Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana, 2002

"Process Pula Underground" is a diploma project done by Breda Bizjak at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2002 under the mentorship of prof. Janez Koželj.

The project suggests an alternative solution of city "waking": to find out and to activate the developing potential, a new spatial situation - an event architecture in already existing spaces of the city.
Subject of the diploma project is an initiation of a process - Pula subcity, focused on a two level underground tunnel net beneath the hill of Kaštel situated in a historic centre of the city. This group of tunnels is just a small part of the underground net of tunnels under the whole city. They were built under the government of Austro Hungarian monarchy in the begining of 20th century as a system of underground shelters.
Motivation for the project derived from the fact that Pula is in the "freezing state", which has not changed qualitatively and quantitatively for 50 years or more. The city itself doesn't possess enough critical mass for becoming a generative urban "tissue" which activate urban processes that cause the creation of new spatial situations. For such shifts pula needs a continuous fluctuation of people and information, citizens, city authorities, people who visit the city as tourists, people who want to settle down in this city.
The aim of the process is to stimulate a different perception of Pula, to open its mental space and increase its rhythm. The process should activate underground tunnels/paths to become an event architecture and consequantly, the underground ambience attraction should also activate the spaces above.
The subcity is a system, a net of paths which is connected with the existing system of the city roads. Underground tunnels are alternative paths of the city, a subway for pedestrians, in the means of shortcuts and different way of moving through the city. The net of tunnels connect all important strategic points in the city, they already have an excellent location and spatial organization. What is  needed is the initiation of a flow of people.
The project reveals itself through a strategy of several actions through which activation process of event - spaces flows. First action, 7 entrances, enables initiation of fluctuation through the tunnels, their approachability and accessibility with the least possible operations. Existing entrances are accented with new material and colour to become the "eye catchers". The renovation of tunnels would also take place as a part of this action.  The next action would be the action of 5 verticals - construction and placing of five elevators which would connect lower and upper block of tunnels, and the ground level with the hill. In this way, the 3d tunnel net or a fluxus of people could take place and the passive spaces and programmes on the top of the hill, as well. In the future, the process of activating the underground groups of tunnels should be expanded to the other ones beneath other hills of the city.
In the context of time and space, step by step realization of this project represents the most realistic possibility for the project to be completed.

The chronology of the project:
2010 - Vision and strategy of the project (text in croatian language presented to the members of the city council): "Podzemni park Pula", 2010
2010 - City council ordered a commission for outline and realization project to Breda Bizjak for a realization of one part of a tunnel under KaÅ¡tel 
           castle near Archeological museum   in Pula.
         - The commission failed due to a lack of a financial support.

2009 - Presentation of the project for the ISDF tribune, Pula, Croatia
2009 - Presentation of the project for the Pula's City Council at Pula City hall
2005 - The lecture at summer school of architecture in Motovun, Croatia, organized by the Faculty of Architecture, University in Zagreb
2004 - The lecture at summer school of architecture in Motovun, Croatia, organized by the Faculty of Architecture, University in Zagreb
2002 - Start of the project "Process Pula Underground" as a diploma project at Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
         - Exhibition of the project, Gallery Diana - Pula, Croatia