© Aleks M 2017
Celebrating Nature Through Architecture
It'ss always difficult to create architecture in unbuilt surroundings. Košutnjak park is an area rich in natural beauty very close to the centre of Belgrade, Serbia’s densely built capital. Here, the winter panorama is like no other, and the untouched snow covers everything as far as the eye can see. What would be the best way to place a man-made element there without disrupting it's serenity? I chose to make this unique new structure stand out in hight, while allowing it's materials and form blend into the organic surroundings.
One academic institute to unite them all- the integrated space
The functional requirements of the brief were that we should choose any faculty of the university of Belgrade, and dedicate our architectural intervention as the ‘natural’ extension of this faculty. Choosing a particular faculty to house in this area of vast riches seemed arbitrary, so instead of a single university, I chose to create my project around an ‘integrated’ design space where students from different faculties could come together to do projects. The interior includes areas for exploration, ideation, collaboration and prototyping. Allowing students and mentors from different fields of expertise to work together on a common project- an idea still novel in Belgrade.
A horizonally layered plan
Since the terrain is very steep, the lower part of the building is in fact submerged below ground. This is a more calm and individual working space. The second floor houses group work activities, a small library and a cafe. The top floor or ‘roof’ of the building cascades down, following the flow of the slope, allowing for the natural shape of an auditorium to come forth. To shield professors and students alike from the harsh Belgrade sun during lectures given at the outdoor auditorium, a semi-opaque tensile structure stretches out ,displaying its ‘mast’ proudly like a boat at sea. The triangular shaped plan is a also a result of the slopping terrain and its relation to the sun. The shape was adopted in order to gain as much daylight as possible for the interior during working hours