Mulini Beach, 3LHD Architects, Rovinj, Croatia. Well-executed public park projects are not created solely at the large-scale master planning level or the detail-oriented design development phase. Successful projects are a result of a cohesive planning and conceptual development process carrying through to the final details. The attractiveness of Mulini Beach in Rovinj, Croatia, is due to the strong conceptual and detail development by an interdisciplinary team of architects, landscape architects, and engineers. Designers were faced with the challenge of creating a public park along the waterfront on a piece of ever-changing real estate. One of the biggest design obstacles influencing all aspects of the project was the change in topography due to the tides. Taking on this challenge, designers had no choice but to allow the sea and changes in the tides to alter design decisions and dictate site usage.
Mulini Beach: An Elegant TaleArchitects from 3LHD noted that this property is “an extension of the city’s public area and promenade areas, whose primary function is to connect the city of Rovinj and park Punta Corrente.” Mulini Beach needed to serve the city of Rovinj as both an arterial connector and a public park destination. Design Solutions: Working with nature The design solution gracefully provides public open space,welcomes visitors to the sea, and connects the city center to adjacent parkland. Mulini Beach is divided into two zones: the wave zone and the tidal bay. The wave zone captures the essence and motion of the waves in the hardscape and site geometry. Vegetation and Clever Design Designers artfully crafted pathways, benches, and planters in jagged and tectonic forms replicating the crashing of the waves and the power of the sea. Vegetation in this zone is sparse, creating a hard, edgy feel. The second zone — the tidal bay — is the antithesis, embodying the serenity and calming notion of the sea. This zone is lush with native vegetation and uses a variety of materials to soften the geometry of the site. While similar tectonic forms carry through to unify the two zones, a pebble beach gradually dips into the sea creating a graceful connection to the water.
Spatial Opportunities at Mulini Beach
The two contrasting zones provide opportunities for visitors to sunbathe, relax, rest, and socialize in a variety of spaces. An additional site amenity, the Mulini Beach Bar, offers locker rooms, showers, restrooms, and information. The bar area provides additional day and night program space, with areas for small concerts and entertainment. Related Articles:
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Design Highlight at Spatial Mulini Beach
The use of onsite stone is just one example of how detail-oriented design contributes to the overall success of Mulini Beach. Stone, a natural material found in outcroppings along the shore, is artfully used as an accent throughout the site. Large boulders in the concrete can be used as seating and bring a natural feel to the geometric hardscape. Other boulders form a natural edge between the water and the public park, mimicking outcroppings along the sea.The theme of natural stone effectively carries over into the architecture, as well. Architects used stone in a feature wall at the bar area to unify the structural elements and the site design. The selection of natural stone strengthens the ocean theme, brings a hint of authenticity to the overall design, and shows the designers’ keen attention to detail. A collaborative team of designers began with an overall vision and purpose for Mulini Beach and carried through with careful planning and site detail development. The public park meets the needs of the city, connects existing parkland along the waterfront, and allows for visitors to have an intimate experience with the sea. Although designers faced challenges as they programmed spaces around the anticipated tidal changes, they allowed nature to influence the design, dividing the site into two distinct zones to tell the story of the sea. Recommended Reading:
- The New Structuralism: Design, Engineering and Architectural Technologies by Rivka Oxman
- The Art of Construction: Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers & Architects (Ziggurat Book) by Mario Salvadori
Article by Rachel Kruse Return to HomepagePublished in