13 min reading
FacebookLinkedInCopy Link

Primary Authors: arh. Fleșeriu Alexandru Nicolae, arh. Péter Eszter 

Coauthors: arh. Costea Andrei, arh. Moldovan Miruna 

Architectural collaborators: arh. Vladovici Alexandru 

Specialty collaborators: ing. peisagist Dudaș Maria, ing. Mozoran Alexandru, ing. Sandor Roland

Planșa 1

Platea Luporum is a proposal which intends to rediscover Kogalniceanu street’s historic urban qualities in a contemporary setting. The quiet, dignified and sometimes domestic nature of the street complements Unirii Square’s intense urban life.

The Platea Luporum Street was first mentioned in 1453. Platea is Latin for street but also for courtyard, appropriate for the Kogalniceanu area, which is a string of spaces with different identities. The name inspires to revive a place that more than once was a defining urban space of the historical city.

In addition to the principal route on Kogalniceanu Street, the project proposes to highlight the alternative trails and to include some of the adjacent courtyards. This way the area will become Platea Luporum, a system of interconnected public, semipublic and semiprivate spaces that offers a new urban experience in the historical city of Cluj.

The former qualities are obtained by using river stone, the historic pavement, as a canvas for the system of routes, piazzas, passages, courtyards highlighted with other noble materials that interconnect the whole area.  


Kogalniceanu Street gathers many of the city’s different identities into a heterogeneous yet coherent string of urban spaces. University esplanades, quiet pathways, food places, school yards and a church square are bound together into one urban fabric.  This valuable ensemble is to be completely offered to the public by making Kogalniceanu a pedestrian street. This is obtained in two phases that gradually reduces the amount of motor traffic to the one proposed in the city center’s traffic plan. In the first phase Universitatii and Baba Novac streets are proposed to be one lane traffic roads that border the pedestrian zone with shared spaces on Emmanuel de Martonne, Hermann Oberth and Gaal Gabor streets. In the second phase only Gaal Gabor and the connection to Baba Novac are going to be shared spaces, with the streets at both ends being open to traffic.

The street currently hosts 300 parking spaces while the proposed public parking in the vicinity of the central cemetery will host 400 parking spaces. Consequently, the street can be completely open to pedestrians while allowing for resident traffic, and parking in the inner private courtyards would also be possible.  

Planșa 2


Located in the historical center of Cluj-Napoca, a developing town, Mihail Kogălniceanu Street and its surroundings still conserve urbanism characters of the medieval intra muros, in which the building density does not permit the extension of the green areas in time. However, the site provides opportunities for biodiversity because of its existing green spaces, old house attics and basements or unoccupied constructions. The nearby green spaces add to the local fauna in the area; this fauna is typical for the intensely developed urban centers, with a few sedentary species that are used to human presence and which use the network of green spaces (spots or strips) to move, in search for food or shelter.

Taking into consideration the site’s location, climate and ecology, minimal intervention is sought and proposed. Also, the timing of the proposed replacements aims to mitigate the disturbance to wildlife. The proposed plantings are inspired by natural habitats, but the purpose is not about focusing on rare and endangered species; it is about ensuring that the natural world which supports us remains healthy.

– Alignment plantings are the most significant on site; healthy and valuable trees will be kept and protected and the plantings will be enriched with other locally appropriate native species or acclimatized species with a known attraction or benefit to local wildlife. The new trees must be mature/semi-mature trees with a height of at least 5 m. In a few cases, the existing recently planted trees will be relocated.

– Placing nests for birds, bats or hedgehogs, invertebrate hotels (piles of wood cuttings) – every action intended to attract, protect or conserve fauna on the site will help increase the biodiversity, which in turn will make our environment healthier and more pleasant.

From the ecological perspective, urban green spaces are real moderators of the impact of the human activities on the environment. Their most important benefit is the improvement of its state and harmonizing the modified or built landscapes with the natural ones, so that the best environmental conditions are created for human activities. The plants, as fundamental elements of the natural environment are the main components of green spaces and the green areas are an indispensable condition of a normal urban life. Therefore, they cannot be considered an accessory or simple ornamental element, but an endowment, as important as the others. In addition, acting towards attracting or protecting local wildlife on the site has educational and social implications, making people aware of the world we live in and revealing that nature is already so much among us, but also inside us and by taking care of this nature we are in fact caring about ourselves.


