< Povratak

Kastela workshop final report

1.1. About the organizers
Culture Hub Croatia – Platform for Education, Creativity and Development through Culture is a non-profit organization officially founded in January 2017 in Split, with the mission to use culture as a resource and a main tool for a sustainable development. The main aims of CHC are to offer innovative educational opportunities to cultural professionals, youth and creative individuals; support young artists and engage in joint European projects. Through capacity building programs and by joining European networks and establishing international partnerships the goal is to use the transfer of knowledge as a powerful tool for a social change. CHC gives a great importance to a participatory approach, to empowering youth and working together.
City of Kaštela has for its main objective to provide secure and functional environment and assure favourable conditions for its citizens’ everyday life. The Municipality organizes activities relevant for the local development, and through its own budgetary resources supports public, private and NGO sectors. Special focus is given to promotion of energy efficiency and cultural heritage preservation as two main pillars for the future development of the city.
European Heritage Volunteers has been active in heritage-related volunteering for more than twenty years. Its objective is to establish links between the fields of heritage and volunteering by continuously working to foster a deeper understanding of heritage and volunteering among those active in either field, and by linking the two fields through practical hands-on projects and educational activities

1.2. General information about the chosen site
The City of Kaštela is situated on the central Dalmatian coast, between the two UNESCO protected sites - Trogir and Split. It is an attractive area spreading along the coastline in length of 20 km which represents a mixture of cultural heritage, protected old centres and everyday modern life. It is an agglomeration of seven small towns (settlements), each organized around its historical centre with fortresses: Kaštel Sućurac, Kaštel Gomilica, Kaštel Kambelovac, Kaštel Lukšić, Kaštel Stari, Kaštel Novi and Kaštel Štafilić. They are part of the Split-Dalmatia County and are administratively treated as a single city with a total population of 38,667 (2011 census) - although they individually range in size from 3,000 to 7,000 residents. The two towers – Glavica and Lodi, which have been chosen for this volunteering workshop, are situated in Kaštel Sućurac (the tower Glavica), on the East side, closer to Split and in Kaštel Štafilić (the tower Lodi) on the West side, closer to Trogir.
The tower Glavica (XVth century) is in the centre of the old town of Sućurac, built on the natural stone reef forming part of the fortification system of the old town. It is a two-storey building, (dimension 6 x 10m), with two rooms inside. Buildings around it are a private property, inhabited but in different state of condition. The tower Glavica is well renovated but with no clear function, used occasionally for exhibitions.
The tower Lodi (XVIth century) is a part of the former fortified settlement Nehaj built in 1548 by the noblemen from Trogir, Ljudevit and Ivan Lodi. It remained unfinished and later on, a settlement was formed around it. This tower was historically probably connected to the coast with a bridge. It is a square shaped building (dimension 12,7 x 12,7 m) that was built only to its first floor. It consists of two rooms having a barrel shaped roof. It is an isolated structure, unpopulated, with a small port that local people use for their fishing boats. Due to its state and location it has no permanent function, although through the recent history it was used as a disco-bar and a restaurant. Today it has no clear purpose and it is currently used by the local sports NGO for their activities.

1.3. Objectives of the Workshop
The main aim of this volunteering project was to reflect and elaborate a proposal for a new possible use of these two historical monuments. During eight days the volunteers worked on examination and comparison of the two towers, their historical development, typology and usage through the centuries in order to present a short comparative study based on existing documentation which valorised the diversity of architectural approach in the development of Kaštela. Furthermore, the task of the volunteers was to work on ideas for a sustainable use of these monuments which would allow their preservation as well as their continuity by having a function adapted to the context, specific location and the local population. The final result was publicly presented at the end of the workshop, at the Museum of the town of Kaštela in Kaštel Sućurac. This project was a great opportunity to work on raising the awareness of the local population about the importance of the site they live in and the presence of the international volunteers encouraged them to participate, to think further and to contribute to the preservation and revitalisation of the site.
2.1. Challenges
The great challenge of this project was to use the simplicity of the two towers and their integration with the surrounding environment to develop an interesting and attractive project that might make them more visible and useful for the local population. This type of cultural heritage must be valorised in the context of making the city more “attractive” and equally interesting as its neighbours – two UNESCO sites. Re-thinking the cultural heritage as an important social and economic asset is of crucial importance, not only in terms of its preservation but also in terms of developing larger cultural and sustainable offer for the visitors as well as the local inhabitants. Another challenge was a very short period of the workshop during which the volunteers had to understand the context of these monuments and integrate them into the larger picture by considering the city of Kaštela as a whole in order not to isolate the two structures but to give them the meaning and a purpose adapted to their environment.

