The Belgrade Association of Architects has launched a design contest to revamp part of the Belgrade Fair Halls complex in Serbia (Deadline: 4 November)
Backed by the Belgrade Fair Board, the competition seeks proposals to regenerate venues 7, 8 and 9 which were designed by Serbian architect Milorad Pantović and engineers Branko Žeželj and Milan Krstić.
The ageing 5,105m2 exhibition halls are part of the larger Belgrade Fair Halls complex which was completed in 1957 on the banks of the Sava.
According to the brief: ‘Attention should be paid to the project’s environmental, social and financial approach. Participants should consider implementing sustainable systems such as solar panels for energy and atmospheric water collection for irrigation.
‘The conceptual solution shall provide mobility, accessibility and safety for all user groups. New technologies shall be implemented, in order to meet high technical and operational requirements possessed by contemporary conference spaces.’
Located on the right bank of the river Sava, the prominent city centre complex was originally constructed as a showcase for postwar Serbian science and technology.
The enormous 24 hectare site, featuring connections to Belgrade’s airport and main railway station, is now home to 14 exhibiting halls several of which are in a deteriorating condition.
The fair halls complex currently hosts more than 30 regular international events, receiving 5,000 corporate exhibitors and 1.5 million visitors annually.
The landmark main venue – known as Hall 1 – features a 109-metre span dome which is thought to be the world’s largest prestressed concrete roof and Europe’s largest dome.
Located around half a kilometre from the iconic dome – Halls 7, 8 and 9 are considered to be poorly integrated with the rest of the complex and in desperate need of modernisation.
Proposals should cover improvements to the building’s facades and landscaping such as new parking and traffic routes to existing tram, rail and road networks.
Interior spaces including the conference hall, meeting rooms, foyer, entrances and break out rooms will also be renovated as part of the project.
Better integration of the buildings with existing site infrastructure – such as power, telephone, water, hot water heating pipes and gas – will furthermore be required.
The competition language is Serbian and entries must include a 50cmx70cm presentation board alongside an A4 document featuring text and other diagrams.
Participant teams must feature at least one Serbian member with a masters degree in architecture, landscaping architect or design.
The five best designs chosen by the jury – set to be announced on 15 November – will be exhibited to investors for evaluation ahead of the project’s eventual delivery.
The overall winner will take home a 500,000 RSD top prize while a second place prize of 300,000 RSD; third place prize of 200,000 RSD and two further prizes worth 80,000 RSD each will also be awarded.
How to apply
The deadline for submissions is 4 November
Belgrade Association of Architects
7a/III Kneza Miloša Street
Tel: +381 011 3230 059
Visit the competition website for more information
National Indoor Arena case study: Q&A with Neil Rose
The director at Broadway Malyan discusses lessons learned regenerating the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England
How did the project transform Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena into a new landmark fit for the twenty first century?
The National Indoor Arena has an enviable location in the heart of Birmingham but its original architecture did little to celebrate either its presence in the city or the incredible variety of activities it housed. Our fundamental design concept was to completely reposition the National Indoor Arena both within the city and as a global venue while making the arena more accessible, both visually and physically. The main architectural component of the project was to expand the front of house within a glazed skin, reflecting the light from the canal into the interiors and emphasising the visibility to Brindleyplace across the canal and to the wider city.
Which material, structural and other design techniques are available to architects seeking a similarly impressive outcome?
Glass and light were the key elements in this project with our desire to transform a blank box to a venue that offered a window both metaphorically and physically on the exciting activities inside. As a venue with significant night time activity, internal, external and ‘wonderwall’ lighting was fundamental to the overall aesthetic, combining as a piece of twilight artwork.
What issues might be important when transforming a historic city centre venue such as the Belgrade Fair Halls 7, 8 and 9?
Functionality must go hand in hand with aesthetics and how to safely and efficiently choreograph a crowd were significant drivers in our design approach. These venues are also important parts of the city fabric and so establishing a clear visual marker with 45m sky needles assisted in advertising its presence to the wider city.