The project’s site is located within the boundaries of the southern part of Zagreb which is divided by the national railway. In many ways, this site was thought as part of the new Zagreb city urban concept. There are two important facts: the position on the margins of the traditional lower City and the structural composition and reference within the future new City. Both in this case determine the composition and character of the project, designed by SANGRAD Architects & AVP_Arhitekti. By raising or lowering the railway, several possibilities are opened in terms of linking the site with the central and northern part of the City. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The fundamental concept of the lower City is acknowledged: lower block composition and strict grid construction. It is very well known the critic towards lower city blocks as spaces which are alienated from the urban public life and affected by poor, uncontrolled privatization.
The project that we call “block in negative” (which refers to the calmness and warmth of traditional blocks and invokes the historical layers), explores the possibility of a polyvalent public space. From the typical block matrix, a basic form with a central space comes to light, which is lowered from the ground level in order to emphasize the intimacy of the introverted block, but at the same time, the distinctiveness of the new environment, which thanks to this lower central space becomes a more attractive and different element from the neighboring buildings.
Thus, with reference to the tradition of such recent urban experience a unique, intimate atmosphere and surrounded lowered space is created from which there can be comfortable and secure ground connections. Lowered block spaces (square) of a smaller format within the Lower City part of Zagreb are a key concept in terms of a central public space and have an important role within contemporary urban structure composition, Around a central recessed surface several elements of architectural composition emerge, referred to their own inner logic, or the elements in the near and distant surroundings.
One of the most important spatial qualities of the project is the creation of the central recessed square. Around this space are located all other single volumes with their simple modern geometrical composition. These three buildings are: A business hotel and conference center, a business tower and a shopping building. The vertical Hotel stands on the northeast area as a prominent and strong urban reference; a horizontal volume that comprises the mall and shopping space stabilizes and balances the whole composition. A vertical volume on the southern side of the square moderates the geometrical extreme differences of vertical and horizontal. Architects: Arch. Vedran Pedišić, Arch. Mladen Hofmann, Arch. Iva Marjančević (SANGRAD architects), Arch. Emil Špirić and Arch. Erick Velasco Farrera (AVP_arhitekti) Location: Zagreb, Croatia Owner/Client: Private Status: Competition entry Building Area: 90,000.00 m2 Images: AVP_arhitekti