Bridging the gap between the ancient city and its contemporary expansion plans, DELISABATINI Architetti’s winning proposal for the International Competition: EPK 2012 – Embankment of the River Drava redevelops the riverside of Maribor City by addressing the differneces in the contrasted site. Important interventions of the past century, such as the great bridge and the dam, have distorted the character of the medieval city, whose buildings have lost direct contact with water. As the years progressed, the city’s differing sections, such as the historic town of Lent and the edge of Tabor, have grown too separate. The proposal incorporates a uniform organizational element that responds to the different conditions but also joins the two parts to make a strong whole.
More images and more about the winning proposal after the break.
On the edge of Lent, “the organizational element” traces the line of the original walled city on the river, “counteracting the size of the historical city”. The designers explained that the element is, “A foreign object materialized into a continuous surface of wood carved by multiple events in Lent, while on the edge of Tabor the intervention of the square is precise and its genesis derives from the small scale of the context in which it is inserted, a lump of survived ancient houses, where there was a bridgehead of the disappeared fortress of Tabor.”
“On the roadside of Lent, the large engraved plate is a figure geometrically defined and modularly calibrated that conforms to a continuous surface of wood,” explained the architects. This side features a continuous pedestrian promenade which fills the interstitial space between the river and the front of the historical city. The promenade reacts to its bordering conditions quite different – along the city side, the walkway is more rugged in profile towards the city and maintains a narrow interaction at the scale of individual buildings, while towards the river the walkway leads users to larger landing at major places such as the landing of Benetke and the square of Lent.
Tabor Square sits opposite Lent and the area still shows “the devastation on the urban dying texture.” To re-vitalize this area, “the project comes from the context and does not constitute a foreign body.” Parallel strips running on a directional axis to the existing bridge are zoned for specific areas of use. ”The square developed in the top and bottom square, a field crop, uniform and geometrically defined and addressed clearly to seek contact with water in the bottom square that is also low port. Meditative space where to rest but also a suitable place to host events and outdoor performances,” added the architects.
Existing conditions affect the wooden plate, making the element become one with the site and foster a relationship between this new entity and the older character of the city. For instance, the shape of the port of Benetcke is cut into the plate and the folds that the plate undergoes at the square of Lent generate a reservoir that opens the view of the square directly to the river. As the wood weaves it way in and out of different artifial and natural elements of the city, it draws attention to the surroundings, offering users a chance to re-connect with their environment.
The design team consists of (team leader) DELISABATINI architetti (Francesco Sabatini, Francesco Deli) + A. D’Andria + A. Console + G. Oliva + F. Belvedere and collaborators: Rocco Smaldone, Antonio Agresti, Alessandro Oltremarini, Giovanni Battista Manai, Laura Naitana, Stefania Caravelli.