Penezić and Rogina like to call themselves general practitioners in architecture, pointing out the diversity of their projects.
Being always ready to work in various typologies, Vinko Penezić and Krešimir Rogina were pioneers in recognising the creative potential of the quarter in which they continue to work to this day. They are celebrated Croatian architects of the middle generation, who have been working together since their studies at the Faculty of Architecture in the Zagreb in the late 1970’s. Their cooperation was formalized in 1991 when they founded their architectural firm Penezić & Rogina, although they had already made a name for themselves in the eighties after winning a state tender for the Mladost swimming pool and athletics stadium in Zagreb (1984), and the tenders Shinkenchiku and Central Glass in Japan, whose evaluation panels gathered some of the world’s most renowned architects. Their connection to Japan is long-lasting and stable, marked by winning several public tenders, and culminating in 2012 when they designed the lighthouse of Japanese-Croatian friendship in Tokamachi, the very first building designed by Croatian architects in this Far Eastern country.
In their homeland, Penezić and Rogina have worked literally everywhere. Their projects include: the Srdoči day-care centre (Rijeka, 2011), Jarun day-care centre (Zagreb, 2006), one of the most complex and recognizable day-care centres in Croatia, multifunctional residential complexes in cities heavily damaged during the war (Vukovar, 1998—2002, Nova Gradiška 1997—2003 and Križevci 2004), churches and other religious structures (Trnje 1994—1999 and Dugave 1989, both in Zagreb; and the Church of St. Michael in Dubrovnik, 1987), and many other buildings. Their achievements also include the establishment of an architecture summer school in Grožnjan in 1989 (with their foreign colleagues Cedric Price and Nigel Whiteley), and as many as three appearances at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, where they represented Croatia in 2000, and in the following years participated in the design of the central biennale exhibition, at the invitation of the curators and selectors.
Penezić and Rogina like to call themselves ‘all-around’ architects, pointing out the diversity of their projects and their readiness to work in various typologies. The fact that they find no project too small is testified by their work on the interior and exterior design of the Blok Bar on the corner of Lopašićeva and Tomašićeva Street (in collaboration with the Fiktiv Studio), which greatly transformed this part of the neighbourhood, breathing new life into it. It is one of the more essential components of the positive changes in this quarter, which involve all those who live and work here, and Penezić and Rogina were among the first to recognise its potential.