The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is the first refurbished building of the former Rikard Benčić factory.

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has found its HQ in the so-called H-building of the former Rikard Benčić factory, whereby starting to realise the vision of the art quarter in Rijeka.

The new premises of the museum were inaugurated with a large retrospective exhibition of the performer and conceptual artist Tomislav Gotovac “Crisis Anticipator – Don’t Ask Where We’re Going”. The exhibition was also the preliminary programme of the project European Capital of Culture Rijeka 2020.

About the project:

The H-building was originally built for the needs of the tobacco factory in the 90s of the 19th century. In the first phase of its refurbishment, part of the ground floor and the first floor were put into operation, primarily for gallery displays. One of the values of the showroom is in the fact that the floors were kept in their original form, with minimum repairs, which, together with the load-bearing columns, give the space a contemporary note and patina at the same time.

The total surface of the refurbished space is 1,550 sq.m. The value of the works amounted to HRK 6,793,820.63, and the refurbishment was financed by budgetary funds of the City of Rijeka.

Refurbishment concept in two phases

It has been planned that the entire museum activities with all the necessary contents would be realised in the second stage, in which the museum would expand to the rest of the space on the ground floor and the two upper floors, which the City of Rijeka purchased during 2020. The second floor and the attic space are intended for the further development and expansion of the Museum, as envisaged by the Cultural Development Strategy of the City of Rijeka 2013-2020 and the prepared architectural project.

Numerous awards for this project

Dinko Peračić, architect according to whose project the refurbishment was carried out, emphasised during the opening that it was not a classic museum, but a museum in the formation process, which the Museum’s employees would ultimately transform with their programmes according to their and citizens’ needs.

For the project relating to the new MMCA, architect Peračić was awarded the “Bernaido Bernardi” award of the Association of Croatian Architects in 2018. The award is given every year for the most successful achievement in the field of design and interior decoration.

Also, at the annual event of visual creativity, design and architecture “Zagrebački Salon”, organised in October by the Association of Croatian Architects, the project of the new museum won the Salon’s Grand Prix award.

Together with Miranda Veljačić, Emina Višnić and Slaven Tolja, Peračić also received the salon’s Grand Prix award for the project “To trebamo – to radimo/We need it – we do it”, as part of the Croatian performance at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, which as an example of new architectural practice, presents the concept of converting the H-building to the needs of the new MMCA building.

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