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City of Zagreb
City Office for Physical Planning, Construction, Communal Affairs and Traffic


Faculty of Architecture
University of Zagreb


City Acupuncture


Oris - House of Architecture




City of Zagreb
City Office for Culture, Education and Sport


Republic of Croatia
Ministry of Culture


SAVE-A-BUILDING RECIPE. (RE)DISCOVERING A NEW MARKET. TRUST CRISIS “Are we able to design without money as we know it?” From a young-architect’s perspective the question is: “Do we really know it?” Finding ways to elude the money-problem is our bread and butter. Is the only thing we know. Nothing new. ADOPT A WELL-CARED-FOR BUILDING During our childhood Gorizia’s fuit-vegetable-and-flower-market was an amazing place: a fascinating building, rich of smells and colours, always crowded. Time passed, things changed. The poor, shrinking Gorizia has gradually evolved into an-old-city-for-old-people. Supermarkets killed our market at the point that half of the selling-benches are now empty. An expensive rehabilitation project, irrespective of the quality of the existing building, has been done. As usually in Italy, nothing ever happened. The market lasts shabby, dirty, decaying. ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE “Do you want to make something in the market during the Vegetarian Festival? –JB asked – you have carte blanche, BUT there are no money. “YES! - We said – We can occupy empty spaces and organize different activities.” So obvious. The really question was HOW. MAKE YOUR MOVE Early morning, fresh fruit arrive in the market, put in wooden or plastic crates. During the day products are sold, crates became waste. Recycling crates to set-up spaces for the event became representative solution, almost km 0, almost for free. CONVINCE GOOD SPONSORS The idea of Super!Mercato (“Super!Market”, in contrast with the “supermarket”), sounds effective to MS, head of the Vegetarian Festival. We asked him only few money for fliers and promised to manage and set up the entire building. A convenient agreement for both. The master of the house, the municipality of Gorizia, in exchange of free use of all the empty spaces and a bit of maintenance, see in the project an opportunity to redemption for avoiding face up this decay situation. TAKE CARE OF THE RESIDENTS People who work there, abandoned from the authorities year after year, look at us suspiciously. The success of the project depends on our ability to convince them to stay at our side, by involving to actively participate at the Super!Mercato event. CALL GOOD FRIENDS It was evident that we didn’t have enough time to manage the whole thing. We decided to delegate, calling people with a bit of free time, but, first and foremost, motivated as much as we are. We provided only basic rules and let them the whole independence, responsibility and merits of their contributes. Sharing opportunities, increasing available resources, has revealed an effective way to succeed maintaining the standard of quality we imposed ourselves the very moment we accepted the project. DESIGN EVENTS AS MUCH AS SPACES We designed with the awareness that the project had to be not only “beautiful” but also lively. The chosen mix of activities keeps together serious and facetious: aperitif-corner with photo-exhibition, trash-watermelon-race with high-level chef demonstration. TEST YOUR IDEAS A two-days-workshop, to approach and experiment the possibilities of our raw-materials has been organized. Fundamental choices had been taken: wood-crates rather than plastic-crates, cause the first doesn’t need for additional (and so expensive) joints to be assembled, but can be wedged one in another. COLLECT WASTE Every day for a month the fruit-crates had been stored and catalogued. Differences due to dimension, colour and brand slowly became familiar. GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY Direct realization of our design is not only a saving-money strategy, but it let us to constantly check and improve former ideas. ENJOY THE PARTY The role the event played in the process of re-discovery of the market-building is the main goal of the project. “I didn’n know that there was a market in Gorizia”, people said. During the three days of the Vegetarian Festival, the market turned into the Super!Market, a dynamic and lively place, once again demonstrating that the building could be a catalyst for social activities and cultural exchange. LOW COST AND EFFECTIVE? This experience, that could be considered as a concluded project for Super!Mercato or a first step of a wider process of rehabilitation of the building, or even a general recipe that could be re-used in different context, proves that “building without money” is a real possibility. Obviously, even this zero-budget-strategy has a cost, not cash-paid, but that implicates its forms of compensation. Every person/group involved has found his own: something to gain, something to demonstrate. In our case a bit of self-promotion in our city and the possibility of start collaborating with MS. And so it was.
Work details
Application Number 0000502547
Author morassi, cecilia , Italy
Coauthors Favi, Giulia Caterina, Italy
Pentassuglia, Lorenzo , Italy
Pentassuglia, Lorenzo , Italy
Spangher, Michela , Italy
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