Observatory of Emptiness

There is an observatory on the coastal road that lets you observe the emptiness

When the coastal road closed for traffic in 2017, the cars left behind the emptiness that was quickly filled by people. The Coastal Road soon became the most popular spot for running, rollerblading, cycling, walking and sea watching. Today, after 2 years, there are already ideas to build infrastructure on it. The new installation called The Observatory of Emptiness points out that the coastal part between Koper and Izola is beautiful exactly because it is empty. The art object opens questions about the nowadays values through the spatial experience – observation. In the following two months, the object will enable the passers-by to think about the sea from a different perspective. The authors of the observatory wish to encourage, with the use of the installation and poetry of Tomaž Šalamun, the reflection on how it would be if the Coastal Road remained undeveloped.

What do the local residents wish to see on the Coastal Road?
In September 2018, there was an event held in the area of the formal coastal road between Koper and Izola called Let’s Draw the Coast which was the first mass community spatial planning action in the region. More than 1000 people from entire Slovenia, neighboring Italy and different European countries participated in the event and filled the staggering 750 m of paper with their ideas. The suggestions were diverse and innovative, and most suggestions saw the Coastal Road as the place of relaxation, recreation, and sport. When it came to the type of ground, they saw it as a mixture of asphalt/concrete, greenery, and rocks. The most unpopular element that appeared in the suggestions was development and hotels and motorized vehicles onshore and at sea. The initiators of the event, the representatives of Association PiNa, say that the action encouraged the public to participate in maintaining the public spaces and showed the people that they can also decide about what is to be done with the public spaces. At the end of October, PiNa will introduce a comprehensive analysis and guidelines for the development of the coastal road to the public in hopes that the people’s suggestions will be considered when preparing the regional spatial plan.

An undeveloped coast is also advocated by the profession

According to the organizers, the suggestions of the participants show that the people wish to maintain the coastal area clear of buildings and other big interventions. This finding is key since it coincides with the guidelines of the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation and Slovenian Water Agency that allows the construction of only the most necessary object in the water and coastal land.

The Observatory of Emptiness will stand on the coastal road between Izola and Koper near cape Rex from the 13th of October 2019 until the 13th of December 2019.

The Observatory of Emptiness is part of the project Spaces of the Public. As part of the project, the Association PiNa prepared a short informative video on how to improve the cooperation with the public.  

Supporters: Ministrstvo za okolje in prostor

Project partners: IPoP, PiNA, Hiša!, Rok Oblak

Photo: Rok Oblak

13.10.2019 do 13.12.2019