It was announced the other day that Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto has tied for 1st place in a competition to design the Beton Hala Waterfront Center in Belgrade, Serbia. The committee has described their vision for the site as “the principal new access point from the capital’s riverfront to its historic core, and a contemporary architectural anchor point for a vibrant pedestrian zone in one of the city’s oldest continually inhabited parts.”
Fujimoto is tied with Serbian architectural studio ARCVS. Here is a gallery where you will find all the proposals . Personally I would love to see Fujimoto’s cloud-like structure erected but given the audacity and ambitiousness of his designs (not to mention home-court advantage working against him) it’s probably unlikely.
Fujimoto’s concept is all about leveraging the natural elements of the site. The structure is comprised of seven strips of spiral ramps, supporting columns and cores. Water pipes will be mounted on all the handrails and the water will be warmed by solar radiation as it runs down the pipes. In turn, cold water from the river will be used to cool the internal mechanisms of the structure. Thermal mass will be implemented as a heat source for the gallery, which is situated underground. Fujimoto believes that he can obtain a highly efficient equilibrium between the ground temperature and the water temperature surrounding the site.
Here is what the judges had to say:
This brave proposal held highest emblematic potential among all of Beton Hala entries. It offers a brave, iconic structure which skillfully blurs the difference between urban and architectural scales and spaces. Proposed spaces enter a complex dialogue with historic assemblage of Kalemegdan Hill, respectfully juxtaposes its cutting-edge 21st century space against the layered past of its context. Static spaces of the platform, which houses bulk of architectural volume of the scheme, are contrasted against the suspended flux of ramps, which offer public spaces of a novel type, rich spatial configurations of encounter and surprise.