Vestibule (University Square)

The parking space in front of the Babes-Bolyai University will become the entrance space for Platea Luporum. Here the St.  Mary’s statue is to be returned to its former place, articulating Universitatii Square with the future University Esplanade. The trace of the former baroque fence surrounding the statue is to be highlighted with limestone paving and a round stone bench. The square is going to be paved with granite tiles placed radially around the statue referencing the composition style of the baroque period. Using the same pavement on the whole street for pedestrian, bicycle and traffic surfaces will make more space for the noisy already existing social life of the local pubs, restaurants and libraries. It will become a large flexible surface during events. 

University Esplanade

The trapeze shaped space holds the University’s main facade and entrance. The proposal is respectful to the building’s presence by creating a granite carpet in front of the entrance and by highlighting the facade with perpendicular tile strips. Around the building, under the trees the granite strips form benches that create seating areas in composition with the University’s base.

Quiet Street

Because of the narrow profile and the dense lime trees this zone has a quiet and domestic atmosphere. The river stone pavement is only interrupted by the thin strip of cut granite tiles along the gutter. It has the role of connecting the different spaces of the street and it also eases the flow of hurrying pedestrians and people with special needs, like mothers with baby carriages. The proposal takes advantage of the pleasant shade of the trees by creating seating areas between them. The local restaurant will receive a small number of tables on the street which is complemented by the terrace area of the inner courtyard.

School Alley

The street gets wider in front of the two high schools creating the opportunity for zones with alternative use. These are defined with cut limestone tiles and punctuated by the statue of Emil Racovita. Around the nearby trees each school receives an enclosed multifunctional bench which can be used for outdoor lectures, small meetings and child play.

Church Square

The triangular facade of the Reformed Church dominates the linear perspective of the Kogalniceanu Street.

In front of the church the street creates a small piazza with St. George’s equestrian statue in the middle. This space used to be paved by the church with limestone tiles. The proposal transforms this small square into an entrance room for the church. Large limestone tiles are used to create a unified concentric space around the statue that opens toward the church’s entrance. A small drinking fountain is placed in the niche that articulates the street. Now the piazza can host different kind of outdoor events. The famous concerts of the reformed church during the summer can take place on the piazza or in the churches garden.

Shared bystreet

The short connection between the church and the old town fortification is used as shared space for pedestrians and cars alike. The city masterplan allows for small restaurants and cafes on the ground floor of the current houses. In a future development these would be able to use the public space and animate this otherwise short bystreet which also has spectacular views on both ends, the reformed church and the medieval city walls.

Wall Lane

Baba Novac Street along the old fortification would remain open to traffic but it would be paved with granite tiles for a more noble urban space. It would also make the space easier to use during events. The pedestrian sides would be paved with river stone and with cut granite tiles in front of the wall’s stairs and in front of the defense tower. The basement of the tower used to house a small cafe. It would be revived by allowing it to extend in the public space bordering the fortification.
Tower Park

The small green space bordering the fortification would be made accessible to the public by eliminating the existing concrete fence and reaching the base of the trees with topographical means. It would become a place of relaxation or after school activities like botanical studies and outdoor lectures.


The goal of having most courtyards open themselves to the public space on and around Kogălniceanu St., would be most easily attained by gradually having more and more of them take part in the street’s activity. Starting small, with a proposal that brings public access to some of the courtyards which are the easiest to open at this point in time, a few pathways can be created.

Thus, starting with the passage and inner courtyard of the former City Hall on Eroilor St., which is already open to the public during daytime, one could continue south following Emmanuel de Martonne St., reaching the intersection with Kogălniceanu St., and then goung through the passage and courtyard of the building at no.6, one could arrive at the site of the First botanical Garden in Cluj, on Avram Iancu St.

Another option from Emmanuel de Martonne St. would be to go through the courtyard of the Academic College’s Restaurant, and maybe sit down for a lovely meal in the pleasant courtyard. Then following through the building’s passage way, one could continue the journey on Mihail Kogălniceanu St., in an area rich with options and new possible directions to take. Further, one could continue through the charming passageway under the Romanian Academy’s Library building, on Kovács Dezső St., and finally arrive on Avram Iancu St.

