EUROPAN 8

Tavole di progetto per il concorso EUROPAN 8 - Brezice SLO Brežice / Slovenia / 2006

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Objective of the design
The idea of this design is to connect the ancient part of the small town of Brežice not only physically, as
required in the bid, but also visually, i.e. to lengthen the axes of the town towards the tree-planted plain and
further down to the new lake.
The urban system in Brežice
An analysis of the urban structure revealed three remarkable points of viable connection with the area of the
project and the new artificial lake. The town developed along a ridge, probably the former ancient bed of Sava
river, and then spread east wards and transversely to the ridge. Therefore, the ridge to the west has become
a kind of barrier against the growth of Brežice.
The three points mentioned above are: the road access in middle part of C. privh borcev, the north edge of C.
privh borcev, and the entrance to the vrbina from the Castle.
The core building in the castle is the starting point of the two roads leading north, shaped as a reversed Y.
These three axes are meant to be an interpretation of a pervasive feature of farmland in Slovenia, i.e. the
KOZOLEC.
The three axes, then, make up three paths in elevation and perceived as "urban kozolecs" (Mestni kozolci),
which start from the same elevation as the town to drop to the elevation of the lake, that is from
approximately +12 metres to +4 metres.
1. INTRODUCTION: the urban park as a possible paradigm of the landscape: THE NEW URBAN
KOZOLECS
The construction of a new urban park is based on some general features, which are strongly connotative of
the park itself. Great concern was given, in particular, to two key concepts in the design: the concept of
"urban park" and the concept of "landscape".
• The definition of urban park adopted here is as follows: "(...) a urban system including greenery and fittings
conceived as a set of areas with environmental and landscapist value or being strategically important for the
ecological balance of urbanised areas, as well as a set of areas reserved or meant to be recovered for
recreational, cultural, sports and leisure activities, functionally integrated in a unitary and uninterrupted fabric
(...
• The definition of landscape adopted here is as follows: "typical pattern of a territory resulting from physical
biological and anthropical features" . This is the first key point: everything is landscape, i.e. the territory of our
towns and countryside is almost completely the result of human action.

The two definitions above bring in the concept of system, which will become a key issue in developing the
method for the design studied and developed here.
Designing an urban park means stamping on the territory an additional mark of human action. This means a
design cannot avoid to include a study on the possible consequences for the landscape. In other words, we
have tried to draw the aims of the design after getting to know the territory, thanks to an analysis of the
surrounding landscape. The first exploration we did was aimed at understanding how the landscape is
shaped. At a first glance, the landscape of Brežice appears as the result of two overlapping landscapes: the
river and the farmland. On the other hand, if considered under a historical point of view, the landscape proves
to be characterised by two other features, which have built up over time but whose traces are still visible and
have been influencing the scenery strongly: the old river beds, i.e. what remains of the ancient course of the
rivers, and the woodlands which were there before the pervasive use of farming activities.
However, the designers have drawn no "conservative" or "mimetic" intents from these observations. What we
aimed was to introduce some "landscape awareness", i.e. we tried to build a new landscape while at the
same time introducing "visual memories" and applying the same building standards as in the recurring
landscape, or better a paradigm of recurring landscapes. We can say the attempt here was to convey the
idea of "landscape as a theatre", to explore a way to view the landscape as a viable representation of "(...)
the way some people have expressed themselves and their world through their imaginary relation to nature,
and through which they have highlighted and communicated their own and their fellows' social role as
compared to nature". Or we can say that we have considered "the territory as a palimpsest", and therefore
the result of a build-up of the social practices which have pervaded it in the course of time. In other words,
developing this definition, we can say a territory is "(...) a huge accumulation of marks voluntarily left behind
by our predecessors: towns, villages, isolated houses and huts, roads and streets, canals, galleries, dams,
terraced grounds, deforestation, farmland division and allocation to special crops, tree rows and plantations,
etc."
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    Objective of the designThe idea of this design is to connect the ancient part of the small town of Brežice not only physically, asrequired in the bid, but also visually, i.e. to lengthen the axes of the town towards the tree-planted plain andfurther down to the new lake.The urban system in BrežiceAn analysis of the urban structure revealed three remarkable points of viable connection with the area of theproject and the new artificial lake. The town developed along a ridge, probably the former...

    Project details
    • Year 2006
    • Status Competition works
    • Type Parks, Public Gardens / Landscape/territorial planning / Sports Facilities
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