Before the Second World War, the eastern part of present day Rijeka functioned as a separate city called Sušak. It was located on the territory of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In order to show how Sušak was becoming a modern city, the state decided to build a multipurpose cultural centre. The facility today is known as the Croatian Cultural Centre. Tenders for the project were invited in 1935 and the work of architect Josip Pičman was appraised as the best.
Within the complex he offered a 14 floor-high skyscraper covered on all sides by glass. This was a revolutionary idea in Europe. The plan included a theatre and concert hall, and areas for the work of cultural associations etc. The start of construction works was delayed for so long that the disappointed Pičman took his own life. The building was completed in 1947 based on a solution by Alfred Albini. If it had been built according to the Pičman project, the Sušak skyscraper would have been the first glass tower in Europe.