Status: Delivered

Program: Urban development of Piazza Transalpina/ TRG Evrope and Design of the EPICenter

Budget: N/A

Client: Municipality of Gorizia, Municipality of Nova Gorica

Location: Gorizia-Nova Gorica

Design: 2020

Team: Chiara Manca, Elisabetta Paglia, Maurizio Scarciglia

The Masterplan. GO Circular!

The Gorizia-Nova Gorica urban region shows a healthy demographic trend, with a discrete supply of services and a high quality of life. Economically characterized by industry and agriculture, Gorizia-Nova Gorica would benefit of an improved infrastructural cross-border connection, through the reactivation of the Transalpina Station, desirable in the near future to boost its role of European cross-border tourism destination.

We believe that Gorizia-Nova Gorica should preserve this suburban identity, yet aim at the development of functionally complementary centres. The project area would become the new central cluster for the definition of a new stronger urban region, capable of competing on the international market, yet clearly stating a circular vocation. The current climate crisis asks for re-thinking the cities’ future, for this reason, we base the whole master plan on completing the local existing potential. We propose to start the development by defining a light infrastructure for pedestrians and bikes, enabling all residents to move freely between the cities. The layout of this new regional route becomes the spine of the new green and blue strategy.

The plot towards Nova Gorica is completed, creating a clear urban front of new housing and mixed-use buildings which will allow testing different housing types for different family patterns. The public plinth offers continuous commercial spaces to create an active 24/7 urban front. Nova Gorica’s side continues with an elongated park that follows the railway lines, offering agriculture as well as public activities and sports.

Likewise, the Gorizia side is developed longitudinally through the “Makers Campus”. To the south, the park ends with the new EPICenter square and building landmark. We propose to locate the pedestrian and bikes bridge in the area over the railway as this is the densest functional cluster. At the south masterplan, Nova Gorica presents an irregular pattern of private residential allotments. We complete it with clear circular clusters, while the Gorizia side is re-ordered through a patchwork of rural fields, preserving the existing heritage.

Stazione Transalpina square and EPICenter. A vertical landscape

Located at the end of the Makers Park, the square is an extension of the park itself. By spreading the mass horizontally we respect the vertical monumentality of the station, saving its central view from via G. Caprin. By doing so, we define a building composed of light surfaces softly curved to shape a catenary roof. This roof hosts the actual new square: an elevated plateau from which a beautiful view over the borderline will allow an unimpeded perception of the unified cities while offering a protected cosy stage for every possible social happening. A temporary tent fixed to the short sides of the building and on top of the tower (supported by a tensile steel cables structure), will offer shadow in the hot seasons.

In section, the building is characterized by four levels. The underground hosts temporary and permanent exhibition spaces. This floor hosts a simple parking garage that offers easy logistic for the exhibition space.  The square is freed from any car, limiting vehicular accessibility only from the west kiss and ride area and defining a clear pedestrian gallery on lever zero, open 24/7. Emergency exits, ramps and stairs are accurately distributed to preserve all historical trees on the site. The elevated podium’s clear separation makes it easy to achieve an independent operation of social activities. On top, the roof landscape is reachable by means of slow stairs and a long ramp that, starting in the park, allows everybody to reach the upper square even when all amenities are closed.

The tower becomes a landmark, as well as the tool to look over the new unified centre. Besides choosing a traditional structural type, typical of sports halls, with a clear construction process, we chose very few finishing materials, such as concrete and locally supplied wood, aiming at strengthening circularity principles and budget control. The circulation system becomes pivotal for the distribution of the volumes, dissolving the building into a vertical landscape, open to all citizens and symbolic of democracy and European values of solidarity and cooperation.