The Fantastic Forest Phenomenon

Karlovac (HR) - Winner


Team Representative: Krešimir Renić (HR) – architect; Associates: Hana Dašić (HR), Iva Erić (HR), Jana Horvat (HR), Ria Tursan (HR) – architects 
Contributor: Andrea Majić (HR) – architect

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Hana Dasic, Iva Eric, Jana Horvat, Ria Tursan

VIDEO (by the team)


1. How did you form the team for the competition?
It was spontaneous, a good timing in our lives. 

2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: the place of productive activities within the city?
Cities like Karlovac are in need of new narratives – for good stories have the power to attract everything they are missing: people, money and excitement. The role of the project site, a new research hub in the city, is to explore a possibility for new productivity in and around the city. New strategies are developed, introducing a network of new flows through the city. The neighbourhood itself is designed to function as an independent ecosystem of a peculiar, forest-like environment, a hybrid urban-natural habitat that serves as an exciting arena for experiment and imagination. 


3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
Due to a very convenient geological position, Karlovac has the potential to become a leading regional energy centre, so this new story of energy and production has been envisioned on the project site. A pine tree and fir forest were found on parts of the site. The plan was to completely preserve it, with new trees being planted as well, so as to form a natural, woodland envelope around a central clearing. Tall housing units are then placed amongst the woods, while public buildings and spaces occupy the area of the central clearing, the “oasis”.



4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
We have never treated this issue previously. It all came from trajectories of a given place, some of the references were used just to confirm our findings.



5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?

While we designed our project, we envisioned its development in stages. The first stage is based on the research of the best ways to implement the idea of Karlovac becoming a regional, or even national, energy centre. It would connect multidisciplinary experts with city authorities and citizens. Following that, the second stage of the development is creating the “brain” of our project, a research hub located in Luščić. During the next stages, the whole site is viewed as an arena for experiment. With time, considering the results and findings of the hub, other elements of the project can also be implemented gradually.

6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
Yes. This is a nice reminder that there is an enlightened audience for our idealistic views.



Functions: All architects 
Average age of the associates: 26 years old

Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?
We won competitions separately but we never conceived or implemented any project. We haven't thought about creating a legal status yet. We do not share a common workplace; sometimes we use our apartments to produce some architecture.