The Badel Block Project represents a unique opportunity for a large scale intervention in one of the last available blocks limits of Zagreb’s city centre. The idea behind the project is the creation of a new attractive centre of commerce, business, culture, tourism and leisure. The revitalization process in not only based on a dense urban design, with criteria for minimum energy consumption for housing, green space and accessible public transport, but also the recovery of lost public space through the recovery of the characteristic Industrial Heritage Urban Fabric of the area.
The following strategic axes are proposed for the revitalization of the Badel Site:
• To maintain centrality
• To improve the quality of life of its inhabitants
• To promote residential use
• To attract new residents
• To incorporate criteria of sustainability
• To promote economic revitalization
• To involve different stakeholders
The project transforms the old industrial areas of the Badel Block into a high-quality environment for working and living. As a project of urban refurbishment, it responds to the necessity of recovering the social and economic dynamism of the City’s Centre and creates a diverse and balanced environment where the different facilities coexist with state-subsidized buildings, equipment and green spaces that improve life and working quality. As a project of economic refurbishment, it constitutes a unique opportunity to turn the Badel Block into an important cultural platform transforming Zagreb into a more dynamic and innovative city. As a project of social refurbishment, it facilitates the interrelation among different professionals who work in the area and the participation of the district''s neighbours in the opportunities information technologies offer.
The architectonic proposal is divided into six areas:
Public Spaces/ Green Areas:
All residents will have a green space less than 200 metres from home. Public space development is the vital key that drives the transformation of the island, supports its conversion and lays the groundwork for balanced and sustainable changes to its functions: creating new enjoyable living places, improving public spaces by promoting alternative modes of transport (public footpaths, cycle tracks) and creating new routes to meet the needs of an urban centre open to all.
Industrial Heritage / Tourism Centre:
The distillery building will become the new core centre for the Badel Block. As a new tourism centre, its activities will not be limited to the area but to Zagreb’s City Industrial discourse. With its historical and industrial heritage background, the Badel Block is the place where an abounding range of cultural and artistic initiatives are hosted and developed be they long-term leisure infrastructures and places, or temporary performances and events. “Cultural heritage is our debt to the past, our promise to the future.”
Offices/ Hotel / Auditorium:
A new activity area is proposed to incorporate new technologies companies, where international events could become part of the City’s aim. One auditorium with capacity for 200 people and other for 300 people is included in the program.
Commercial / Retail & Restaurants Areas:
The aim is both to support the development of existing activities and to promote the settlement of new economic activities, particularly high-quality services.
The project is strongly in favour of mixing production spaces with new housing in order to allow people to live close to their workplace, foster the development of local commerce and guarantee vitality in public spaces throughout the day. Subsidized housing units, favours social diversity in the area and guarantees the vitality of all streets and public spaces throughout the day.
Badel’s actual use a parking lot shows the deficiency for the area. The new parking will not only cover the necessity of the program, but will help unpressure the use of the car in the city’s centre due to Badel’s strategic situation and close relation to public transport.
The project aims at the transformation of the old industrial area, with obsolete factories that had long ago been abandoned or were simply not very productive, into a magnet for new activities. This transformation cannot happen with a traditional rezoning from industrial to residential designation. One of the goals is to replace the previous industrial activity by offices or other business services and equipment related to new technology and knowledge, encouraging land owners to update obsolete urban planning elements while maintaining economic activity.
The proposal is building a new compact city, where companies co-exist with housing units, facilities and green areas. This model city coexists with the neighbourhood’s industrial heritage thanks to the recovery of the Industrial Heritage which conserves elements of architectural interest.
The coexistence of new companies with local district ones -shopping, small workshops, service sector- configure a rich productive fabric. This environment favours the synergy in pro of knowledge and the processes of innovation and allows the improvement of the competition as business group and the quality of life of the citizens that live and work in the Badel Block.
By means of the space for professionals, the project promotes the creation of new networks of formal and informal relationship fostering the creation of local and international business cooperation projects to improve the social and business cohesion and increasing the quality of life and work in Zagreb. At the same time, it stimulates and supports innovative projects that foster both the use of new Information and Communication Technologies and the collaboration of citizens and professionals with social, educational and cultural organizations in the district.
The new block carries out innovative actions in order to foster the use of the new information and communication Technologies in everyday life and to facilitate communication among people. The project also tries to reach other objectives such as for instance, to bring in what Internet and information and communication Technologies offer to several associations and institutions aimed at improving their life and work quality or to make neighbours to be pioneers in integrating new technologies to everyday life.