The exhibition "Project Solana Ulcinj," co-curated by Lootsma and Katharina Weinberger and commissioned by Dijana Vucinic and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, features four proposals for the re-use/re-purposing/re-programming of a former industrial site in Montenegro. With an eye on not only sustainability, but also natural and economic viability, four firms proposed different spatial strategies to transform what Lootsma calls an "unreal man-made artificial and abstract landscape."
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With its upcoming double symposium KotorAPSS further establishes a small Montenegrin town as an international hot spot for architectural thinking and advances the debate on decaying places of the recent past and their possible futures.
Boka Kotorska Bay cuts the Adriatic Montenegrin coast like a Norwegian Fjord. Once a hideout for pirates and smugglers it also was an important commercial trade hub and naval base.
The region once belonged to the Illyrian Kingdom, the Roman Empire and later to the Byzantine Empire. The Venetians ruled until the late 18th century, followed by the Austrians, and troops of Napoleon. From here Mediterranean cultures spread into the Balkan. Especially since UNESCO declared the natural and culture-historical region Kotor a world heritage site in 1979 the city and the bay have become an increasingly popular daytrip location for cruise ship tourism along the Adriatic coast.
Near Montenegro's most southern town Ulcinj sits the former saline "Bajo Sekulic," a completely artificial, man-made biotope which has taken on almost global importance as a crucial node in the migratory patterns of birds. As such, the Solana Ulcinj is the front line of all kinds of conflicts: between nature and culture; the local and the global; economy and environmental awareness.
SADAR+VUGA, HHF architekten, and local consultant Archicon have received first prize in the competition for the adaptation and reconstruction of the Dom Revolucije (Home of Revolution) in Nikšić, Montenegro.
The existing structure, built by Slovenian architect Marko Mušič, was originally intended to represent the socio-political structure of Nikšić, Montenegro and Yugoslavia as a whole. Construction began on the building in 1978, and after eleven years, work was suspended, leaving the site uncompleted in the middle of the city for 27 years.
The new proposal will transform the Home of Revolution by utilizing the existing built structure—mainly a shell—and inserting minimal interventions to create a new type of urban space.
The act of remembering looms large in national cultures. Shared national memories act as a foundation for national identity, a unifying collective interpretation of history that can define what it means to belong in a certain place. Monuments loom even larger - define a national memory in concrete and stone, and you can help define your vision of the nation. That's why Nevena Katalina, a graphic design masters student at the University of Novi Sad in Serbia, has taken the famous abstract war memorials in the former Yugoslavia and translated them into posters, attempting to reconcile the imposing concrete forms with the impact they've had on culture and memory in countries around the former Yugoslavia.
Hotel Fjord is the most visible big structure that was conceived and built during the Yugoslav period in Kotor and which is now waiting for more intense use again. Next to it there is at least four major sites and structures in a wide range of different material conditions, but all in a state of minimal use, which can be described as a programmatic void in the center of Kotor.
This year at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Montenegro Pavilion will present four neglected, late-modernist buildings that were originally constructed as a testament to a radiant new society. An effort to spark discourse about urban regeneration in Montenegro and the future of the former Yugoslavia’s architecture, the exhibition seeks to illuminate the uncanny beauty of each structure as they are regarded to be Treasures in Disguise.
More from the curators and a preview of the highlighted buildings, after the break...
The main goal of the Hotel in Montenegro proposal was not to create a resort type of hotel, but rather a new town square, a vibrant part of this sleepy city. This approach by Kana Arhitekti significantly upgraded the quality of urbanism both on a micro and macro scale to create a city center this small town needs. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Established by DVARP, as part of Kotor ART festival, Kotor Architectural Prison Summer School will take place this year in an Old Austrian Prison in Kotor, Montenegro from July 4-14. Set to host great mentors and lecturers, there are two main parts of Kotor APSS: the summer school workshop with final work exhibition and student presentation, and the final conference ”APSS talk” and Panel discussion based on the workshop Topic and Conclusions, which is open to the wider public. More information and images of last year's event after the break.
The Agency for development of Municipality of Herceg Novi in association with the European Chess Union have launched a single stage international competition for the European Chess House in Herceg Novi. ACID Group shared with us their proposal in order to find the best solution for the mixed use development. The program consisted of facilities devoted to promotion and development of chess including a library, museum and tournament halls, and of hotel facilities which include 50 guest rooms, a restaurant and lobby. The site is located on the corner between two streets, on steeply sloping terrain. More images and architects’ description after the break.
IVANISIN. KABASHI. ARHITEKTI won the open international competition for their design intervention at the River Piva in Mratinje, Montenegro in 2009. The design strategy was to illuminate the natural and engineered elements of the site, located at the Piva-Mratinje Hydro-Power Plant, built in 1975 at the narrowest point of the river. As a whole, the intervention is located on the sunny end of the damn in front of the concrete reinforcement of the cliff.
Conceived in five phases, the architecture is designed in such a way that it can become occupiable at any stage of completion. The project consists of five elements: Tower-Down, Plateau, Tower-Up, Bridge, and Floating Platform. These magnifiers of natural and technological elements seek to address the humility of architecture in this sublime junction of the natural and man-made.