Small paths like these could set a trend, inviting other public institutions on Kogălniceanu St. to open their courtyards to the public. Semi-private spaces like these would eventually become part of the street’s life, ultimately giving a new and unique dimension to experiencing the city on foot.

Planșa 3


Being a string of urban spaces, Kogalniceanu would see different activities along its length dominated by an atmosphere of familiarity. Students and school children alike would feel the street as their own. A small number of tourists would be present due to the Reformed Church’s presence but they would be a small exception to daily activities like: outdoor study, strolling locals, lunch at the restaurant, individuals using the institutions and church services. The proposal also configures the space for different events to be hosted during the year.

Hungarian Cultural Days and other city scale festivals

The event gatherers different cultural activities belonging to the local ethnic Hungarian community. Currently it is informally organized on the edges of the traffic zone but after the intervention there would be ample space for the pavilions to occupy the entire street, allowing for a more flexible layout. Two defined sanitary areas and two recycling and waste management areas, as well as a number of utility network terminals will support the organizations of the events.

University Graduation

The Babes-Bolyai University would have two squares on the two main facades. This would allow for the graduation gathering to happen on the generous granite carpet in front of the main entrance and for individual celebration and photos near St. Mary’s statue.

Church yard events

The current space is usually used for small events mainly during the Hungarian Cultural Days. The solution formalizes the existing situation and the space would be used much in the same way as today, with children activities between the ruins and small concerts and theatre plays at the edge of the church’s chorus.

Outdoor lectures

In front of the high schools the multifunctional benches would be able to house outdoor lectures and recreational activities with the students. These activities would become a familiar sight in the daily life of the street.

Theatre plays and concerts

The widest space of the street, the University’s Esplanade would be able to formally host events that require a stage and backstage configuration. The two entities would be placed in the wider part of the space, with utility vehicle access from Emmanuel de Martonne Street.


Flamed limestone tiles

The Reformed Church square will be paved with limestone tiles referencing the pavement used in front of it in medieval times. The tiles are large flamed 60×30 cm to generate a used appearance and for better adherence.

Silver grey granite tiles

Different dimensions of silver grey granite tiles, ranging from 60×40 to 30×20 cm are going to be used on the adjacent pedestrian zones, for marking the passages and for highlighting the old wall of the fortification. These pavements would also carry tactile surfaces for the visually impaired.  

Cut river stone

Being a reference to the past but also a means to give the street a quiet and domestic atmosphere the river stone is the main paving material. For pedestrian comfort there would be used cut stone tiles 5-10 cm in diameter.

Granite tiles for traffic

For a more noble public space the traffic lanes would be paved with 10×20 cm granite tiles for traffic like in old town centers like Bruno as seen in the reference. This would also make the space more flexible during events.

Gravel pavement

The Reformed church yard ruins would be surrounded with gravel pavement stabilized with a combination of lime and sand for a softer treatment of the archaeological site. It would easily permit future exploration and protect the overall image of the yard.


A combination of standard and custom urban furniture would be used according to the different spacial characteristics. Standard benches, lighting poles and litter bins resembling others used in the city will constitute the layer of generic furniture. The custom furniture will be used in spaces that require multifunctional use or a special atmosphere.

Enclosed wooden bench

Placed around the trees in front of the high schools with electricity terminals, it offers place for the different activities, like outdoor lectures or child play.

Linear stone bench

Placed in the Reformed Church’s square and in front of the University to serve a more representative space, they can be used by a high number of people, due to their length and durability.

Round stone bench

The former baroque wall around St. Mary’s statue is recreated using a round bench for a better relation with the monument.

Emil Racovita statue base

For a closer relationship with the statue the bust is going to be placed on a limestone base which can be used for different purposes. A more appropriate base, in the shape of a column, would hold the bust at eye level.

Drinking fountain

Evoking medieval times the fountain would be placed close to the church. It is comprised of a stone water tub at seating level and a mid-level water source. The water flowing here would have a quiet flow, appropriate to the small square.