Antun Jankovic

Perpetual Peace

Zagreb 2018

In keeping up with the ever-increasing demand for flexibility, the neoliberal condition found its home in the “generic city” and its “junk spaces” awaiting continuous re-design and re-branding. The design project in this master’s thesis deals both with architecture’s contended role in the generi city and with antagonism and prevailing conflict as sine qua non of politics, particularly but no only in the aftermath of the Yugoslav Wars. The first two chapters demonstrate the restlessness of hotels and their largely unchanging typologies as notable intersection points of diplomatic protocols, congress and media management, and retreat into privacy, facilitating their positioning as political and cultural capacities that invite action. Could public space and typological form challenge political rule and lobbyism in administering late capitalism? The project’s design of a hotel for the Croatian capital of Zagreb illustrates a radical departure from hospitality conventions. The third chapter con- siders Zagreb’s historical context and describes the development of the city, its fragmented urban structures, scales, and political governance in the process of opening up to various economic, social, and political pressures. In its last chapter, radical and revolutionary in nature, politicians, journalists, scientists, researchers, and activists find themselves mingling in a seemingly generic hotel where the everyday life of conflicts can be staged emblematically in everchanging set designs. Acting as a backdrop or spatial infrastructure, the “degree zero” architecture of the hotel acts as a reference or analogy for political antagonism or at least more interesting forms of dialogue—unavoidable, it frames an ideologically disputed territory of post-political practice.

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