The Apple Orchard
The productive landscape as articulator

Location: Craiova, Romania  |  Year: 2015
Competition: Craiova, Romania
Organizers: Ordinul Arhitecţilor Din România Filiala Oltenia

Re-designing the public space and opening up the courtyard of Saint Ilie Church in Craiova.

At urban scale: In the context of reorganizing the historical center of Craiova, Lipscani Street becomes the main pedestrian axis of the city. Along this route we are taken from one urban room to another, each one with its own character. The courtyard of Saint Ilie Church sets the premise for creating a different type of space, anchored to the soft spine of Lipscani Street.

At site scale: The concept is to create a space that articulates the immediate vicinities of the church with the grater pedestrian network. The adopted strategy is to implement a plantation of fruit trees, organized on a square grid, that defines a rhythmic space at the heart of which we find the emblematic building of the church. The accidents resulting from the intersection between the rigidity of the grid and the pre-existing elements, such as the pine trees and the church, define places with an intimate and meditative character. In this way the orchard becomes a space of transition between the dynamic of the street and the temple. The proposed section uses the topography to create a variety of seating places and to allow people with disabilities access to the interior of the church.

The seasonal character of the tree canopies makes the proposed urban room a dynamic event: in the spring with color, in the summer with shadow, in autumn with fruit and sculptural in the winter.

At a symbolic level: The orchard as a “productive landscape” has the role of referencing to the churches past as a monastic cluster. The motif of the square is a reference to the orthodox symbol for earth while the canopy of the trees becomes a cupola as a symbol for the sky. In this way the space created becomes a place of spiritual mediation.
# RomaniaCompetition, Landscape Architecture
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