Sweet & Salt

Sweet & Salt restores dying urban areas in the very heart of the city. It follows the natural freshwater stream of the river Rječina through the city to the salty harbour. It preserves lost spaces and encourages modern urban planning, while involving citizens in a crucial debate about their urban environment, accompanied by artistic interventions.

Urban reinvention 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 Flagship 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.