Our proposal for the Badel block is an organic geology, formed by the site’s historic features and access to the sun. Thought of as three boulders of varying character, the proposal is a visual and programmatic anchor for Zagreb, growing out of the Lower Town’s morphology to merge valuable qualities of new and old.
Conceptually, the project begins with creating a direct link between the former distillery building and the preserved façade of the Gorica Factory (fig. 1). With the lower portions between major columns removed, the façade is transformed from a hard street wall into a porous screen that extends the liveliness of the market and park to the east and south.
The new pedestrian square implied by the linkage is formalized by the footprints of three new perimeter blocks. Extrusions of the footprints are modulated to produce a range meeting varying sunlight needs and transitioning between proposed and existing, and arriving at the GBA target of 65,000m2 (fig. 5). The result is three boulders – Blocks 1, 2 and 3 – that combine a perimeter block and tower typology.
Ultimately the boulders channel a complex of forces on the site, from sun to pedestrians to new arts programming, through a network of places and passages that make a dynamic locus for Zagreb’s future.