Main square and waterfront in Pag

Year: 1996
Location: Pag, Croatia
Investor: City of Pag
Photographer: Damir Fabijanić
Project type: Public spaces, Realized

In the new design for Pag’s main square, the architect brought the renaissance tradition and the surrounding landscape into synthesis by devising a multi-layered new intervention. Aware of the strong presence of the rural environment, he organized the space as an orthogonal grid of walls and dry stone that absorb the topographic accidents.

The historical identity of the town is emphasized by the “functional” graphism of the horizontal plane. The sandy-coloured paving stones were given different textures: the bossed ones retained their sandy colour while the polished ones acquired a warm, reddish shade.

The square’s perimeter is defined by three corner coordinates: the parish church, the Bishop’s Palace, and the Prince’s Palace. The fourth corner should have housed the Municipal Palace, but the building was never built, although its foundations were discovered. The ground plan is marked by paving stones of various lengths and a colonnade of white stone posts carrying lamps. The new benches, executed as white limestone monoliths, contrast the stepped plinth of the cathedral, which serves as seating and plays an important part in town life. All the benches are located in the area of the unbuilt palace and oriented towards the square’s focal point.

The piazza’s nocturnal identity is created by the arrangement of lights. On one side of the square, there are lamps that evoke ship lanterns, attached either to the white colonnade posts or to the stone walls of the surrounding buildings. On the other side, lights play the role of space generators. They bring out the features of the statue, the trees, and the architecture. The pavement lights create a chiaroscuro effect on the barren west facade of the church.

The flag pole, inscribed with years important in the collective memory of the town, was moved from the middle of the square to an unoccupied corner. The square’s focal point, placed at the intersection of the two main town streets, is accentuated by a stone bas-relief created by the sculptor Kuzma Kovačić after the architect’s idea. The relief shows a sandy beach with traces of footprints, shells, and water drops.