Pavilion number 15 is located on the eastern edge of Zagreb Fair complex. It is a protected cultural heritage, designed by architect Giuseppe Sambito in 1962 as an exhibition pavilion to present the newest achievements of Italian economy.
The space is unique and undivided, with 3902m2 of space area, 1m height (with the middle part 14m height). It is characterised by steel construction with 12 reversed pyramids, grid-like (lattice) roof trusses and full glass façade. The pyramids and glass envelope are the most recognizable elements of this Pavilion. Pavilion is today in a state of disrepair and dilapidation with numerous damages as a consequence of corrosion and years of abandon.
This project is a result of present state analysis, local community opinion survey (within the Novi Zagreb east and Novi Zagreb west city districts) and functional capabilities and restriction of the Pavilion. The Eco-market proposal which will promote local and ecologically produced food completely meets the needs of the city districts (the lack of specialised eco-markets), the character of the districts (mostly residential area), the character of the Pavilion, in a functional way (high glass hall), the character of the Pavilion in the value way (the need to protect the cultural heritage with non-invasive methods) and actual need for sustainable, ecological and local methods for food and lifestyle habits.
The Pavilion repurposing is not going to be only about making an Eco-market. Besides presenting and selling food and other products, Pavilion will be a place of sustainable lifestyle promotion; with culinary classes, healthy and sustainable lifestyle educations, make-your-own-compost workshops, recycling workshops and similar.
The concept also has touristic and cultural aspect: the plan is to organize themed evenings and presentations of specialties and cuisines of foreign countries (Spanish cuisine week, Fish specialties week, Raw food week…) with high school students (Hospitality schools and similar) and representatives and workers of different Embassies in Zagreb as hosts. This will bring out the memories of the international fairs in Zagreb Fair when national pavilions promoted the values of their countries.
The Pavilion repurposing project includes future and potential users of the new Eco-market as the most important partners; with the local community opinion survey in the first phase and planned design charrettes – intense planning meetings where residents of the Novi Zagreb districts and Zagreb as whole, experts (architects, sociologists), local government representatives, institutions (schools, kindergartens) representatives work together in creating and following the vision of the Project. This creates the sense of ownership and responsibility for the area, identification with Zagreb Fair, strengthens the social cohesion of the city districts and presents a strong and considerable social capital.
The project interventions include the implementation of solar photovoltaic cells which will provide the electricity for the Pavilion with surplus distributed to other pavilions of Zagreb Fair. Generated organic waste will be used as a biogas and then used for heating. The volume of the Pavilion and glass façade makes long sedentary work during winter in the Pavilion difficult. Additional interventions to make it less difficult are not planned.
The first phase predicts temporary settling with structures that will act as a “frame” and enable different activities. These structures are the elements of division and farming (steel cables or nets outstretched in the middle of the Pavilion, between the floor and the lattice roof construction; the structures could withstand suspending the pots with saplings on different levels, climbing plants and mini irrigation system), the elements od division and heating (double layered “baldachins” made from light, transparent synthetic material shaping “warm rooms” in the middle area of the Pavilion; that enables comfortable staying in the Pavilion without losing excess heating in the space) and furniture elements for exhibition, storage, farming, compost and similar (mobile, interconnected transformable frames made from wood; to encourage reusing of still usable materials and items; their recycling is easy; every frame can be upgraded with various other elements that can serve specific purpose). In front of the Pavilion a plant garden is planned, bearing in mind the rules of permaculture, biodynamic agriculture and vegetable cultivation which enables multiple harvests.
The Pavilion repurposing project will encourage selling but also trading and exhibiting of the products. It will have a social component because smaller producers could trade their surpluses, exchange them for something else or have very small amounts of their products on the market. Such public visibility and the possibility to enter the market, sell the products and earn the money presents also a very important economic sustainability for a significant part of the society. The possibility of trading and exchanging and the concept of healthy, bio, eco and locally produced food represents environmentally sustainable model of food. That abates the food miles which consequentially lowers the level of greenhouse gasses. Pavilion will have educational function while promoting the sustainable model of farming (permaculture, biodynamic agriculture), trading healthy eco produces (seeds and such), advising on nutrition and health benefits of certain products. Pavilion repurposed like this will become a new public place for all residents of (Novi) Zagreb, for meeting and enjoying and at the same time it will strengthen the spirit of community and the sense of belonging to the place.
The Compass project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union
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