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Competition: Cetatuia Hill, Cluj-Napoca

The Romanian Order of Architects has launched an international contest to rethink the Cetățuia Hill public park in Cluj-Napoca (Deadline: 24 June)

Open to all EU, EEA and Swiss Architects, the competition seeks innovative proposals to regenerate the historic green space which features the remains of an 18th century Habsburg fortress and a 156-room hotel with panoramic views over the Transylvanian city.

The 157,000m² project – backed by Cluj-Napoca Municipality – aims to boost the number of tourists and residents visiting the park by providing new cultural, educational and recreational facilities and improving connections to the wider city.

Cetățuia Hill, Cluj-Napoca

Cetățuia Hill, Cluj-Napoca

Cetățuia Hill, Cluj-Napoca

According to the brief: ‘Surrounded by bountiful plantations, the Cetățuia hill has an urban potential (symbolic, aesthetic, functional and ecological) which is very little used by the city and for the city – it is simultaneously a place of memory of a still-visible citadel, a place of contemplation, a place of active recreation, sports and culture, as well as a green point for the entire area.

‘The candidates are encouraged to design the area subjected to the intervention in such a way that it maintains its character and history, in a way that puts an object of natural city heritage into focus by means of sensitive interventions, which are as respectful as possible with regards to the natural wild landscape of the hill.’

Located around 324km from Bucharest on the banks of Someșul Mic River, Cluj-Napoca is a historic city and the unofficial capital of Transylvania.

Cetățuia Hill, Cluj-Napoca

Cetățuia Hill, Cluj-Napoca

Cetățuia Hill, Cluj-Napoca

Cetățuia Hill is a public park and panoramic viewpoint in the centre of the city. The park features an abandoned citadel, a 1970s hotel, a national monument and walking trails connecting to the river below.

The latest project aims to revitalise the prominent public space by introducing new recreational, cultural and education facilities such as an events space, café, footpaths, new lighting and a playground. Proposals will be expected to respect the historic and environmental context of the hilltop site.

Judges include space architect Miriam García García; Romanian architects Köllő Miklós, Eugen Pănescu, Iulia Stanciu and Ligia Subțirică; and Icelandic landscape architect Hermann Georg Gunnlaugsson.

The overall winner will receive a design contract worth £268,000 (RON 1,476,149). A second prize of £12,680 (RON 70,000) and third prize of £8,150 (RON 45,000) will also be awarded. The competition languages are English and Romanian.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for applications is 4pm local time on 24 June

Contact details

Lucia Lupea
The City of Cluj-Napoca
4305857
Str. Moţi nr. 1-3
Cluj-Napoca
400001
Romania

Tel: +40 264596030
Email: achizitiipublice@primariaclujnapoca.ro
Fax: +40 264431575

 View the contract notice and visit the competition website for more information

Dnieper River Park case study: Q&A with Petra Marko

The co-founder of Marko and Placemakers discusses lessons learned rethinking the Dnieper River in Kiev

Petra Marko

Petra Marko

Petra Marko

How will your project deliver a landmark new park boosting green and blue connections in Kiev?

Our approach to this challenge in the age of limited public resources focuses on empowering another important resource that all cities have in common – its people. The public realm strategy engages Kiev’s citizens through different activities such as planting flowers, to rebuild trust between the city, its people and various stakeholders. It is a process of psychological to physical transformation, using the flower as a symbol of positive change (Kiev is also known as the city of flowers) and impulse towards the future.

Dnieper River Park by Marko and Placemakers

Dnieper River Park by Marko and Placemakers

Dnieper River Park by Marko and Placemakers

Which architectural, material, visual and other methods did you harness in your design?

It was important for us to communicate a clear roadmap of how real change can happen over time. Dnieper river has been severed from the city by major road arteries, which will take time to restructure. For example, the phasing approach looked at trialling pedestrianisation of Khreshchatyk – a six lane road through the city centre.

Dnieper River Park by Marko and Placemakers

Dnieper River Park by Marko and Placemakers

Dnieper River Park by Marko and Placemakers

We observed this was already happening on Sundays, when many people leave the city to stay in their cottages, and the road becomes a vast, though mainly empty, promenade. Taking it a step further with a festival of flowers to make it not only a car-free space, but the focus of thousands of people to meet and enjoy, shows people the possibilities and the scope of the ambition.

What advice would you have to contest participants on rethinking Cetatuia Hill?

Think about what the main challenges of your project are – and what you can do as designers to overcome these. Design is not only an important tool to envision an outcome, but a process tool to map how you will get there.

Dnieper River Park by Marko and Placemakers

Dnieper River Park by Marko and Placemakers

Dnieper River Park by Marko and Placemakers

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