Kokra canyon with connections to the old town centre

location: Kranj, Slovenia
client: Občina Kranj / Municipality of Kranj
competition: 2009; priznanje / honorable mention
authors: Ana Kučan, Luka Javornik, Zaš Brezar, Andrej Bašelj, Žiga Malek, Sara Peternel, Martina Tepina - architect

The town of Kranj is situated right above the canyon of Kokra, the fact the town does not acknowledge, since it has been pragmatically turning its back to the river and the crumbling canyon walls. Proposed interventions seize into the edge of the town/edge of the canyon (the point where the town meets the canyon without recognising its attractive power). The vertical landscape, developed from portions of retaining walls, makes the canyon at last visible, allows the canyon to be preceived as a merit and improves its accessibility. The experience of nature, which remained for long unseen, is now brought closer to the townie. The concept originates from romantic view of the landscape, of its natural wild power, expressed by the renown painting The wanderer above the sea of fog by Casper David Friedrich in 1818, made topical again by the contemoprary social sensibility to the subject of nature. The project places the two poles, the town above and the wilderness below, in active superposition: the balconies and stairways turn the town towards the canyon yet retain the town hidden from the canyon. The intervention is strong, but recognises the restorative powers of nature. While the town will float above the canyon with enthusiastic admiration, some restrained interventions within the canyon itself will provide access to the attractive intact natural phenomena and ensure the controlled experience of “nature”.