Project: Competition for Urban Design
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Client: City of Zagreb Municipality
Project Area: 65.000m²
Photography: Estúdio AMATAM
The proposed urban design adopts two strategies to transform Badel block structure, first preserving its quality features – the clear street façade definition that allows the creation of a boundary for privacy; secondly add more permeability – densifying the inside trough a strategic placement of smaller blocks arranged in an apparent disordered composition with different heights, creating an unexpected street life and land marks in the city skyline.
Layering the above concept over the identified architectural values of the site (the Gorica facade, the old Distillery and another building facade), the rest of the old structures gives now place to new buildings sited on the periphery of the plot defining the block boundary, while new mix-use buildings are around the site’s existing industrial structure, to form a public space at the heart of the project.
The old distillery is the main attractor for the site concept. As a strategic point of interest it’s important to enhance its presence to the exterior of the urban block. To achieve this and to create a gradient of privacy to the outside, the block defined border is punctuated at strategic points by a number of entrances which also frame views across the site and to the new MUUA – Museum of Urban Art, as well as connecting the inner core with the neighbouring street market, and surrounding structures and allowing light into the heart of the development. The defined visual axis creates expectations, and more important curiosity. An open invitation is somehow sent to all who desire to discover this new part of the city. Most importantly, more than breaking the conventional block we will try to unblock it.
Reinventing the inside of the urban block requires another important strategy – give primacy to the public space. Allowing pedestrian accessibility, and restrain the full car access to the interior of the block is our strategy to promote a more sustainable way of leaving that increases social interaction. Creating different public spaces with a strong identity, such as the painted walkway, will make us accomplish a unique atmosphere that enhances creativity, trough open air activities in the different proposed squares, with the clear focus to trigger the street art movement.