Reconstruction of Central Squares

EXISTING CONDITION – The area of intervention can be segmented into three zones that form logical spatial units: Ban Jelačić square : a wide street with trees that occasionally hosts seasonal events; a square in front of the market: generator of the largest daily pedestrian and bicycle traffic; and the main city square Zrinski: an apparently oversized square bounded on one side by the green facade of city park, and on the other side by the facade of an unfinished block of various contents and the city hall to the east and the old “Podravka” building in the west. Each of the mentioned spaces has a specific potential that distinguishes it from others, and the possibility of joining the system of public spaces in the center of Koprivnica. The main square of Zrinski, seen from the air, acts as an intersection of roads and pedestrian wpaths stretched between streets and smaller squares in the east and west. This spatial tension has made the main square of Koprivnica a transit place : a space defined more by flow and movement, and less by lingering and everyday activities. With intuitive lines of movement, cyclists bypass the vast empty space “cutting” the square diagonally in order to get from one end to the other as quickly as possible.

CONCEPT – Accepting the flow as an inevitability in the functioning of new city square, and bicycle paths as a kind of coordinate system, smaller zones are formed between the mentioned paths and the perimeter of the square.Zrinski square is like a collage of activities defined by micro-locational specifics. A “tapestry” of smaller squares structured around the solid axes of bicycle paths in the form of an “X” has been laid on ground. Each zone corresponds directly with the purpose of the surrounding context or brings its own new amenity. By using different urban equipment, light/shadow and different paving, we form an urban collage of possible smaller zones created with regard to the context and habits of citizens of Koprivnica. Neighboring squares become so-called “green vestibules”, giving Zrinski Square clear visual borders.

PROJECT – The Zrinski Square is divided into twelve smaller zones. Each of these zones is adapted to the nearby building or micro ambience. For example: in front of the gallery zhere is an „art zone“ with pedestals for occasional exhibitions and circles for drawing on the florr. Under the maple trees is a “pop-up zone“ for summer events. In front of the bars and restaurants are „coffee zones“for parasols and tables. The square is mostly made of concrete pavers of different dimensions, layout and processing schemes. The colour of the pavers themselves is the result of a careful analysis of the facades of the surrounding buildings, historical heritage and the Podravina ambience itself.

Paths with reddish paving stones, which are a reference to old brick roads, are especially emphasized. Multifunctional zones for occasional gatherings are ocher-yellow ephasizing their symbolling importance, while other zones are in shades of grey. In the middle, there are mosaics – an interpretation of the famous Podravina embroidery. The bicycle lane “X” that crosses the square is made of rough-hewn concrete to emphasize the change in material. The new fountain, identical in shape to the old flower garden – rundele, is now a multipurpose fountain paved with grey flamato sandstone. The fountain itself is lowered 2 cm in relation to the square, and can form a water mirror that reflects the park and the old Town Hall, while in the summer it becomes water playground for the youngest residents of Koprivnica.

The urban equipment of the square adapts to the environment and encourages different activities. It includes wooden benches next to the park, benches/pedestals on the “art-square”, benches-bike racks at the entrance areas of the square and concrete circular benches around the existing tall trees towards the Park. The area in front of the library and cinema is dominated by a solar tree equipped with Wi-Fi, power outlets and a screen displaying meteorological data. Sculptures, such as the existing but also the new monument to cyclists, have been placed on the oposide sides of the Zrinski square. Horticulturar species are mostly similar to those found on site. Ban Jelačić square and the Market square are additionally embodied with rows of maple trees Acer globosum. Existing tree line on Zrinski square is added with maples and soforas with spruce bushes underneath. Red Japanese maples are placed in the “art zone” inside circular benches/planters together with the Ophiopogon plant.