Margita Grubiša, Marin Jelčić, Daniela Škarica, Ivana Žalac
City of Maribor - European City of culture 2012
international competition - 11th out of 124 submitted projects
Maribor - Slovenia
The old bridge as a high level of importance in definition of urban tissue of the Maribor city, and is strongly protected by cultural heritage department. Since the proposed location for the future bridge is planned tightly to the old one, one of the aims is to create a structure that would eliminate the visual and spacial competition between the two by developing “invisible connection“.
The competition aim is to create additional link between north and south city banks. As current bridges are sufficient for creating fast connection between the two, the new bridge, on the lower level, should form integrated part of the riverbanks; a place to be rather than mode of fast point to point connection .
“Invisible connection“ of the bridge is emphasized through flat 2D surface design. The future bridge is deprived of its third dimension and placed directly on the river surface, providing closer experience of the Drava. The bridge, placed on the lower level can be fully observed and experienced through walking on the upper level of the old bridge. New visual attraction becomes a magnet for people to visit newly designed/revitalized city area. On the other hand, observing from the embankment, the old bridge stays dominant (stays the main actor) in the given surroundings. The importance of the old bridge is emphasized by implementation of the additional elements to the new one (bleechers) where the old bridge is anticipated as a part of the scenography (eg.concerts). In this way the advantage is taken from questionable proximity of two bridges, which is upgraded and used for emphasizing both vertical and horizontal qualities of the two.
In order to respond to main ideas, mobility, multi functionality and flexibility are conceived as the most important properties. These three elements are achieved through definition of a cell-the smallest building element and modular unit. The cell is a hexagonal pontoon (of aprox. 10×10 m), shaped in a way to bind with other elements easily. Additionally, the cells could be used in wider urban context of the Drava river. Large scale urban equipment could serve as revitalization points providing different solutions for different parts of the river (eg. bathing area, fishing area etc… ). In the same logical way the bridge as a whole could be relocated if needed, according to possible future urban plans of the city.