Loud colours and bold patterns helped to re-discover forgotten micro spaces on the river bank

The green banks of Ljubljanica river east of city centre are punctuated by several concrete platforms that enable water access for fire-fighters in case of fire. They were closed off to the public and completely neglected before the intervention. We focused on three platforms that run along a popular commuting road from nearby neighbourhoods to the city centre.

The aim of the intervention was to show that the platforms are public. We see them as hidden gems of public space, since Ljubljanica river offers tranquillity and an intimate connection with the abundance of flora and fauna on its riverbanks. We wanted to change the perception of platforms as unnecessary and dirty.

With a micro budget and in collaboration with Slovenian street artist Lo Milo we created large, abstract patterns that visually flattened the steep incline of the stairs leading from the street to the platform. This permanent intervention was accompanied by a one-day opening event where we used urban furniture to create three different ambients and suggested new possibilities of use: a starting point for kayaking, a beach concert venue, and a spot for a romantic date.

The intervention was designed as a search for beauty in something strictly utilitarian. The unique visual language of Oases gave a playful, colourful identity to the eastern riverbanks. A big change occurred: residents and visitors started to perceive tiny platforms as something very valuable that enables them to use the green riverbanks and connects them to the river.

Platforms along Ljubljanica river in Moste and Kodeljevo quarter

Supporters: Municipality of Ljubljana

Collaboration: Lo Milo, Martin Valinger, Klemen Košir, LUBE DUŠE, Atila Urbančič, Dejan Kralj

Photography: Jošt Derlink