and activists that 1979. occupied the premises of the former Universum-Film studios in Tempelhof district.
The goal is to create an institution which utilises a new type of institutionalised infrastructure management for the local community based on a hybrid model of public-private partnership. This would be a mixed-type institution, founded by the local government and the local community which would ensure the stability of the institutional framework similar to the one of public institutions, guarantee long-term utilisation of public infrastructure and allow the users to be actively involved in its management in the form of horizontal self-organisation and the variety of contents and programmes.
A direct benefit this model would have for the society is creating synergy and strengthening the social capital of the local community by linking together and creating a network of various cultural, civil society and local community stakeholders through inter-sectoral connectivity and integration of different groups of society. Social involvement and strengthening of social capital will also be achieved through promoting and enabling of social entrepreneurship, which is an integral part of this model, as well as educational programmes and content which promotes the concept of lifelong learning.
The former Military hospital, as an abandoned complex, is more than just an aesthetical problem. It is also an environmental problem because further devastation of the complex would inevitably result in an irreversible degree of devastation and the inability of its renewal in the future. This project would stop this negative process and redirect it toward reconstruction and infrastructural development. As a preliminary step, before the actual reconstruction, a more detailed analysis of the general location condition should be conducted in order to gain better insight into the possibilities for repurposing it and whether it would be cost effective. In technical terms, repurposing the complex would require a complete reconstruction of the buildings and the proposed model contains the concept of sustainability not just in a social sense but also in the environmental sense which includes energy efficiency of the buildings, energy efficiency planning, renewable energy sources and implementing sustainable plans for waste management and water use on location. This direct positive impact on the environment, the development of eco-awareness, the impulse for consideration and implementation of sustainable approaches in the local community and various educational activities and programmes that this centre would provide, will serve as a good example for this type of model.
The Compass project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union
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