The subject of the competition is the conceptual architectural and urban design.
Register: OCT/29/2021, Submit: OCT/29/2021, Eligibility: Natural persons with a university degree in architecture, legal entities that appoint a person with a u university degree in architecture; individually, teams (it is possible to include experts from other professions and students), Fee: Free, Awards: 1st Prize: 28,000 USD, 2nd Prize: 14,000 USD, 3rd Prize: 7,000 USD, 2 Repurchases: 3,500 USD each
Creative-Innovative Multifunctional Center includes:
- Creative-Innovative Multifunctional Center in the building “Ložionica” (Railway Depo) that is being reconstructed, with the accompanying open space of the former “Okretnica” (Turntable);
- Business annex for the needs of the Office for Information Technology and e-Government;
- Reconstruction of the Vodotoranj (Water Tower) with open space along the Mostarska petlja, which are subject to the survey spatial-program analysis for the verification of the spatial scope and connection with the main area of the center.
The scope of the competition is the locality of the former Okretnica, Ložonica and Vodotoranj, Savska Street, Belgrade, and a part of the space below and along the Mostarska petlja, which is the subject of the survey spatial analysis.
The chosen solution will be the basis for the preparation of design documentation for the needs of the realization of the Creative-Innovative Multifunctional Center “Ložionica”.
OKRETNICA (TURNTABLE) AND LOŽIONICA (RAILWAY DEPO)
The design of the new railway depo at the Main Railway Station in Belgrade was done by engineer Nikola Raičković. It was built in 1925 and completed in 1926, and started working a year later. It had the function of a railway depo, tool shop and turntable. The locomotives were repaired and serviced in the railway depo.
Ložionica had a large modern semicircular hall intended for accommodation and construction of steam locomotives on the track, with 31 places, a new turntable and an administrative building. Ložionica had a reinforced concrete structure, such as semicircular railway depos, and the 31 places were used for accommodation and access to the station tracks of steam locomotives (locomotive shed) with a new turntable in front.
The Ložionica complex included a forge, a sawmill, a mechanical workshop, a foundry, a towing service and a gas factory (water softening building) and other ancillary facilities (warehouses, toilets, dining room, winter garden, guard apartment, carpentry and locksmith workshops, electrical workshop, transformer, coal ramps). In addition, a representative administrative building was built in the complex of Ložionica, which housed the management of Ložionica, as well as two facilities intended for a steam bath. The crossing over the turntable, i.e. the communication link between the other buildings in the Ložionica complex, was a pedestrian bridge. At the same time, a “disinfection channel” for disinfecting the carriages was built in the block. Ložonica, Okretnica and Vodotoranj are a testimony to the development of the Belgrade railway junction and the Main Railway Station in Belgrade. Architectural forms and their connections indicate the development of the railway, and are at the same time a testimony to technological progress and today represent one of the rarely preserved facilities of the industrial railway architecture erected before the Second World War.
VODOTORANJ (WATER TOWER)
During the first half of the 20th century, such facilities for suppling locomotives with water were necessary for the maintenance of railway traffic, and at that time it was customary for them to be located next to the tracks. Water supply towers were an integral part of the traffic apparatus and its infrastructure, so the water tower in Belgrade near the Belgrade Railway Station was one of many in Serbia. In the past, steam locomotives had access to the Belgrade Railway Station, and a water tower was technologically necessary for filling the steam locomotives. The steam locomotives operating system implied large amounts of water.
In fact, three buildings superseded each other on the site of today’s water tower. The first one was erected before the First World War, but was destroyed during the war operations. According to the project that was realized from 1924 to 1926, a new water tower was built on the same location, because the need to maintain the railway traffic was in constant expansion. War operations during the Second World War damaged the building again, so the reconstruction followed immediately after the end of the conflict. The old building was renovated, but with a much different, more perfect shape, and it has been there since 1945.
The water tower next to the Gazela Bridge, of an unusual shape, is not functional.
CONDITIONS OF THE INSTITUTE FOR THE PROTECTION OF CULTURAL MONUMENTS
The conditions related to the scope of spatial interventions are as follows:
- Okretnica, Ložionica and Vodotoranj should be solved as a single unit that should be realized either through a common purpose or through shared spatial-shape communications.
