Abandoned Area

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Rehabilitation of Hartera

Only a few people live and work in Hartera. It used to be a vibrant part of the city of Rijeka where hundreds of people were flocking in and out every day. Today, this area largely abandoned. Its famous paper factory closed its doors about a decade ago and since then the area fell into decay. Nevertheless, despite its decline, Hartera is all but forgotten! On the contrary; Hartera is in the minds of many people. Locals will relate the area to its rich industrial heritage, unique buildings and great views to the hills. Some people refer to its annual music festival, current grassroots events, and emerging cultural scene. Although Hartera is known by most people, seldom it is used by many. The challenge for the public government of Rijeka and many other actors is to make this area public with respect to the multiple images people have of the site. This area can become publicly-used, not just publicly-known. A spa facility or entertainment park will not be answers for this particular side, nor will it be for example a shopping mall. Those kinds of development stimulate appropriation of the space by special target groups, blocking the way for others, and/or they change the identity of the area so drastically that people will change their perception of the area and neglect the newly developed as soon as it will becomes out of date again.


A team of nine international students of Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands joined forces and searched for a durable future. Their target was clear: Make Hartera a public place which is publicly-used and appreciated by many. As such, their strategy was threefold: The area must become publicly accessible, hence the amount of connections across the River Rječina and to the hill sides have to be increased. The area must have some public facilities, attracting new people and diversifying reasons to go to the area. And, the area must offer housing, offices and workshops for a variety people to increase activities in the urban space. In general the lesson is that the more kinds of people use the area, the more vital the area will be, and the more kinds of uses there are in the area, the less vulnerable the site becomes.



The River Rječina Hill Sides, by Agate Kalnpure

To reach this aim, all members of the research and design team have observed public life in the city and they have analysed extensively the current network of public spaces, the plans of the buildings, if provided, and other supporting data. Skills are acquired to incorporate an understanding of the design (process) attained with regard to architectural and urban history, theory, art and technology as well as relevant general knowledge of human sciences. Additionally, skills are acquired to incorporate an understanding of the design attained with regard to the relation between public spaces, buildings and society’s needs, including environmental aspects. In line with the images people of Rijeka have of Hartera, the team has studied specifically: i) the present industrial heritage and the culture of the city, ii) the uniqueness of buildings and the sequence of spaces in and near the location, and iii) the natural elements determining the site; mountains, hills, slopes, valley, benches, river and delta. Architects, urban designs and a landscape architect have worked together in the examination of the urban space as architectural space and the architectural space as urban space. […]



The New Ružićeva Square, by Wenwen Sun

On the bases of the findings, the desirable future of Hartera can be envisioned by nine different interdisciplinary projects. In these experimental design projects, to various degrees, students are interested on one hand to effective urban interventions in the built environment and their effect on architecture, and at the other hand to appropriate architectural treatments of the city and the effect on urbanism. Each of the projects is showcasing a different kind intervention to make Hartera a public space, yet all together interrelated and strengthening each other, they create many places for the people of Rijeka and beyond.




The Old Paper Factory Power Station, by Keonsoo Koh

Harteveld, Maurice (2014, June) Studio Rijeka, Research Book [indroduction]

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