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Urania by Studio 3LHD


Urania Cinema/Theatre is one of numerous old cinema buildings built in the city of Zagreb in the early 20th century. Those cinemas were spread within the urban blocks across Zagreb’s Downtown. With the opening of new and modern multiplex theatres 20 years ago, the old Zagreb cinemas have gradually started to die out, and the buildings, neglected and empty, started to deteriorate.

Designed by Studio 3LHD

Photographed by Jure Živković

The old Urania cinema is a typical back-building in the block of Kvaternik Square. Although built in 1939, the entire concrete structure of the building was very well preserved with all the supporting pillars, the main arches in the large hall and all the ceilings. The ceilings are a special example as one of the first concrete structures with longitudinal repetitive narrow structural ribs from that period. That beautiful example of early concrete engineering technology was worth preserving, restoring and renovating.

Despite its age, the building has good predispositions to be adapted, converted and reused as a new office and public space. We kept three of the four original building volumes; the three storey entrance foyer and office building, the big lobby and the spectacular main double height cinema hall. The only new addition is the glass pavilion, which originally served as an entrance space of the cinema.