Park and exhibition pavilion, Zenica
Park and exhibition pavilion
ZENICA (BA) - Filter's spiral was inspired by the narrative of history.
For most of the 20th century, the city of Zenica in the central part of Bosnia-Herzegovina was one of the leading centres of heavy industry in the former Yugoslavia. Though many of the smokestack facilities have since closed down, the city is still associated with the now defunct industrial chimneys, despite the fact that the surrounding area has a rich medieval past – especially in the context of the ancient Bosnian state that predated Ottoman occupation in the late 15th century. The city government's ambition to promote the cultural and socio-economic life of the city generated the idea of a Historical Park of Medieval Bosnia.
In May 2009, Filter, a young architectural studio from Sarajevo, won the public design competition for the park. The preliminary permits have already been secured and construction should begin some time in 2010. The Historical Park will form part of Kamberovića Park, a larger green area in the city that is situated along the River Bosna in the central city district of Kamberovića polje. The competition brief included a suitable, small structure to house a permanent collection of 25 photographs of medieval artefacts, but the winning entry took this a little further.
Filter's idea was to present the period in question as part of the deterministic view of history – a mere link in the long chain of causes and effects that make up the complete historical narrative of a nation. With this in mind, they set out to create an exhibition that is primarily educational in character while housing it in a building that communicates with the visitor on an emotional level as well. The exhibition as a whole will feature not just static artefacts (in words and pictures), but also film and sound.
The exhibition pavilion consists of a semi-subterranean spiral which, together with the suitably arranged surrounding space, creates a unified whole. The pavilion's interior and the 'circular' layout are strongly symbolic of historical determinism: a long path leading to a single entrance, followed by continuous one-way movement inside the 'tube', eventually bringing the visitor back to the starting point.
The interior walls are lined with mirrors, which will serve as exhibition panels once transparent foils printed with the historical artefacts have been applied to the glass. The layout and the interior design of the structure not only underscore the architects' view of history but also seek to remind visitors (via reflecting walls) of their own role in the historical process.
On the outside, the pavilion is clad with reflecting glass that is illuminated at night, so that the structure will reflect and melt into the surrounding area by day and at night form a spiral of light. External space is divided into a grid of pathways, which are bordered by roughly hewn stone blocks that double as benches. These also relate to the park’s historical theme since they are a subtle reference to stećak – the medieval tombstones that dot parts of the country and are the most visible link to that period in the country’s history.
In short, this is a simple and yet powerful design concept. It is the outcome of the architects' high expectations and aspirations and shows their creative maturity and readiness to take on much more demanding professional challenges.
May | 2010 | Bosnia and Herz. | Elša Turkušić Juric