PIERCING VRBINA

Agricultural park in Brežice -SLO

Europan 8 architectural competition entry, 2005

Architects: Panos Dragonas, Varvara Christopoulou
Associates: Fotini Kanellopoulou, Aris Petrou
 

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By the early 20th century, Brežice was a small commercial town that lived by the carriage of goods in rafts. The town lost its connection to the river when its alignment changed. The project concerns the development of a 38 hectare area, taking into consideration the construction of a large artificial lake and a power plant in the Vrbina plain. The proposal aims to restore Brežice's relationship with water and redefine its identity as a riverside town.

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The area to be developed is five times larger than the total area of the historic center of Brežice. The project does not propose a definitive plan, but a method of approaching the problem. The proposal seeks the greatest possible degree of flexibility and adjustment to the future requirements.

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The design strategy includes four layers:
- The small lakes that "pierce" the land and create new points of reference in the plain.
- The plantings along the existing streams' beds which are restored and enhanced.
- The new crop fields in the plain. Their use within an agrotourism program will give new impetus to the local economy and encourage the creation of hostels in the abandoned buildings of the historic center.
- The elevated walkways that connect the town with the plain and the ponds. These lightweight constructions expand the urban fabric over the plain, allowing access to the lake during the flood.

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