The University of Zadar faced a number of challenges in relation to its future growth as Croatia sought to increase the number of students at university to be closer to levels in EU countries.
The core activities of Zadar University lay in social sciences and humanities, but national and regional priorities were driving Zadar University to seek to expand in natural and technical sciences with the introduction of new programmes.
Physical conditions at the university increasingly hindered its development. Lack of space and equipment were constraints for both the expansion into new fields of science and maintaining high quality teaching in existing fields of expertise.
The proposed development formed a crucial part of the university's development strategy. It aimed to redress the currently inadequate facilities for existing students and staff and to expand by developing new programmes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The university learning resource centre would provide a facility incorporating existing departmental libraries and the 'Science Library', run by the City of Zadar, which is a legal deposit library. To accommodate the increased number of students, the campus would include accommodation and catering facilities, which can be used throughout the year by organising summer schools and other academic events for national and international visitors.
The feasibility study included a cost benefit analysis, institutional and operational analysis and environmental and social impact assessments. Following this, a conceptual design and design brief for the main design phase of the project was prepared.