Projet urbain_Zagreb_2012

Ville de Zagreb
HBAAT mandataire
Heleen Hart, Mathieu Berteloot et MH Merlin
Atelier A Fontaine et A Hallynck, architecte et artiste
Restructuration d’un îlot en coeur de Zagreb. Réalisation de 250 logements, une médiathèque, un théâtre, un complexe sportif, des commerces et une supérette de quartier.
Concours 2012



The Badel Block is one of the largest blocks of the lower town of Zagreb, but in contrast to the other blocks, it is not accessible for public purposes. In fact, the site appears like a large private entity, which cannot be accessed by pedestrians.The block is surrounded by large public spaces, like the open air market and the Bartola Kasica Urban Park. The tram junction, the bus terminal and the car network provide high accessibility to the site. The neighborhood attraction is reinforced by the presence of large department stores and various shops.The block structure seems disorganized with different type of buildings, from the historical industrial patrimony to more recent residential and commercial buildings. Nevertheless those constructions are bringing on the site a specific ambiance, confronting old and new structures.The yeast production factory and the spirits refinery and distillery are two industrial building with unique architectural qualities. The integration of new use should permit to restore them and preserve them as a part of the site’s history.


The objective of the project is to reintegrate the Badel Block as a part of the lower town of Zagreb. Two tools are proposed to achieve this aim: recompose the crown of the block and bring public accessibility.The introduction of an orthogonal street grid in the Regulation Plan of Zagreb has produced an urban morphology, in which most of the blocks are composed by a continuous built crown. The crown is mainly composed of vertical multi-storey buildings creating a rhythm of independent buildings next to each other, but creating an ensemble.

This system has often preserved an empty heart for garden and common facilities. Nevertheless, the largest blocks of the city center have been densified in their heart for residential purposes or for urban amenities like nurseries and schools. These activities bring accessibility to a hide inside thanks to covered galleries and small pedestrian paths. Those inside spaces have specific qualities: to be in the city but at a smaller scale. This scale permits different appropriations of the spaces and cut off the pedestrians from the traffic and noise. The introduction of this inside path creates a second network for pedestrians in the city, avoiding the large noisy arteries of the city.

The team proposes to create, on the Badel site, a continuous building on the block border in continuum with the urban scheme and to integrate the existing buildings. This thread will redefine and materialize the new limit of the block. The new heart drawn will be structured by public equipment, creating an inside network of public paths.

The purpose of this project is to give the inside void back to the city and to create a new urban continuity.


Specific attention is paid to the block outline. The objective is to retrieve a built continuity permitting to insert the Badel Block in the urban system of the Lower Town of Zagreb. A built line comes in prolongation of the built corner on the Kvaternikov Trg Square, closing the plot in a way. This line adjusts to the existing context and the present building on the site. Different situations are provided: hanging on the tower – laying down on the ground – floating above historical preserved building – creating a roof extension – pasting to the existing building. This outline also built specific relationship with the surroundings. The block opens in front of the market square extending the public space on both side of the Subiceva Street.

The objective is to design a massive line decomposed in different layers. The lower layers are reserved for offices whereas the higher ones house different type of dwellings. An empty layer of belvedere is saved for collective purposes and social interactions. This space becomes a meeting point, welcoming different type of collective uses (laundry – polyvalent rooms – working rooms – workshops -…). Located on the third floor, this ground is connected to the roof of the Gorica Factory. This belvedere offers a specific relationship in between city and block heart, preserving point of views and perspectives.


The ground of the block is considered as a large public slab, which is colonizing all the empty spaces of the plot. This slab is cut off in order to create an inner network and some enlargement .The remaining mass is used to host public equipment. The definition of an inside network permit to cross the block. Used as a shortcut, it reduces the block size in the urban system.

Two public levels are defined: the ground and the roof.  The ground stays mineral, as an extension of the pedestrian path inside the block. In complementarity, the roof is composed as a public garden. The slab is carved in order to develop inside patios for the activities, to bring light in an underground parking and to create connection between the ground and the roof.

The built layer permits new uses in the existing buildings: the yeast production factory is renewed to host a theater on the first floor, ground floor and the extension are used to house all the services needed like repetition and lectures rooms. The former spirit refinery located on the Subiceva Street becomes a large exhibition hall, with an open air passage towards the inside of the block. This complex is completed by an artist’s workshop on the north.


The block heart is intensively occupied by the public activities: theater – library – nursery – leisure center- sport complex – exposition hall, composed as landscape. The roof is carved, by different actions: sliding –digging- allowance. This schematic artificial floor becomes a fertile soil, allowing the growth of vegetation. The landscape produced is between the urban cliff and the wild nature. The mineral ground develops strong relationship with the parking. Direct accesses from the public spaces are managed.

The public floor houses different type of activities, small terrace on the theater café – tier and benches on the slope for open air performance – open air sport field on the sport complex roof – …In a way one floor built bring two different uses: inside- outside.


The public equipment’s are held in the space between the ground and the roof. They are designed as a continuity of the public path and square. The library creates a transparent façade, a step back of the block main entrance. The supermarket located on the Marticeva Street follows a line widening the pedestrian path towards the inside. The sport complex located in between an inside alley and Derencinova Street provide a double access: an everyday use on the street and one for events from the heart. The tier becomes accessible directly from the public spaces, in connection with the theater square.

The belvedere positioned as a middle level of the crown preserves a large field of view towards the city. It is accessible from large march in front of the market square. The flow of people slips either slowly in this higher level, or inside the path system. A double porosity is created. These in between spaces, like the belvedere, are social meeting places, between the inhabitants, the office workers and outsiders enjoying the public facilities.


The houses on the higher floors of the crown are conceived as an extension of the urban system produced below. A walk is developed between the vertical point of accessibility alternating the view on the city and view towards the heart. This façade walk appears like an emptiness in the mass of the crown which is used either to enter the housing either to enjoy the sun on private terraces. The same architectural form allows different appropriation depending of the sun orientation and floor. In a way, an open air corridor in one floor can become a terrace for resting. Depending of the typologies, the transversal dwellings expand on one to two floors. The upper floor apartments have direct access to the crown’s roof, which could become family vegetable gardens.

The project seeks to define an urban fragment on the Badel site. The objective is to create a new accessibility to the block, bringing new functions, mixity of uses and social interactions. The large public spaces designed are conceived as an extension of the urban surroundings. The closed block becomes an attractive place. The reinterpretation of the typical Zagreb Block permits to reinforce the existing lines of the site and position the site at the city scales. The proposition aims to define tools for an intervention on the site. The built mass [the public slab and the crown] permits to define urban collective and public spaces. The design is able to adjust itself to specific needs in further developments.