Karlovac (HR)


Project scale L - urban + architecture

Location Karlovac, Croatia

Population 55,705 inhabitants,  46,833 inhabitants for the urban area

Strategic site 500 ha - Project site 25 ha 

Site proposed by City of Karlovac (municipality)

Actors involved City of Karlovac, State

Owner of the site City of Karlovac, State and private owners 

Commission after competition Urban development plan

Team representative Architect - urbanist

More Information

How can the site contribute to a productive city?

Karlovac is a city of rich industrial heritage that forms an important part of local identity. The city still has the characteristics of a productive city with a vital economy of a classic type. The main urban axis Luščić – Novi centar (new city centre) – Zvijezda (star-shaped historic core) – Gaza – the Korana river is planned to be an elongated zone accommodating central urban functions and recognizable public spaces. Karlovac would like the productive city topic to be applied to this site by exploring themes such as creative industry, culture factories and opportunities for new forms of work and (self)employment. The goal is to transform this currently derelict site by producing an urban fabric with all aspects of desired urbanity, which includes mixed and adaptable uses, new typologies, improved mobility, a sharing economy, the use of renewable sources of energy (including geothermal) and the creation of new public spaces.

City strategy

Karlovac, the ninth largest city in Croatia, is situated on an important transport corridor and at the strategic location that was the major reason for its foundation exactly 440 years ago. Such strategic position required, until recently, the presence of numerous military facilities. The former military barracks Luščić are located on the main urban axis and represent a great opportunity for future urban development. At the strategic site level, the task is to provide new ideas for the physical design of the main urban axis. Proposals should consider ways of creating the necessary spatial links, addressing the problem of barriers caused by national transport infrastructure and improve the relationship between the central city area and river banks. As regards strategic site programs, functions that will be complementary to the city public facilities and services and lead to the creation of new jobs and economic development are expected.

Site definition

The project site is the area of the former military barracks, surrounded by areas of high residential density. The existing structures within the project site are dilapidated and mostly constructionally unsafe. The evaluation of the architectural and construction properties of the existing building does not indicate that there are reasons to preserve them. Part of the site is covered with high-quality vegetation. According to the provisions and guidelines of the General Urban Development Plan, the following uses may be planned for the project site: public facilities, business uses, hospitality and tourism uses, open public spaces and residential use. The City of Karlovac wishes to receive proposals focusing primarily on public facilities of importance for the City and for the densely populated area surrounding the project site. This is also one of the obligations assumed by the City when ownership of part of the land of the former barracks was transferred to the City by the State.

How is production inserted in the urban diversity programme?

Given its location in the urban fabric, the project site has to be planned in such a way as to accommodate high-density mixed-uses. Appropriate programs are expected, which will contribute to economic development, for example in innovative activities and services, production of culture, creative industries, connection of economy, education and research and activities that are not spatially dependant (digital and similar industries). Since the area of the former military barracks is not connected to the surrounding residential areas, it is necessary to design strategies of spatial integration. The result should be a coherent urban fabric connecting the project site with the surrounding residential areas where there is a shortage of social infrastructure. Proposed urban structures must be highly adaptable to changing needs over time.
Participants are encouraged to create development scenarios that include temporary uses for spaces which probably will not be realised in 10+ or 20+ years. In the light of local negative demographic trends, housing facilities are not the priority. However, innovative housing typologies that can contribute to making affordable housing for young people, and flexible structures for new forms of life and work (work from home etc.) are welcomed. The proposed solutions should ensure improved accessibility and mobility. A high level of accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists must include not only physical accessibility, but also urban environments that are attractive to pedestrians and can contribute to the total reduction in the usage of cars. Energy efficient solutions, which may include the use of geothermal energy (sources of which have been found in the vicinity of the city), are also encouraged.


Project site in 2011
Project site today


Abandoned buildings and existing vegetation on the site
Main pedestrian path leading to the project site

Questions on the site

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