Seafront Landscape Design
type: public landscape
client: urban competition
location: Koper, Slovenija
project date: 2015
In 2015 a design competition was launched for a new series of seafront structures to be developed between Zusterna in Koper and the Izola border. The competition was organised by the Municipality of Koper. The new structures should replace the existing out-of-date elements of the space and make this degraded part of the city attractive and functional. The new architecture should extract the best from tradition of seaside architecture and be distinctive, contemporary, innovative, fun and inspiring, as well as performing functionally and practically.
The location was until recently used as one of the main roads linking the Balkan countries with the rest of Europe which meant outrageous traffic jams in the tourist season and wasted kilometres of coast. With the main road now relocated the ideal solution would be to cancel road traffic in this space altogether. At the time this idea isn’t yet an option but the two proposals we presented don’t exclude the idea somewhere in the future.
Proposal 01 suggests a narrower road with a reduced speed limit (up to 50km/h) with a now gained two metre green zone. The old Parenzana (a defunct narrow gauge railway operating between 1902 and 1935 between Trieste and Poreč) is now a bicycle lane, whereas pedestrians are moved away from traffic following the three piers connected by a footway above the sea. This proposal is bolder in design and follows more modern approaches to landscape planning.
Proposal 02, apart from narrowing the road, the green zone between the road and the bicycle lane, suggests only one-way traffic where one lane is a parking zone (covering a total of a 100 cars) and the other is the road.
The next faze foresees the complete cancellation of road traffic throughout the location and suggests monorail as a replacement.
The key part of the project was the 'spine', extending from one side to the other. It was designed to create a new signature structure as an elevated esplanade that accommodates several key functions including lighting, seating and shelter along the way.
Another central part of our proposal were two small multi-function buildings to act as focal points along the esplanade. Located at the two points where the walkway touches the shore, they are easily accessible from town, esplanade and beach so they are the point of arrival and orientation for visitors as well as a place to have a coffee and go to the toilet.
The new interventions unburden the present coastline and suggest a new way of handling and usage of public space.