The main entrance to one of the oldest European cities - Stari Grad on Hvar, surprisingly over the centuries has not got a distinct appearance. Despite it’s important position in the city and the numerous Roman and Greek remains that surround it, the square had no identity. We had to rethink how the square could reconcile the ancient heritage with today's times and needs. Without the superfluous contents, the monumentality that this square deserves is achieved.
The design of the square is based on a single theme, it pays tribute to the Greek parcellation of the nearby Starogradsko polje protected by UNESCO. It is the oldest known Greek subdivision in the Adriatic and it is one of the most recognizable features of the island. Simply put, the square is a homage to the ancient drywall network.
Large format slabs are made of concrete with the addition of beige-brown pigment. Earth tone is reminiscent of the land that once covered the square, but also the field it represents. Local stone surrounding the square has irregular border finishes to match historic stone of the streets it connects to. The only volume planned in the square is a 36-meter-long bench by the sea that contains a model of the city and is the starting point for many visitors. Bench is planned on the only open side of the square, to create a physical boundary, but in the same time providing unobstructed seaview.
Large-format concrete slabs measuring 9 meters by 45 centimeters laid under the same deviation from the sun as in the field symbolize land division. Slabs of the square are 200 times scaled down field modules, originally measuring 900x180 meters. Our constant drive to combine old values and local crafts with modern concepts and materials is present on the square. Junctions with ancient streets are done in stone of historical format with "borders" next to the houses laid by traditional laying techniques, while the large-format slabs are created by modern production technologies.
One of the reasons why Stari Grad was created on this location are numerous sources of drinkable water. Water as an element also exists in the ground floor of the square which will be filled with nozzles to create fog to bring summer refreshment. Water is also present in the square as a problem in the form of frequent tides entering the surrounding houses and restaurants. The newly planned square has the role of well that will pull the tide faster from the houses and take the water back to the sea.
Stari Grad, Croatia
Grad Stari Grad