After the demolition of the primary school in 2008, the area was degraded and neglected for several years. Part of the area became a macadam parking lot, and the remaining parts were overgrown with wild greenery. There have been several attempts at construction in the area, but the most serious attempt has come to a halt after archaeological excavations have confirmed the existence of a cistern from the Austro-Hungarian penitentiary period. Over time, the archeological site was also overgrown with wild greenery, until the municipality decided to build an underground garage with a square on the ground floor.
With the intervention, the municipality wanted to offer the city a new public space that citizens and visitors could use as a city living room. They wanted to provide enough greenery, shade, water motifs and emphasize the history of the space. At the same time, we encountered demanding constraints, as the square is designed on the roof of a garage house. The height of the planned soil was also not enough to plant large trees. Finally, we had to comply with the requirements of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, which dictated the use of local gray sandstone with accents of local white stone.
We designed the square as a continuation of medieval streets and squares. It connects neighboring areas and emphasizes the main axes and quality views. This is achieved by setting up two raised platforms, which also create enough height for planting trees and divide the original cultivation area into several smaller ambiences, suitable for the size of the city. The trees are placed above the pillars of the garage house, which is reflected as a reinterpretation of the classical pillar order that surrounded the atrium of the former Dominican convent located in front of the primary school and the Austro-Hungarian penitentiary. Mediterranean shrubs, spices and perennials grow under the trees and create a different backdrop for visitors in different seasons. Diverse urban equipment offer many opportunities for use and socializing for different age and interest groups. The installation of water elements at all ends of the square, apart from theirs aesthetic and cooling function, is also intended to cover noise from a nearby cargo port. In addition to dictated materials, we also used contemporary materials such as brushed concrete, fiber cement board and less formal paving of glued calcite.
Other landscape architecture offices involved in the design of landscape: prof. marko dobrilovič
Location: museum square, koper, slovenia
Design year: 2020
Year Completed: 2021