"Music Mill" - steam mill conversion in Zagreb


While the beautiful old Steam Mill was still standing, we proposed to use it to "mill" multiple creative energies into a musical flour which the city can use to bake a tasty and lucrative bread. Without additives and artificial colourants, we felt the atmospheres of all existing interior and exterior spaces and subtly placed new and compatible uses in them, in order to create a little musical town.​

Authors: Duje Katić & Veljko Armano Linta.

The catastrophic neglect of the Paromlin steam mill, which led to its total devastation in 2014 was not just an unacceptable treatment of a monument of industrial architecture, but primarily a missed opportunity to create a space of high urban charge. This competition entry had suggested a way to create such a space while it was still possible.

Both Paromlin and the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall were Zagreb's icons. Their complementing would have had a positive cumulative effect so their urban location could have been redesigned as one big music house. We tried to listen to each space and inhabit it, unpretentiously, with precisely that use which can be heard best in it, which "slides" into it in the most natural way.

That is how we created a hostel for musicians on tour and tourists, rehearsal halls for rent to the Lisinski Hall and other users, rental flats for young artists, multimedia halls and exhibition spaces, open-air performance space, public park (Music Groves) and retail, workshop and catering spaces.

The multi-functionality of the complex focused around a common theme would have encouraged the cooperation of various social factors and close contact of musicians, the public, the citizens and tourists. The symbiosis of economy and culture would have been enabled by commercial uses in spaces owned by the City.