Targu Jiu is a small town in south-western Romania facing the common problem of depopulation and lack of economic development opportunities which can be seen all across the country in similarly remote areas. Its main advantage is that it is host to a spectacular sculptural ensemble designed by the famous Romanian-French sculptor Constantin Brancusi which has the potential to transform it into a local touristic hub for the entire Oltenia region.

For years the city has been struggling to list the ensemble as a UNESCO World Heritage Site but although the area has an unquestionable cultural value the project was rejected due to inexistent tourist management plans, lack of a clear economic strategy as well as clear guidelines for heritage protection.

As part of PZP Arhitectura, we were commissioned to create a brief for a future urban design competition which will transform the axis that joins the three monuments together into a vibrant tourist and economic attraction while maintaining its traditional character which many say was an important part of the monumental ensemble initial conception.

For the redevelopment part of the project, our team identified important areas that need restructuring either due to pedestrian/car traffic requirements or in order to enhance their existing public space potential.

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01. Proposed visiting routs

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02. Analysis of potential economic development pols

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03. Car traffic fluidization

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Redevelopment stages

The area based regeneration strategy will be undertaken in two stages:

Stage 1 – branding & activation

  • development of a pedestrian friendly realm;
  • improvment or addition of tourist information panels;
  • restructuring cross axis car trafic;

Stage 2 – refinement

  • refurbishment and reprogramming adjacent public facilities (history museum, public library and cultural center)
  • open urban design competitions for the 6 areas identified in the study
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Protected areas around the Brancusi site

An important issue observed during our research was the lack of a clearly defined area heritage protection plan. Although the local council has released the necessary planning documentation for the area they are considered to abstract and hard to understand by the general population. Also, in many areas they were lacking the kind of requirements needed in order to protect an overall esthetic character for the axis.

We decided to create a graphical brochure outlining important aspects that have to be taken in consideration in construction and renovation projects situated inside the boundaries of the 3 heritage areas defined by our research.

04. Protected areas around the site

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05. Heritage Protected Areas Construction Guidelines

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