Art Nouveau Zagreb – Kallina House

Kallina House (Kuća Kallina, 1903 – 1904) is a three-storey residential and commercial building in Zagreb constructed for industrialist Josip Kallina. Design by architect Vjekoslav Alois Bastl (Hönigsberg i Deutsch) for a house completely dressed in colourful decorative ceramic tiles was inspired by the Otto Wagner’s Majolika Haus in Vienna, entirely “inked” in Zolnay ceramics. The custom facade tiles, as well as stove tiles, used for the house, depicting geometric and floral motifs, such as roses that connect third-floor windows, iridescent water lilies rising above the floral wrought iron balconies that overlook the street intersection (Gundulićeva 20 / Masarykova 19), and a very distinct bat patterned frieze at first-floor level, were all produced by Josip Kallina’s ceramic factory (founded in 1885). 

At that time the notable factory collaborated with the Crafts School – situated in the same building that houses the Museum of Arts and Crafts (MUO) in Zagreb. The School course for decorative painting on ceramics with enamel paints, apart from decorating their own vessels, also used half-finished products obtained from the Kallina factory and finished the product with decorative designs.

The Museum of Arts and Crafts, devised with the intention of creating “a collection of models for master craftsmen and artists to reinvigorate the production of everyday use items”, keeps a collection of Kallina factory tiles (chamotte stove tiles, Faience pottery, stoneware, architectural elements…).