Fourth workshop


Mat-Organization and Diocletian’s Palace

Research based on ‘What if’ extreme scenarios


Summer Workshop in Split / 2016

Institute of Art History – Centre Cvito Fisković / University of Split FGAG Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture And Geodesy

Dates and Locations

July 5th (Tuesday) – July 15th (Friday) 2016.

Instruction and Organization

Ana Šverko, Institute of Art History – Centre Cvito Fisković, University of Split, FGAG=Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture And Geodesy; Leslie Lok, HANNAH, Cornell University, AAP Department of Architecture; Sasa Zivkovic, HANNAH, Cornell University, AAP Department of Architecture; Saša Begović, 3LHD, University of Split, FGAG; Ivica Čović, Politehnico di Milano; Ivan Jurić, University of Split, FGAG; Hrvoje Bartulović, University of Split, FGAG; Ivana Vlaić, University of Split, FGAG; Branka Juras, University of Split, FGAG; Damir Gamulin, di.di., freelance designer; Ana Krstulović, University of Split, FGAG; Bruna Kovačević, University of Split, FGAG; Ana Kuzmanić, University of Split, FGAG; Viktor Popović, University of Split, Art Academy in Split; Iva Raič Stojanović, Institute of Art History, Zagreb; Irena Šimić, Institute of Art History, Zagreb


Bruno Bartulović, Marin Bodrožić, Luka Ćakić, Inka Černić, Stjepan Dragoja, Diana Jukić, Stefani Maša Majčica, Nikola Mihaljević, Hana Paleka, Ivana Pamuković, Samantha Vanessa Pavić, Marija Petričević, Dora Stupalo, Karlo Ugarković, Ena Vladislavić, Domagoj Vučinović, Katarina Vuletić

Diocletian’s Palace constitutes the historic core in the city centre of Split. Once built as the retirement palace for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, it evolved into an industrial and residential complex in the following millennia. Through continuous densification the Palace developed its current particular urban form of layered architectural and urban organizations, immersing visitors into hallucinations of past events, societies, and cultures. The intricate organization of urban patterns and fabric manifests through a palimpsest-like layering of historical traces, the Palace continues to serve as a thriving nucleus within Split.

In many ways the Palace operates like a mat-building with its dense horizontal fabric and circulatory systems. Traditionally characterized by flatness and horizontality, Alison Smithson described mat-buildings as “close-knit patterns of neutral collectives open to growth and changes” analogous to urban formation characterized by interplay of horizontal part to whole relationships and an ever-expanding system. Through tracing of urban patterns, tectonics, historical layers, influence of tourism of the Palace, distinctive systems of organization was extrapolated from the urban fabric beyond two-dimensional nature of figure and ground.

The workshop sought to investigate Diocletian’s Palace as a living monument. By researching the urban attributes of the Palace as systems of mat-organization, the workshop identified and experienced the Palace as highly complex spatial conglomeration. The investigation provided a conceptual framework for design speculations addressing contemporary issues of tourism, conservation, and modernization within the city.

A description and the programme of the workshop can be found in English here.