An international contest is being held to design a €7.5 million public plaza connecting the towns of Gorizia in Italy and Nova Gorica in Slovenia
The competition seeks ‘innovative and original’ proposals for a square and transcultural hub next to Nova Gorica’s main train station which between 1947 and 1991 served as a development buffer zone and hard border between Italy and the former Yugoslavia but is now an open border with Slovenia.
The Piazza Transalpina-Europe Square project aims to stitch together the historic settlement of Gorizia in Italy with Nova Gorica, which was built as a separate town following the post-war partitioning of the region and is now in neighbouring Slovenia. Submissions must focus on the creation of a new square and cultural centre and also include a broader masterplan for integrating the surrounding urban border zones.
According to the brief: ‘With the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the birth of an expanded united Europe in 1991, Gorizia and Nova Gorica, the two towns once divided by wars, saw new opportunities for connecting the separated parts of the former region, not least the spatial integration of the two cities into a uniform urban structure.
‘In 2019, Nova Gorica and Gorizia set themselves an ambitious goal – to become a cross-border European Capital of Culture in 2025. Regardless of the success of the candidacy, the two administrations, aided by the EGTC, have decided to continue the process of connecting the two cities by planning a common central area on the state border in the area of the railway station of Nova Gorica.’
The old town of Gorizia is the historic centre of Italy’s north-eastern Gorizia province. Following the Second World War, the area was subject to a border dispute with neighbouring Yugoslavia, resulting in the creation of the new planned settlement of Nova Gorica on the other side of the border.
A new transcultural hub, known as the EPICentre, will also be delivered as part of the brief. The ‘economically viable’ building is anticipated as both a self-sustaining tourist destination and a venue for events and exhibitions addressing the history of the unique two towns.
The contest site includes both the area surrounding the train station itself and a larger area of former border zone stretching from Solkan and Salcano to Rožna Dolina and Casa Rossa. Proposals will be expected to boost ‘transborder cohesion’ in this wider zone and support the main activity in the square and cultural centre.
Judges will include Nathalie Rozencwajg of London-based Name Architecture; Polona Filipic of the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Architecture; and Helle Juul, of JUUL FROST in Copenhagen. An overall winner, to be announced on 8 July, will receive €25,000 while a second prize of €15,000 and third prize of €8,000 will also be awarded.
The deadline for applications is 22 June.
How to apply
GECT GO/EZTS GO
Via Cadorna 36