+385 51 562 108
Spinciceva 2, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia

The word ‘Dharma’ means relation between human and nature in which human is protecting nature and nature is protecting human. It is one of the oldest definition of sustainable development. With a holistic approach to tourism hostel Dharma promotes a healthy way of living and being.
The term ‘Cultural Hall’ is syntagmatic definition that in this case highlights the revitalisation of former abandoned industrial spaces with new contemporary cultural contents. Through various scientific exhibitions and workshops, the Cultural Hall enable education sharing about sustainable development and  healthy environment.
Hostel Dharma and Yoga in Daily Life Cultural Hall are the partners in a project of urban, architectural and social implications. The result in a new type of business where profit and non-profit features are being intertwined together to enable entrepreneurship activities lead by creativity and sustainable growth.
Hostel Dharma and Yoga in Daily Life Cultural Hall is unique joint and they  both participate in WHO European Healthy Cities Network.


                                           North-East 2009                                                                                                 North-East 2012

Preliminary phases

The starting and leading point of this project has been a change at the local administration policies that added this site to the list of industrial reconversion prone areas due to its touristic potentiality as highlighted in the General Urban Plan of the City of Rijeka.
A trend of de-industrializing of the cities has been existing in Europe and worldwide for several decades already. This shift enables new services to occupy partly used or unused areas that have been reached by the expansion of city centres while pushes industrial facilities to find new and more strategic locations in the suburbs where technical and logistical infrastructures are usually already in place.
One of the most known examples of industrial building conversion is the Tate Modern in London (the UK) which has become the centre of cultural and social life of both the city inhabitants and tourists.
This project tackles the former “Plumbum - Vulkan” building and reuses it for the purposes of a Cultural hall and hostel.
The strategic position of the site – on the most prominent spot over the Eastern entrance of the city, overlooking the running shipyard “Viktor Lenac” on one side, echo of the brighter industrial period – and one of the most beautiful city beaches on the other one was the perfect sparkle point, that will eventually lead further into a new phase of redevelopment.
Following principles of sustainable redevelopment, the biggest challenge was find a simple and feasible solution ensuring beneficiaries a healthy and peaceful environment in a still active industrial complex that was not only to be preserved but also becoming part of  project’s character itself.

Architectural aspects

As far as the architectural design is concerned, the demands were to respect a rational construction process, reuse materials where possible, and make the most of the existing building creating new extra spaces. Being the building an L shaped construction along two sides of a 300m2 squared industrial hall, it was decided to use the latter as multipurpose space for cultural, sport and recreational events leaving it empty having thus the possibility to adapt it different situations.
In the remaining areas, instead, offices became comfortable hostel rooms and gathering spaces except for the ground floor that hosts changing rooms and a small vegetarian restaurant which can services all the hostel’s guests and eventual external caterings.
The hall gained a glazed South-western façade while the remaining surfaces has been covered with structural insulated panels. In the interior the predominant element is the circle – symbol of harmony – which is repeated also as a lowered ceiling with sound-absorbing function.


                                                East 2009                                                                                                      East 2012

Future developments

In the future of the complex, moreover, there is a plan for the development of an educational centre that could revival – through specific laboratories – some of the technological processes that has been used in the former factory such as heat treatment and casting of metal alloys.

Financial sustainability

Although the general estimated cost for transformation was 700,00 EUR per m2, the average achieved price was 350,00 EUR per m2 for 1100 m2 of the hostel building. This price was achieved also through pro-bono work of several professionals and non-professionals willing to support Yoga in Daily Life’s association’s cause. About 4500 m2 of surroundings were also transformed from industrial plateau to a luxorious green belt which is also used as laboratory for urban agriculture.