Banja Luka, the second largest city of the Bosnia and Herzegovina, bursts with the culture of social activities open for developmental opportunities. With growing economy, the city prepares to move forward
and become a new hotspot for tourism, technology and economy while maintaining its history and culture. Having its ambition to develop further, a Convention Centre Complex for a variety of programs and activities is proposed. The team intends its proposal
to create an architecture that enhances present day culture of the city; to propel its economy and technological advancements, and to maintain its identity of rich history for the next generation.
its history since the Roman empire, Banja Luka became a place of military occupation and operations, hence, the Fortress Kastel at the center of the city. It be-comes the team’s starting point for its design process for the proposed Convention Center
Complex. Capitalizing on the city’s most iconic landmark, it dictated the orienta-tion of the proposed structure’s main entry point, thus, creating a connection between the fort and the proposed building. The base of proposed design uses the idea
of a fort by providing high ground walls and using stone to contextualize its identity with the existing architectural character. By doing this, the architecture avoids alienating the city’s history and maintains its identity by connecting its past to
the present. In terms of tourism, the new structure makes its effort to link visually to Fortress Kastel, adding in the next step to its rich history.
The architecture then follows the given parameters,
setbacks, and provision of access for different transportation modes including pedestrian ways. The layout of the structure is straight forward based on spaces’ functionality and accessibility. Top floors utilize their elevation levels and views while
the lower floors are used for technical support and access from the outside. The proposed architecture only has one basement level providing support to vehicular needs and housing for its technicalities and util-ities. The front of the structure is oriented
towards south - southwest for the glass façade to reflect Banja Luka’s sunset. The outdoor areas on the street level caters to com-mercial use and its robust areas accommodate seasonal festivities and cultural events.
The main programs of the proposed structure are the 1,500-seater multipurpose hall and the 750-seater theater hall. The two main programs, placed on top of the whole structure acting as the visual forefront, establishes its architectural
identity by making these its main attractions. The 1,500-seater multifunction hall, the main pro-gram of the proposed architecture, caters to large crowd concerts, performances, and congressional events by making the space flexible. Complete with advanced
projectors to enhance shows, concerts, and hologram entertainment, the multifunction hall dwells in the fine line of traditional and contemporary performances.
The 750-seater theater, on the other hand,
takes advantage of kinetic technology for its program flexibility. Movable and deployable partitions and seats, a rotating and lifting stage, and a kinetic ceiling are the elements used to provide a flexible theater hall catering to different events simultaneously.
The project offers various dining experiences. The 3 floors of buffet-type eateries, facing west, provides beautiful views of park, trees, mountains, and sunset while dining. These buffet eateries highlight different
types of regional cuisine per level - Asian cuisine at the second floor, European cuisine at third floor, and American at the top level. The national restaurant, located at the street and basement level, offers an underground fortress dining concept experience
while enjoying national and local deli-cacies for tourists who are exploring the delights of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Piazzetta, placed on the outdoor area of the 4th floor, is next to the amphitheater where live performances are showcased. This al-fresco
style dining, following the outdoor dining culture of Banja Luka, gives diners opportunity to watch and enjoy outdoor per-formances. These dining experiences provide the community a variety of dishes to choose from, adding into the city’s growth as an
anchor for tourism and social hub.
Provision of an exhibition hall, where permanent and seasonal events are showcased, provides exposure and opportunities internationally to different sectors. And this
spearheads Banja Luka to grow and develop towards the future.
The roof top areas are maximized as habitable spaces with landscapes and activity spaces. View decks, al fresco dining areas, bench areas,
are provided to enjoy the surroundings of the site at high point.
The façade of the project composes of three layers. First layer are the arches. The provision of arches on the façade of
the whole structure are in respect with the city’s history and architectural context of Romanesque style. The arches provide a visual character in the exterior of the building while providing daylight patterns inside. The sec-ond layer are retractable
translucent screens used for sun shading. This second layer acts to incorporate daylight and warmth inside the structure while lessening the use of energy during the day. The third and outermost layer are LED curtain walls (only on the front side of the structure).
It is also used to retain warmth inside at the same time used for advertising and showcasing on-screen live performances during the night. Poetically, it represents as a symbol for the city’s economically growing identity and ad-vancing technologies.
The combination of local materials and arches with the use of modern technologies, such as retractable translucent screens and LED curtain walls, show the city’s willingness to move forward sustainably without forgetting its past.
The proposed architecture becomes the new face of Banja Luka. It represents and embodies the growing economy. It invites the whole community to have a uniting space regardless of social and ethnical differences as it creates an
architecture for social interactions and a space where community can freely exchange ideas. The architec-ture acts as a beacon of cultural significance for the country as it tackles different themes such as tourism, technology, entertainment, arts, culture,
business, history, and sus-tainability. With all of these, the proposed architecture becomes an iconic piece of the city.