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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Koper Central Park in Slovenia by ENOTA

 
May 21st, 2018 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: ENOTA

This area needs an intervention which will bolster the free-time activities of Koper’s inhabitants and further connect the old part of the city with the suburbs of Semedela, Olmo and Markovec, which are strewn across the slopes of Markov Hill.

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

  • Architects: ENOTA
  • Project: Koper Central Park
  • Location: Koper, Slovenia
  • Client: Koper Municipality
  • Project Team: Dean Lah, Milan Tomac, Gregor Vreš, Peter Karba, Polona Ruparčič, Peter Sovinc, Jakob Kajzer, Carlos Cuenca Solana, Nuša Završnik Šilec, Sara Mežik, Eva Tomac, Goran Djokić
  • Collaborators: Ivan Ramšak s.p. (structural engineering), Nom biro (mechanical services), Nom biro (electrical installations)
  • Size: 26.000 m2
  • Site: 66.464 m2
  • Footprint: 26.000 m2
  • Year: 2016

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

In line with the prognosis that the sea by the promenade is to grow increasingly cleaner, it is feasible that a new city beach may appear along the promenade. Successful similar examples show that a city beach is not only an area where people take a dip in the sea but that city beaches can become the most important free-time socialising space. Since the densely developed old town core does not allow for a sufficient number of large open spaces and constrains their size, and since we need to understand that convivial bustle, concerts, and late-night events disturb the residents in the immediate vicinity, the placement of such programme in the area under consideration is all the more suitable. The heterogenous forms of development which characterise present-day Koper – the old town core, the residential suburbs, the commercial and service development belt in the former salt-pond area, and the inescapable presence of all the infrastructure required by a modern seaport call for a space with an inwardly oriented form enabling a visual escape, but whose scale and outward expressiveness would rise above the heterogeneity of development around it and tie it all together.

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

The area of the new city park covers a sizeable portion of the wider site and its design can thus serve as a prototype for further interventions. The new intervention offers a uniform and attractive appearance, and with its intensive hinterland greenery, it drowns the heterogeneity of the surrounding built structures. The fusing of the elements of a city beach and a contemporary city park encourages the area’s residents and visitors to use the space in different ways.

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

The basic building blocks of the new city park are monolithic, undulating urban elements. Their controlled placement in the space in combination with a pronounced topography of the green surfaces softly divides the whole of the park’s surface into individual introverted programme isles. The design of the individual urban elements consistently follows the different programmes. In places, they are taller and act as a shelter from views and the noisy surroundings; elsewhere, they are lower and allow for an unimpeded contact between programme zones. The organically designed urban elements form stands for viewers, an obstacle course for children, climbing walls, a backdrop to a seaside bar, a concert venue, a children’s playground, a reading area, and more. Due to the proximity of the sea, the programme zones are appointed with numerous water elements. A pond, ground sprinklers, a geyser, parabolic water jets, cascades and a water platform in combination with the variegated urban elements encourage an active use of the space and an expansion of the future beach towards the interior of the park.

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

The planted portion of the landscape design is laid out only with indigenous Mediterranean vegetation. The strategically arranged tall growth complements the existing tree lanes on both edges of the park, gives shade to the individual programme zones, and offers the park area additional protection from the impacts of the surroundings. In order to encourage as much diversity in the use of its space, the new city park doesn’t feature traditionally designed footpaths. Interlocking paving with a free arrangement of grass-coloured tiles is limited to the access points and the sections of the park where a more intensive use of the ground is expected. In this way, the visitors define their own path and their own manner of using the space. In case new content is added to the park, or if obvious desire lines are formed, which is very difficult to predict initially, this manner of paving enables an easy rearrangement of the compacted surfaces at a later time.

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

The innovative layout of the city park is a great new asset for the citizens of Koper as it enables the development of programmes which the city presently cannot offer. The new park is an attraction and with its unique form and the manner of spatial organisation, it transcends a merely functional park regulation. It represents a prototype for further designing of the wider area, as well as motivation for development-oriented attitudes in regard to other sections of the Slovene seacoast currently in a state of decay.

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

Image Courtesy © ENOTA

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Category: Park

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