Sweet & Salt

Sweet & Salt follows the natural freshwater stream of the river Rječina through the city to the salty harbour. Activities of the program strand are oriented towards the design and activation of this extremely interesting and attractive part of the city in the very heart of Rijeka. Sweet & Salt preserves lost spaces and encourages modern urban planning, while involving citizens in a crucial debate about their urban environment, accompanied by artistic interventions.

Reinvention in the zone where the river meets the sea

Rijeka, once driven by a now deteriorated industry, can be divided in three basic areas: natural (Rječina), urban (the areas by the former river banks, now known as the Mrtvi kanal and Delta), and coastal (port). After the former port was opened for public – the two kilometres long Rijeka breakwater called Molo Longo, the situation has changed. Pedestrian areas merged with abandoned industrial zones. This new and unexpected dystopian space requires revitalisation, design and careful consideration in order to achieve its full potential. It is a laboratory for urban change.

Impulse: The river Rječina has historically been the border between Sušak and Rijeka. It has always played a key role in the city’s development. The city was named after the river, and the heart of the city is where the river flows into the sea. The Sweet & Salt program strand is based on a precise description of the city that has historically mistreated its primary ecological resource. No other coastal city on the Adriatic has this feature, and in Rijeka the river has become a hostage of industry. Five kilometres of space where the sea meets the Rječina canyon has been taken over by the port, active and abandoned industrial objects, parking lots, warehouses, a bus garage, and a water purification plant. That space was not used for leisure or contact with nature at any point in the 20th century.

The goal of this program strand is revival of urban spaces, former industrial and port facilities, and initiation of change. Various artistic and cultural events planned in the area of “Sweet &  Salt”, will draw attention to the specific urban space. Various interventions in space will bring new contents to our fellow citizens and visitors who will thus see the city in other perspective. Some of the locations in the project are Exportdrvo, Molo Longo, skyscraper terraces on Kozala and Školjić. The international thematic exhibition that emerges as part of the “Sweet & Salt” program strand will place the focus on the history of Rijeka and its architecture, as well as European context, through the prism of the irresistible concept of power.