Project Name: Koper Central Park
Firm Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Completion year: 2018
Gross Built up Area: 26.000 m2
Project Location: Koper, Slovenia
Design Team: Dean Lah, Milan Tomac, Peter Sovinc, Polona Ruparčič, Peter Karba, Jakob Kajzer, Carlos Cuenca Solana, Sara Mežik, Nuša Završnik Šilec, Jurij Ličen, Eva Tomac, Goran Djokić
Clients: Koper Municipality
Structural Consultants: Ivan Ramšak s.p
Landscape Consultants: Spicy Garden
Photo Credits: Miran KambičMore Specs
(“Text as submitted by Architect”)
New Koper Urban Park is set between Piranska Road and the Semedela promenade, and between the Grande canal and the area just beyond the city market. Piranska Road represents a new stage in the development of the town’s infrastructure while the promenade is one of the more important features of the town having once acted as the link between the city on the then-island and the mainland. As such, it counts among the characteristic elements in the panorama of Koper.
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.
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.
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.