A focus on community enrichment through interconnected social hubs.

client:  Municipality of Zalau

date:  September 2013
program:  masterplan for the central area
type:  international competition
size:  L / 3 ha
location:  Zalau, Salaj county, Romania
team:  Wolfhouse Productions & Getrix


In 2017, Zalau Porolissum - Roman Festival will keep the community in a four days running celebration. Locals and not only, are invited to take part of the specific atmosphere for embracing the areas' strong roman history. During the festival, people will be impressed by the special parades popping up on the newly designed public space from the Marble Plateau (- Platoul de Marmura) along the pedestrian street ( - Pietonalul Unirii ) finishing in the Iuliu Maniu Square ( - Piata Iuliu Maniu). During four days, day and night, people will experience gladiators parades and wrestlings, medieval dance performances, crafts and gastronomic feasts. The festival takes place in a versatile environmnent with the specific aim to encourage social interaction.

Before and after.

1. Fragmented public spaces

2. Existing cycle route - disrupted

3. Innefficient road infrastructure

4. Connected public spaces

5. Integrated cycle route

6. Efficient road infrastructure

Boundary activation process. The boundary becomes the main focus of transformation. Some areas will extend by disolving existing boundaries, others will be restructured by marking new boundaries. The balance between civic and historical spaces is given by the rapport between this limits.
Sense of place. The aim is to develop spaces that have a clear function given by their configuration and relation with the context. When using the space (perceived both by its shape and materials) the individual will feel comfortable and like he belongs to his space. The skater will easily find the ramps and bumps he needs for his ride, the parent and the child will find the protection needed to play safely, elders will find the chairs for their rest along the way.
Sustainable public space. The intervention is based on non-invasive methods and ecological materials and technologies. Therefore, the marble tiles will be knapped and recycled to be used for the new pavement design. Also, public lighting will be available thanks to photo-voltaic panels.

Site plan showing the new integrated public space.


The new topography of the square, following the natural landscape, emphasizes the plateau image and connects the main attractions surrounding it.



Museum square is a new rehabilitated social space, created by eliminating the fence around the museum garden


Through simple urban gestures the square opens up to the locals giving them opportunities for contemplation on their rich historical past.

© Copyright Wolfhouse Productions 2017

Using Format