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ENOTA: The Velenje “Promenada” is an important city space and a vital city thoroughfare. It is one of the central axes of the centre of Velenje, a young town designed in the 1950s, based on the Modernist ideal of the garden city; as such, it is unique in the Slovene space. The renovation of the Promenada represents the first step towards the gradual revitalisation of the city centre. It’s tasks are to supply the city with the missing programmes and to help it reclaim its original character of a town-in-a-park. A successful renovation, informed by the awareness of the excessive surfaces designated for traffic, must bring together two requirements seemingly at odds with each other: “More greenery and more programme.”
Also the existing promenade was created by closing the erstwhile traffic road almost thirty years ago. Even though it was re-paved, a sufficiently thorough transformation never took place and the promenade has retained the character of a road, remaining too wide and rather dull due to the lack of content. It has been a kind of hybrid space between the road and the surface intended for pedestrians – chiefly a straight path quickly leading the users of the secondary-school complex and the community health centre to the inner centre without providing any animation for those out for a walk.
Through renovation, the wide straight connection with a clearly delineated beginning and termination underwent a transformation into a kind of sequence of micro-ambients, of locally widened surfaces connected by a slightly twisting narrower path. These instances of widening (in effect squares) feature attractive concrete urban elements (benches) whose careful arrangement slows down the users and provides focus, framing the space for the additional programme content to take place. As the path locally twists along the surrounding buildings, it gives rise to larger contained open spaces, allowing future expansion of the content from the buildings outwards, or the accommodation of other additional content as required over time. In the initial phase, all these newly-formed public spaces are simply and cost-effectively laid out as sand or grass surfaces, with sand surfaces in particular representing a successful middle ground between grass and paved city spaces and allowing a wide range of use with only modest investment.
With the transformation, the Promenada is turning into a main event axis of the city, its centre being placed into the new amphitheatre along the river. The river Paka is a torrential river, which means that its watercourse swells up significantly a few times a year, but remains relatively shallow at all other times. As a consequence, the riverbed is very deep and until now, the river, which is an attractive element of any city, flowed out of sight somewhere down below. The wide bridge also meant that anyone walking across it had a hard time seeing the river at all. By narrowing the bridge and placing it off the former axis, the space for the construction of an amphitheatre, which slowly slopes down towards the river surface, is recovered. The attractive amphitheatre by the river, with the new bridge serving as its backdrop, becomes the centre of the activity in the city, and the river may once again claim an important spot in the townspeople’s consciousness.
New residential development
In order to increase the number of full-time residents of the city centre and improve the inhabitant structure, new, higher-quality flats need to be constructed. To young families, they must offer what can currently be provided only by an individual family home, i.e. sufficient living surfaces and quality private and public space. Even at present, however, a flat in the city centre means living close to kindergartens and schools, city playgrounds and youth leisure spaces.
The sitting of new residential capacities must take into account the town’s existing urban design where typically tall buildings occupy relatively little ground surface. New residential buildings should also be tall and are to feature large green terraces and interior living spaces with level articulation. The residents’ parking is made available in an underground parking garage. Beside young families, such flats, incorporating the advantages of individual and condensed development, will also attract other active categories of residents.
At present, the area of the park is on the northern bank of the Paka, enclosed by the river on one side and by the delivery road to the school complex on the other. The visitors to the park don’t have a real contact with the river, as the torrential canal of the Paka is liberally overgrown with vegetation. The southern bank of the river serves as a public car park. In accordance with the projection of removing the traffic and parking surfaces from the inner city centre, the green area of the park is to be extended across both banks of the Paka, all the way from the school complex buildings on one side and the Cultural center and the former coal-mine administration building on the other. Paka’s relatively deep riverbed now divides the area into half, but by modifying the riverfronts and creating a stepped approach towards the water level, it becomes the area’s central element. In several places and on several levels, both riverf
Three programme bands of the city centre
Three main directions intended for pedestrians cross the area of the city centre: the “Park” on both sides of the river Paka; “Commercial Street” terminating in Tito’s Square; and, perpendicular to the first two, the “Promenada”, which also connects them. Each of these three bands offers a markedly different use of the space, so it’s important that they each receive a distinct visual character. At the points where they come together, the bands visually complement each other and tie the centre together into a logical whole. It therefore makes sense that all the available programme content of the city centre is condensed precisely in these three bands. This way, the users of the space can be constantly animated as they pass through the city, which prevents “grey zones” from being created – these could otherwise lead to the degradation of a given part of the town. Special care is required in allocating the different types of programme content to each of the bands.
预算: 2 700 000欧元
项团队: Dean Lah, Milan Tomac, Tjaž Bauer, Andrej Oblak, Polona Ruparčič, Nuša Završnik Šilec, Alja Černe, Nebojša Vertovšek
照片: Miran Kambič,Roman Bor , Edita Fric
The Plan Awards,公共空间获奖者
建筑A +奖项，建筑+Water finalist
project name: Velenje City Center Pedestrian Zone Promenada
status: completed 2014
size: 17020 m2
budget: 2.700.000 EUR
client: Velenje Municipality
location: Velenje, Slovenia
project team: Dean Lah, Milan Tomac, Tjaž Bauer, Andrej Oblak, Polona Ruparčič, Nuša Završnik Šilec, Alja Černe, Nebojša Vertovšek
structural engineering: Elea iC
mechanical services: Nom biro
electrical planning: Elsing
photos: Miran Kambič,Roman Bor , Edita Fric
The International Architecture Award
The Plan Awards, Public Space winner
European Prize for Public Space finalist
S.ARCH special mention
Architizer A+ Awards, Architecture + Water finalist
Architizer A+ Awards, Public Park finalist
10 of The Best Tourist Spots for Landscape Architecture in Europe 3rd place
Piranesi Award nomination
Leaf Awards, Urban Design of the Year shortlisted
Plečnik Award shortlisted
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