2.2. Overall concept
The practical working part was divided in two parts:
1. Historical analysis
The historical analysis was important to understand better these two monuments and it served as a basis for the second part of the workshop. Study visit of Kaštela on the first day of the workshop and examination of the existing documentation was followed with the lecture by prof. Katja Marasović, PhD Architect and prof. Ana Šverko, PhD Architect (both from the University of Split, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy).
2. Planning – current state analysis and elaborating proposals
The planning part consisted of the work under professional guidance. The aim was to use different backgrounds and experiences of the volunteers – the added value of the project was precisely in different profiles of the participants – several of them were architects, archaeologists, art historians, stonemason, cultural entrepreneurs or students of World Heritage Studies. They worked in situ, inside of the towers, mostly in Kaštel Sućurac in the tower Glavica which had suitable working conditions, and partly in Kaštel Štafilić, in the tower Lodi.
During the workshop study visits were organized to Kaštela, Solin, Split and Trogir which helped volunteers to compare and better understand the area and the common issues in preservation of the sites. Three public events were part of the workshop: two “open-door-days” where the local population got the opportunity to visit the towers, meet the volunteers and contribute to their work in progress, and on the last day, a public event was held in the Museum of the town of Kaštela. The aim was to showcase the examples of good practices of revitalisation of cultural heritage from the volunteers’ countries and the results of their work in Kaštela.

2.3. Work phases
I. Phase
Introduction to the project + analysis and division into groups
II. Phase
Analysis of the Kaštela as a whole + historic analysis of the two towers and comparison
Glavica Tower:

  • Analysis of broader context (land-use, interviews with locals)
  • Analysis of narrow context

Mapping: analysis of accessibility (direct and indirect routes, roads and trails), public space and urban equipment
Lodi Tower:

  • Analysis of broader context (land-use, interviews with locals)
  • Analysis of narrow context

Mapping: analysis of accessibility (direct and indirect routes, roads and trails), public space and urban equipment
SWOT Analysis of Kaštela as a whole / Glavica tower / Lodi tower
III. Phase
Elaborating proposals for better connectivity of Kaštela and the use of the two towers on the basis of exercises of brainstorming, group discussions throughout the workshop and the SWOT analysis.

3.2. Connecting Kaštela

  • Improve the physical connectivity by exploiting better the ability to connect all seven settlements of Kaštela among them as well as with the surrounding area and cities of Trogir, Čiovo and Split
  • Using the railway and boat - promote and encourage this way of transport to improve the general traffic conditions
  • Establish bus (shuttle) service from the railway station to the historical core
  • New form of public transport - offer affordable prices and combined tickets both to locals and tourists
  • Thematically connect all of the seven Kaštela by improving and making more visible the vertical rather than only horizontal communication routes. This can be done by adding content on the vertical routes such as exhibitions and specific artistic interventions connected directly with the each tower
  • Use traditions of olive oil and wine making to create thematic paths and connect them with hiking possiblities to the nearby mountain of Kozjak
  • Create panoramic view points in the mountain which would connect the historical core of each Kaštela with the specific mountain point – introduce content in these points by making them suitable for picnic and other leisure activities
  • Create the “Kaštela Passport” (printed and digital version) for all types of audience and both for locals and tourists which would allow them to explore the area in a creative way through a game (collecting stamps):

