Disappearance / Auditorium
Project year: 2009
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Tutors: M.sc Vladimir Milenković [ www.neoarhitekti.net ] , Jelena Mitrović
Project that is in front you is a result of my Master thesis at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade. It was almost fully converted from the thesis itself, generated from text, which was used as a design tool. Thesis’s theme, ”Disappearance” ,made me think about neglected, devastated spaces of Belgrade, as ”invisible” parts of it’s urban fabric.
Project’s location was chosen as a perfect response to several requests regarding distance to the city center and riverfront, quantity and variety of existing or potential circulation through the site and area with low density of existing structures. Auditorium as a theme is universally attached to cultural programs and Belgrade’s lack of concert halls seemed as a appropriate reason for developing project with rich cultural content. Due to culture’s non-commercial character, project’s location had to be attractive, already (or potentially) very frequent, with plenty of various events and contents to offer. In the same time, the course of thesis development led to understanding of disappearance as a mode of presence which is blended into surrounding by forming it. That requested large, vast location with minimal quantity of existing structures. Although New Belgrade was organized and constructed in large blocks with massive structures, many parts of it remained poorly developed and even neglected for decades.
The site on which my project was located answers to all demands previously stated. It is a part of Sava’s riverfront, currently partially occupied by a shipyard with it’s own bay, local marine and facilities for concrete production. Ideal mix of contexts that sublime New Belgrade in relations of water, concrete and vegetation. Also, that part of New Belgrade’s coastline is the only but significant interruption of a long promenade and recreational path (more than 15 km long) that goes all around metropolitan area, from Zemun to the edge of residential area of New Belgrade’s block 61. Opposite from this location, lies the future zone of urban development, defined by railroad tracks and train station facilities, and complex of Belgrade Fair, so we can conclude that the chosen site has an opportunity to became a stretched part of Belgrade’s city center.
As mentioned before, one of the most positive aspects of this location was it’s presence on the riverfront and the fact that New Belgrade’s recreational path could be finally completed, allowing everyone to access the bay in multiple ways (by jogging and cycling tracks, pedestrian paths, by car, even by boat) and enjoy its beauty, cityscape and various cultural contents offered on site.
Red paths shown above represent tracks that visitors may use in many ways to discover whole complex and its facilities. The idea of space it to be open, public, fully accessible, offering everything to its visitors (programs, concerts, plays, expositions, atmosphere) with minimal demands in return. Complex web of paths differentiate visitors by their means of movement (skates, bicycles, cars, boats) while the overall form of the complex is quite contrary, simple and calm.
Although very long, the project, as a ”sequence” in landscape, consisted only from the enormous rooftop surface, providing shelter to 3 concert and multi-functional halls, and possibility for emergence of new spaces within the structure. Vast roof structure, with gentle decline, blends the whole complex into the landscape and surrounding, providing that hidden, disappeared character. Roof’s surface is completely usable, as a viewpoint, picnic spot, or just as a breathe of green in the middle of an neglected industrial zone.
There is only one vertical division between technical, ”underground” level (which is actually at the ground level), which hosts all necessary technical spaces, parking lots and pier for boats, and upper level, public, easily reachable, with all offered contents. All public communication paths are at this level, and they gently decline towards the outer ground level at the edges of complex.
The main concert hall has 1.890 seats and centrally positioned stage for musicians and the choir. Petals of this, ”floral” seating organization contain benches, without seats, continuing indefinitely, toward the roof, providing a possibility for greater audience to attend the performance, and offering musicians a magnificent, monumental space for play.
View from the parking lot to the main concert hall
Main concert hall
View from the bay’s entrance
Elevation, view from the right coast of river Sava