Directed with respect for all views and spatial elements of the incredible energized given space, the concept for the Beton Hala Waterfront by Pero Vukovic, in collaboration with Branka Vukovic, becomes a zone of overlap of the two natural barriers, park/forest (Kalemegdan) and the rivers Sava and Danube, where a huge value of the area belongs to their confluence. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The historical and spatial specificity of the competition area introduces the scale and content of the old town (Kalemegdan) and it’s past. The existing on-site building, Beton Hala, is a simple, unobtrusive modernist warehouse building built between 1936 and 1937 whose natural interaction with the environment gives the space a unique label and a unified experience.
The current situation is refusing to bind with the aggressive elements, as the only choice to be drawn is to be subordinate. The result is creation of an artifact that becomes primarily a transition area between two adjacent but different patches of landscape. The building may appear as a gradual blending of the two communities across a broad area, or it may manifest itself as a sharp boundary line. At this contact occurs, intertwining of the two temporal processes is manifested with traffic, especially with its representation in the area, and compared with the historical relationship of the time. The existing Beton Hala is linked with the entire length of the designed artifact, which through its cross-section and plan shows loyalty to both benefits artificial and natural.
Structural design is linked with the existing Beton Hala and consists of 33 concrete walls in east- west direction with an axial distance of 10m where the entire building spans. It is noteworthy that makes the building easy to build by local manufacturers and constructors in a short time period. Traces of the supporting structure appear on the roof as a design element, while the varieties of roofs are giving the importance of the spaces underneath. On the roof level is carried out a special relationship with Kalamegdan where, in fact, the roof level literally comes to direct interaction between the river and the greenery on the other side, as the existing situation was merely platonic. Roofs, in fact, are suggesting different types of light for the spaces they are sheltering, which are galleries.
Galleries are on the piano nobile, while the space is conceptualized as enfilade, whose diversity is enriched by the vaults and various types of light that appear. Where that poetical story ends, starts a commercial area in the ground floor near the river. Space is divided with concrete walls where in-between various events are occurring. On the same floor happens interweaving several types of traffic: personal cars, buses, trams and boats. With commercial purpose that uses existing buildings roof as a beach, this is in some kind of opposite from the upper floors full of walkers and culture.
Overall the building is supposed to make a kind of Piranesian space which reveals all elements on all floors and creates unique experience and points out the energy of overall space. Architects: Pero Vukovic, in collaboration with BMP/Branka Vukovic Location: Belgrade, Serbia Collaborators: Jelena Hrebac / BMP, Nina Mia Cikes, Juraj Glasinovic, Kristina Skrokov, Irena Bakic Consultant Energetics: Mihajlo Vukovic / BMP Consultant Engineer: Janko Simanovic 3D Visualizations: tremendo Project: Beton Hala Belgrade Waterfront Center Status: Competition entry Client: City of Belgrade Budget: €24 million Site: approx. 8 hectares Program: overall: 39,300 m2; existing building: 9,700 m2; commercial use: 5,050 m2; exhibition space: 10,800 m2; parking loading/unloading area: 23,500 m2