Project Squares in Koprivnica, NFO landscape design Northern Croatia architecture photos

Project Squares in Koprivnica, Croatia

24 November 2023

Location: center of Koprivnica, Northern Croatia

Design: NFO architects d.o.o.

Ban Jelačić square and the main city square Zrinski

Project Squares in Koprivnica, North Croatia
photo : Zoran Bakić

Project Squares in Koprivnica, North Croatia


The area of intervention can be segmented into three zones that form logical spatial units: Ban Jelačić square : a wide street with trees that occasionally hosts seasonal events; a square in front of the market: generator of the largest daily pedestrian and bicycle traffic; and the main city square Zrinski : an apparently oversized square bounded on one side by the green facade of city park, and on the other side by the facade of an unfinished block of various contents and the city hall to the east and the old “Podravka” building in the west. Each of the mentioned spaces has a specific potential that distinguishes it from others, and the possibility of joining the system of public spaces in the center of Koprivnica.

Project Squares in Koprivnica, North Croatia
photo : Zoran Bakić

The main square of Zrinski, seen from the air, acts as an intersection of roads and pedestrian wpaths stretched between streets and smaller squares in the east and west. This spatial tension has made the main square of Koprivnica a transit place : a space defined more by flow and movement, and less by lingering and everyday activities. With intuitive lines of movement, cyclists bypass the vast empty space “cutting” the square diagonally in order to get from one end to the other as quickly as possible.

Project Squares in Koprivnica, North Croatia
photograph : Zoran Bakić


Accepting the flow as an inevitability in the functioning of new city square, and bicycle paths as a kind of coordinate system, smaller zones are formed between the mentioned paths and the perimeter of the square. Zrinski square is like a collage of activities defined by micro-locational specifics.

Project Squares in Koprivnica, North Croatia
photograph : Zoran Bakić

A “tapestry” of smaller squares structured around the solid axes of bicycle paths in the form of an “X” has been laid on ground. Each zone corresponds directly with the purpose of the surrounding context or brings its own new amenity. By using different urban equipment, light/shadow and different paving, we form an urban collage of possible smaller zones created with regard to the context and habits of citizens of Koprivnica. Neighboring squares become so-called “green vestibules”, giving Zrinski Square clear visual borders.

Project Squares in Koprivnica, North Croatia
picture : Zoran Bakić


The Zrinski Square is divided into twelve smaller zones. Each of these zones is adapted to the nearby building or micro ambience. For example: in front of the gallery zhere is an „art zone“ with pedestals for occasional exhibitions and circles for drawing on the florr.

Under the maple trees is a “pop-up zone“ for summer events. In front of the bars and restaurants are „coffee zones“for parasols and tables. The square is mostly made of concrete pavers of different dimensions, layout and processing schemes.

Project Squares in Koprivnica, North Croatia
picture : Zoran Bakić

The color of the pavers themselves is the result of a careful analysis of the facades of the surrounding buildings, historical heritage and the Podravina ambience itself. Paths with reddish paving stones, which are a reference to old brick roads, are especially emphasized. Multifunctional zones for occasional gatherings are ocher-yellow ephasizing their symboling importance, while other zones are in shades of gray. In the middle, there are mosaics – an interpretation of the famous Podravina embroidery.

Project Squares in Koprivnica, Northern Croatia
photo : Filip Ružić

The bicycle lane “X” that crosses the square is made of rough-hewn concrete to emphasize the change in material. The new fountain, identical in shape to the old flower garden – rundele, is now a multipurpose fountain paved with gray flamato sandstone. The fountain itself is lowered 2 cm in relation to the square, and can form a water mirror that reflects the park and the old Town Hall, while in the summer it becomes water playground for the youngest residents of Koprivnica.

Project Squares in Koprivnica, North Croatia
picture : Zoran Bakić

The urban equipment of the square adapts to the environment and encourages different activities. It includes wooden benches next to the park, benches/pedestals on the “art-square”, benches-bike racks at the entrance areas of the square and concrete circular benches around the existing tall trees towards the Park. The area in front of the library and cinema is dominated by a solar tree equipped with Wi-Fi, power outlets and a screen displaying meteorological data.

Project Squares in Koprivnica, Northern Croatia
photo : Bosnić+Dorotić

Sculptures, such as the existing but also the new monument to cyclists, have been placed on the oposide sides of the Zrinski square. Horticulturar species are mostly similar to those found on site. Ban Jelačić square and the Market square are additionally embodied with rows of maple trees Acer globosum. Existing tree line on Zrinski square is added with maples and soforas with spruce bushes underneath. Red japanese maples are placed in the “art zone” inside circular benches/planters together with the Ophiopogon plant.

Project Squares in Koprivnica, Northern Croatia
photo : Filip Ružić

Project Squares in Koprivnica, Northern Croatia – Building Information

PROJECT: Construction of central squares in Koprivnica
PLACE: Koprivnica, Croatia
ARCHITECTS: NFO – Maja Bencetić, Frane Dumandžić, Kata Marunica, Nenad Ravnić, Andrea Šandrk, Roko Šarić, Karla Tavić, Filip Vidović,
CLIENT: City of Koprivnica
COLLABORATORS: Aquachem d.o.o., CO-art d.o.o., Grid d.o.o., Lipapromet d.o.o.

CHRONOLOGY: 2019.-2023.
SIZE: 15000 m2
GREEN ENTERPRIZES EXECUTOR: Komunalac – komunalno poduzeće Koprivnica d.o.o.

COSTS: 2.000.000 €
– FURNITURE (Completely designed by NFO, urban equipment consists of steel bicycle racks; steel and wooden benches, steel “solar tree”, steel wastebaskets, concrete benches, platforms and planters. Steel benches are made by VIAS d.o.o., and concrete benches by Eurobeton d.o.o. )
– SIDEWALK (concrete pavers in various colours by Eurobeton d.o.o.; in-situ stoked concrete, flamato sandstone pavement of fountain by Mramor-comerce,
– LIGHTING SYSTEM (Geolux, Griven)
– IRRIGATION SYSTEM (Root Water System (RWS) and drip irrigation system (DIS) )

Plant Nurseries: Miha projekt d.o.o.
Species of Trees: Acer pseudoplatanus, Acer platanoides globosum, Acer palmatum Atropurpureum, Styphnolobium japonicum
Species of Shrubs: Picea glauca globose, Picea nidiformis, Hakonechloa, Ophiopogon japonicus,
Turf: Pebbles (80-100 mm)



Pedestrian photos: Bosnić+Dorotić

Drone photos: Zoran Bakić, Filip Ružić

Project Squares in Koprivnica, Northern Croatia images / information received 241123 from NFO architects

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