3.3. Glavica tower – Community learning centre “Top Centar”

  • The tower should be better connected with the surroundings and function as an “extension” of the nearby museum (offer combined tickets, discounts and relate the tower with the “Kaštela passport” – check point of the stamp)
  • It is important to use the outside area and if possible create a garden and make it a public space
  • Due to its limited interior space, as a community learning centre it can be used for different kind of educational activities adapted to the needs of the local population and as a place of shared knowledge which means that the educational offer is in part made by the community itself – each person can offer the exchange of knowledge to the others from the community (for example cooking classes, pottery making, olive oil and wine tasting etc.). This can also be a good opportunity for meeting the foreign visitors and exchanging knowledge and traditions
  • Other type of educational activities can include long-term courses for the elderly local population or youth (such as the IT support, language courses), or short-term professional courses (such as consultancy service on the adequate restoration of the historic houses owned by the locals who need guidance when doing works on their properties)
  • The space can also be occasionally rented to companies for presentations or smaller conferences

3.4. Lodi tower – Cultural centre “Culture Cube”

  • important restoration and adaptation works are necessary
  • thinking the tower in terms of its surroundings and the local traditions
  • functionality: adaptable to seasons and programs
  • high potential of the outdoor use (festival of lights, boat cinema – projection on the tower from the sea, fishermen activities, Christmas market, arts and crafts markets and workshops)
  • indoor use – limited light but as a cultural centre it can adapt to the wide range of cultural activities. It is important to use the possibility to elaborate the annual program in cooperation with the local associations who could use this space for their needs
  • by inserting books in the staircase the centre would also function as a small public library with the reading area for all types of audience
  • in addition, a part of its use as a cultural centre, the tower would also function as an interpretation centre of the tradition of fishing: in interaction with the local population, we have realized that most of them have a precious collection of old photographs of the area and the tower which they would gladly expose and share with other locals and tourists. Thus, the interior of the centre would be also a permanent exhibition space of these photographs, the stories and the objects of the local fishermen and in this way it would be linked to the small fishing port next to which it is situated. Also, the fact that local, private stories are exposed inside of the tower would create the sense of ownership of this heritage in the local community
  • so the two main rooms of the tower can be used for multiple purposes: the eastern room can be rented for conferences or other similar events, occasionally it can be used as a cinema or theatre; the western room is a reading area with a storage space, used for workshops related to local traditions and activities organized by local associations
  • on the rooftop terrace of the tower we would create an urban garden for cultivation of different aromatic plants and vegetables, aimed at locals population but also to the visitors
  • it would be useful to install a telescope as well as deck chairs to make use of the beautiful views from the terrace.

Our proposals for the two towers of Kaštela focus on two main themes: sustainability and connectivity.
The specific local context and situation defined the possibilities and ways of using the two towers: the location of the Glavica tower in the semi-enclosed former fortification system Kaštilac, as well as its immediate relation with the built environment, influenced the necessity to intensify the movement of people through this area and to use the entire space in-between – for this reason we proposed to connect it with the Museum and to create the garden as a public space. Regarding the Lodi tower, its location near the sea, the fishing harbour and a somewhat larger surrounding open space offers the possibility to extend the content in this outdoor area, especially during the summer season. Thus some spatial limits within the facility itself can be overcome and the necessary facilities for the port users (for example fishing net storages) can be created in the outer space through the re-design of the square and the associated urban equipment.
In terms of sustainability we believe in the importance of giving voice to the local people to share their culture, tell their history and participate in preserving their traditions in a dynamic and sustainable way. Integrating cultural traditions into the new uses of the towers would allow a combination of cultural heritage and contemporary culture. Conserve, develop and use heritage to sustain the values and significance of the area could be made possible by giving the towers a new compatible adaptive use. It is important to use creative engagement with history in order to keep the past alive for the future.
In terms of connectivity we consider that Kaštela has to be seen as a unity and efforts should be made to construct a cohesive community and give the city a shared identity. Proposed uses might link heritage with solving social, political, economic and environmental issues.
There is a high potential for elaborating future ideas and cooperation projects to promote an environment of shared cultural heritage. We sincerely hope that our workshop is not the end but only the beginning of re-thinking the Kaštela and using its potential to foster good quality cultural tourism and good living standards for the local population precisely through using cultural heritage as an important social and economic resource.