top of page
Creative district Barutana
Bottom-up, participatory interventions
2020 - present

What started as an analysis of industrial heritage of the abandoned gunpowder factory, soon became a full-scale initiative, that tried to revitalise the area by introducing the idea of creative district. Despite the fact the idea was already present in local creative and cultural circles, it was never properly discussed or tested. That’s why, a students-initiated workshop emerged, to show to citizens what could be done. Participatory architecture and permanent temporality where the leading topics of brain-storming.


Sinan Mihelčič, Urban Kavka, Mitja Kuret, Zala Kanc, Jan Ftičar, Michel Saad, Žan Ložar, Žan Zupanc

grafika (Štajn).png

With the help of local Kamfest festival, nonprofit urbanism studio Prostorož, youth centre Kotlovnica, cultural centre Kulturni dom, cultural society Priden Možic and a few local artists, students inhabited old blacksmith building, cleaned it up and through bottom-up intervention and redevelopment, turned it into a festival and public space. In  2020, additionally to concerts and art performances that where part of the festival, an international conference about public space was created, that brought together many different perspectives on the future of the area. In 2021, new interventions and infrastructure emerged, most of it by recycling/recycling previous year interventions. Because the area lacked its presence in the public eye, additional small interventions where created around the city centre, to invite and motivate citizens to visit the area.

Access stairs over the barrier wall, separating  the factory from the public space.
Behind the wall.
Screenshot 2022-03-26 at 15.05.37.png
Pavillion. Where we discuss and hang out.

The final interventions were eventually rewarded by visitors positively reacting to the project. An on-site survey showed that 97% of questioned see the potential in the area development and would support its public ownership. Project not only changed the public discourse about the industrial heritage but also showed spaces that citizens didn’t know existed. Municipality, soon became part of the story as well, supporting the idea of creative district by investing 2,5 million euros in buying the area to mitigate private interests in development. It is still today in an active dialog with the project initiators.

Screenshot 2022-03-26 at 15.09.59.png
Screenshot 2022-03-26 at 15.10.07.png
Screenshot 2022-03-26 at 15.09.48.png

The final design was strongly influenced by the idea of circularity, allowing up-cycling and recycling the interventions in the following years. The biggest eye-catcher of the design is definitely the yellow colour, the result of impregnation paint, used for concrete framework. The project is now a reoccurring every year, with new plans already for this year. Always rethinking and redefining the project and upgrading it organically trough participation and bottom-up initiatives. 


Team from left to right: Jan Šimnovec, Jan Ftičar, Michel Saad, Žan Ložar, Žan Zupanc, Zala Kanc, Mitja Kuret

bottom of page