- Protection and preservation of buildings in the existing size and volume, through a change of purpose which would give impetus to economic and cultural development. The structures of Okretnica, Ložionica and Vodotoranj should be kept in their “as is” state, without restoring them to their original condition.
- It is necessary to fully preserve the integrity and physical structure of the buildings, the shape of the roof and the materialization of the exterior cladding.
- Given the fact that there are no more rails at the location, it is possible to use their visual character for thematization on the ground floor, outdoor space, and interpret them in an original way. Fan-shaped rails and traces of rails towards the main Belgrade Railway Station have determined the visual identity of the Sava Amphitheater for decades.
The construction of the Annex should emphasize the values of the existing building to the greatest extent, without supporting its visual, stylistic and aesthetic characteristics. In the spatial sense, the Annex to Ložionica must be a transparent building of modern authorial expression, whose dimensions and shape must not dominate or be competitive in size or volume to the existing structures of Ložionica and Vodotoranj.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SPATIAL TREATMENT OF LOŽIONICA
The position of this space in the spatial views of Belgrade has the potential to become one of the symbols of the city, so it makes this space especially sensitive, and all interventions related to it extremely important, both in ambient and semantic sense.
Participants are not expected to consistently interpret and repeat the stylistic characteristics of the former building, but to come up with a thoughtful solution that primarily develops a semantic narrative about the space, the spirit of the place and its tradition, which may include the implementation of segments of the physical structure of the former building, though solely at the previously existing positions in relation to the structure of the object. Affirmative modern approaches in the reinterpretation of spatial, façade and compositional elements of the former Ložionica building are also desirable, all with the aim of conceiving a new cultural and architectural narrative about the significance of this space.
The existing remains of Ložionica are in exceptionally poor condition. In response to that, where necessary, it is important to foresee and any all interventions that are as close as possible to the authentic state, i.e., interventions that support the original state in geometry and interpretation.
THE CONCEPT OF THE BUSINESS ANNEX
The Business Annex is intended primarily for the needs of IT and e-Government. Given that this sector is evolving and that its concept of work is in the process of definition, all these spaces should primarily feature flexibility to allow for different spatial organizations and the ability to easily change the structure of groups that are technologically related to different business processes. The accompanying contents of the workspaces are similar and compatible with the hub spaces, and in that sense they can be programmatically supplemented and shared.
Therefore, connections and easy availability of Ložonica and the Annex are desirable. The Annex should be a representative of modern digital concepts in business and as such provide support to the creative hub.
REASONS, NEEDS AND IDEAS FOR FORMATING A CREATIVE-INNOVATIVE MULTIFUNCTIONAL CENTER
- Such a center does not exist in Serbia, and there is a real need for it given the fact that entities in the domain of creative industries are scattered and poorly connected, i.e., they act independently and unconnected (both locationally and functionally), and have a need for and integration center – a hub, which would integrate all their activities, contents and offers.
- There is a need for such a space that offers content of creative industries and IT sectors, from the perspective of the audience also – the public that is a consumer of such content.
- The future multifunctional center Ložionica provides: a new incentive for creative industries, IT industry, attracts tourists throughout the year with its content, offers new opportunities for creativity, innovation and digitalization of content, support for promotion, the possibility of unified communication and presentation of creative industries and IT sector in Serbia, encourages creative and cultural diplomacy, creates new opportunities for business development within the creative industries as well as permanent education of the public.
- Adaptation and revival of old buildings (industrial heritage) and change of their purpose is a model that has proven globally to be purposeful and productive, and above all sustainable.
- The existing facility of Ložionica, with all historical connotations, is fully appropriate in its structure, position, size and infrastructure in the environment for this purpose subject to the necessary adaptation/reconstruction.
- Elements of the style of the inherited structure, the narrative of the heritage from the domain of technical culture and reminiscences of the avant-garde of the railway in the period when it was constructed in Serbia give immeasurable potential for branding and maintaining authenticity of such a hub.
- The spatial specificity of the competition location, which is also a kind of traffic “hub” is a resource for quality interaction of a wider spatial scope with the future Creative-Innovative Multifunctional Center.