Competition proposal

The Unirii Square in Rasnov represents a well-defined composition of great aesthetic value, with a unified urban concept, resulting from the framing of the square in the development of a street. The buildings that materialize the ensemble are architecturally significant, which contributes to the value and homogeneity of the square.
Historically, the square is congruent with the compositional centre of the locality, together with the Evangelical church next to it.
The differences in the width of the square from one end to the other are not accidental, but are intended to avoid rigidity in the  composition and channel the perspective towards the church.

Historically, the public space of the square is subordinated to the urban and architectural ensemble, allowing unrestricted visual links between its buildings. The trees planted around the perimeter accentuate this composition. At the same time, the space allowed for various public activities: gatherings, fairs, celebrations, etc.

The competition proposal seeks to restore to the Union Square these historical qualities lost as a result of contemporary interventions.

The first concern was to reduce the level differences that fragment the space, created by the construction of the underground car park, in order to get as close as possible to the historical condition of the space. In this sense, the project proposes the creation of 4 zones (platforms), whose succession follows the differences in width of the square.
The removal of the exit tunnel from the car park (the exit is diverted into the remaining tunnel) allows the re-assimilation of an important part of the public space. This proposal also contributes to recreate the access on the main axis of the public space, from Ion Luca Caragiale street, strengthening, at the same time, the visual links with the church.
This gesture, doubled by the coherence of the pavement, wants to incorporate and transmit the values of the past, by subordinating the public space to both the architectural ensemble and its users. In a modern, ever-changing world, the new project seeks to propose spaces that respond to the multiple daily activities characteristic of public space and that stand the test of time.

Existing stone is recovered and reused; the proposed paving creates different textures with the same material, contributing to the homogeneity of the ensemble and creating symbolic connections between various important buildings. The textures mark different functions: waiting areas, relaxation areas, circulation areas, large gathering areas, or accesses (such as the one to the citadel), etc.
The links with the adjacent streets, of great importance in the genesis of the core of the settlement, are strengthened by the extension of the pavement, already present on Republicii Street.

The visual links between users and buildings of historical importance, such as the church, the town hall or the citadel, are strengthened and enhanced by clearing the central spaces and arranging pieces of furniture or planted areas.

The creation of the platforms allows, technically speaking, the reintroduction of vegetation at the level of the square, and the proposal restores the historical location of the trees planted around the perimeter.
Different species, which do not require a deep substrate, are introduced at the level of the platforms in order to create an intimate atmosphere where relaxing activities can take place.
The areas with plants and shrubs are reminiscent of the creation of the central green space that appeared around the 1950s, are congruent with the waiting spaces and reinforce the symbolic idea of the city of flowers.
One of these areas contains a fountain with drinking water, a ubiquitous element in the public space of Transylvanian cities.

The furniture is intended to be discreet, subordinate to the functions it fulfils, being concentrated in the planted areas, which allows the opening of the stages for large-scale events (concerts, exhibitions, events and public gatherings). The lighting follows the geometry of the urban space and accentuates the circulation, and is also discreet. The accesses to the car park are incorporated into the new layout, with the ventilations being incorporated between the level differences between the flats.
Rainwater is collected along the long sides of the square, continuing the tradition, the gutter symbolically delimiting the car circulation from the rest of the public space.

Sporadic car traffic, for supplies or emergencies, as well as bicycle paths, are maintained along the facades, while access to the square is also possible on any of the platforms created. Access to the northern area is limited, a proposal that requires further study on a larger scale in order to reconnect the church and the old town hall building with the public space.

By creating a homogenous urban space, which continues the historical tradition and enhances the qualities of the architectural ensemble, but proposes relevant spaces for contemporary activities, the project aims to encourage social dialogue, to become a cultural, multipurpose and perennial space … a symbol of the city.




Competition proposal


Rasnov, Romania


Claudia Galván Zuluaga, Iñaki Millán Omar, Alexandru Patrichi