The project is developed with a three-fold goal: to commemorate the siege of Sarajevo (1992-1996), offer space for art gallery/creative workshops as well as the possibility for a development of a public park. For these reasons, the main body of the design is placed underground with segments that visually and physically connect with the public space. In the present state, the location – Hastahana park, is predominantly used as a parking lot and a skating park. While these activities remain, the proposal introduces variety of new spaces and possibilities for different content since the architectural solution and the landscape design are closely related. The site is divided by a prominent pedestrian road where the entrance to the underground art gallery and the memorial museum is placed.
Once inside the building, the visitor is gradually led towards the central amphitheater, recognizable by its reversed dome. From here, three gates lead to spaces that are different both in their thematic and architectural solutions. These are: Memorial Hall, Library and the Museum. In the Memorial Hall, an acoustically interactive space, to each name of a victim of the siege of Sarajevo a perforated tube is assigned. These act as interactive elements as they reverberate sounds produced by visitors. Along the hall, niches are interpolated in order to provide possibility for seclusion. In the Library pavilion, dominant material is the ‘burned’ wood (Japanese shou sugi ban technique) as a reference to the act of burning Sarajevo’s National library in 1992. The pavilion is dedicated to the tragedy of the destruction of culture but also to the resilience of human will through creative production.
The visitor is free to organize his or hers visit. Transitional hallways are connecting all the pavilions and they create space that allows time to contemplate and prepare for the following experience. The park and the streaming water above can be seen from the underground spaces, but remain unreachable except in the Memorial Garden – the final sequence of the Memorial Hall where victims of the siege are commemorated.