Croatian architects NFO shared with us their first prize project for the international competition in the location of an old steam mill in Zagreb, Croatia. More images and architect’s description after the break.
In the year 2010 Oris Magazine under the sponsorship of DuPont Ltd opened a public, international, research competition “Changing the face” with a goal to find new visions for location of an old steam mill “Paromlin” in Zagreb which is historically one of those sites that oppose any solution.
Its location and its place in the memory of Zagreb make this complex as one of the most important Zagreb monuments of industrial architecture. It was built from 1906 – 1908th, located on the free plot south of the railway which is today squeezed between a City concert hall and City main railway station. During all the historical, political and ownership changes Paromlin building functioned as an industrial building until the eighties of the 20th century, when the first concepts for new content appropriate to its location begun to emerge (Technical Museum, Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art etc.)
However, after a fire in 1988th question of building safety opened and Paromlin became space for speculation of potential investors who wanted to destroy the old mill because of the location in the centre of the City.
The goal of the competition was by rational understanding, highlighting the complexity of the material reality which includes number of intangible aspects (subjective, psychological experience or even subconscious) to recover a lost sense of space.
First prize was won by a young office NFO from Zagreb offering a public bath inside the old walls. Important buildings are retained while the less important are removed, thereby creating a space within the complex that reverses the initial urban disposition creating a new intimate square which is accessed from outside disorderly situation. The square is activated heterogeneous content (restaurants and shopping facilities, cultural events) and the main theme of the new Paromlin – town public bath. Certain elements of the complex are given new functions: the main entrance to the swimming complex is resolved as reminiscence of the “grain drain”, grand silo becomes a sun energy container and wind turbine on an old smokestack are becoming an advertising content that make new Paromlin visible from big avenue on the south and old part of Zagreb on the north. Lack of such content in the wider area makes this program interesting for the locals but also as a new attraction for tourists due to a specific design elements and a very frequent location in the city.
Architects: NFO Location: Zagreb, Croatia Design Team: Kata Marunica, Nenad Ravniċ Investor: Oris Magazine + DuPont Ltd Project Area: 9,303 sqm Project Year: 2010