"Badel IN AIR" - conversion of the Badel Block in Zagreb


Let us imagine for a moment that dilapidated industrial architecture can be transformed into a multifunctional city block, economically and socially sustainable and conceived around the art centre "BADEL INternational Artist In Residence". Who says it can't be done?

This proposal brings forth a design and a socioeconomic strategy for the urban renewal of the ex-industrial Badel Block in Zagreb.

The binding element for various uses within the Badel Block is the proposed Badel International Artist-in-Residence Centre (BADEL IN AIR). It would host artists for limited periods of time and provide them with 27 ateliers for visual, multimedia and performance arts. The artists would therefore be residents, performers/exhibitors, designers/craftspersons, partners/clients and educators, thereby positively affecting their environment in a multitude of ways.

The new built tissue would complete the block and form a permeable perimeter. The densely built-up upper stories would be lifted on tall piers so that the lower ones could be lighter and more dispersed, allowing pedestrian access to the inside of the block. The centrepiece of the block (a temple of art) would be the reconstructed yeast factory which would serve a larger part of the city as a "performance factory". The Gorica factory would be torn down while preserving its main facade. Behind it, there would be the "practice factory" with classrooms and rehearsal rooms.

In addition to this, the perimeter of the Block would contain numerous one-room apartments for rent. However, the majority of the Block would be designated for commercial and retail use, so that the collected tax revenue could be invested into the Centre.