Stara Vlaška

Stara Vlaška is a project that won the 1st prize in the competition in an architectural and urban planning solution for the design of Stara Vlaška in Zagreb.


Stara Vlaška, in spatial and other terms, simultaneously depicts the considerable potential and neglect of the city’s public space.

The greatest potential lies in the reading of the historical layer – Stara Vlaška as one of the first streets that opened the then core of the city to the east. The spirit of the space through the volumetric presence of higher buildings on the south side and lower, secular ones on the north side and the roadway corridor – speaks of the purpose, dynamics and potential that this street has had over time. Its specialty is the presence of spiritual content – the church of St. Martina, which, along with student accommodation, elegantly contributes to the distinction.

The southern side of Stara Vlaška even has hotel facilities – which, let’s hope, will be an interesting dynamic urban point of Zagreb in the future.


The basic concept of the space of the pedestrian zone of Stara Vlaška is based on the flow connection of the nearby pedestrian roads:

– green and recreational (Park Ribnjak, SRC Šalata);

– squares (Europski trg, Iblerov trg, Trg hrvatski velikana…) into circular pedestrian units.

The longitudinal area can be zoned into three ‘lanes’: the southern area, which remains wide and free for any movement and access for intervention and delivery vehicles as needed; the central zone of greenery and relaxation; and the northern ‘lane’, which is slow and oriented towards the terraces and tourist offer.

The green part consists of horticulturally arranged flower islands, small ‘hills’ decorated with ornamental tall grasses and low magnolia bushes. The green part is enriched with large benches for viewing and resting of citizens, fountains for drinking, and baskets for small waste.

The pedestrian section along both sides of Vlaška consists of a uniform paving of the ground floor with natural stone slabs and a slight distance of catering facilities on the northern side from the historical facades.

The seating area of the catering terraces is differentiated by floor tiling, and reaches the imaginary contour line of the historic street. By limiting the spatial expansion of the terraces, the balance and harmony of the urban space is achieved.

The architectural composition pays attention and gives importance to the space of the pedestrian zone, which in this way also gets a green ‘scenography’, and Zagreb another ‘protected’ public space, the street-square.

All valuable historical elements found are retained and emphasized:

– reminiscence of the street -> floor brass signs;

– view towards the cathedral -> by omitting the furniture in the view zone;

– retention of the Šenoa sculpture on the elevated plateau -> the barrier-free plateau merges into the pedestrian area and emphasizes the disappearance of the street and the creation of a pedestrian zone;

– symmetrical fitting of the existing lighting poles into the space;

– a logical extension of the pedestrian ground floor areas towards Ribnjak and connection with the pedestrian areas in Draškovićeva is also proposed.

Opening the viewfinder

The area of Stara Vlaška, with its pronounced longitudinal character, opens up three very picturesque views:

– west towards the Zagreb cathedral and the Ilic skyscraper in the background;

– the eastern one towards the neoclassical building of the former Slavenska banka (project from the 1920s, Hugo Ehrlich);

– the third view opens towards the facades of Stara Vlaška from the northwest from the direction of Branjugova Street…

Emphasizing the view of historical facades is also recorded in historical photography and becomes the leitmotif of this concept.


The special feature of the architectural solution of the public space of the pedestrian zone lies in its ability to enhance the emergence of a new center of social life, meetings and activities within the city center.

The very essence of the uniqueness of the public space of Stara Vlaška is partially distinguished through the contents that the bars will project into the public space, where it is possible to imagine a scenario in which Vlaška becomes, for example, a gastronomic destination – ‘breakfast in Vlaška’… because the characteristic of the northern part of Vlaška is winter illumination until at noon…

In addition to the hotel facilities and activities and the spiritual and cultural dimension of the nearby church facilities – Stara Vlaška revolves around cultural and touristic activities. A friendly environment for pedestrians is a key component of a successfully executed public space of a pedestrian zone. Wide areas of pedestrian communication with benches, greenery, flower beds and other elements that encourage walking, socializing, resting, dreaming… leave us with memories that make us visit such places or grow up in them, live in historical parts, city centers…

Given that the area is predefined by its perimeters and facades on the north and south and on the east side – there remains the possibility of intervention (construction of a new building) on the west side of Branjugova Street – at the position of the existing building. Although it is outside of this scope, the new, modern construction would enrich the public space in terms of distinctiveness.

All forms of art enrich the environment and create a special identity of the place.

The promotion of local culture and identity through public space is enhanced by the proposed concept and zoning.

The pedestrian zone can reflect the local culture, tradition and history of the place through architectural elements, high-quality industrial and/or artisan works and top-quality materials.

Everything should be manifested by a uniform floor plan, furniture design, unobtrusive modern public lighting that will be ‘hidden’, i.e. that will evenly illuminate only the walking area of Stara Vlaška.




public space, urbanism


public architectural-urban competition, 1st prize




Zagreb, Grad Zagreb


0.35 ha

gross surface area:

3500 m2


  • Bernarda Silov, m.arch.
  • Davor Silov, m.arch.
  • Kristina Rogić, m.arch.
  • Leila Daoud, m.arch.
  • Architectural Lightning – Skira
  • landscape: Ksenija Radić Knežević, m.arch.
  • visualization: Małgorzata Łodzińska, m.arch., ATMOSFERA ™