A contest is being held to design a 35,000m2 multifunctional hall and congress centre in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The free-to-enter anonymous competition invites architects to draw up proposals for a landmark complex for concerts, plays and conferences on the prominent site of a former military barracks between Mladen Stojanovic Park, Olimpic Winners Street and the Boulevard of Serbian army.
The project is part of wider plans to boost tourism and transform the historic capital of the densely forested Bosanska Krajina region into a major cultural and economic hub. Proposals will be expected to enhance the building’s immediate surroundings and create a new ‘dynamic, development-oriented, inclusive and sustainable’ environment.
According to the brief: ‘Banja Luka already has dozens of cultural institutions and organisations, an increasingly vibrant cultural scene, a developed and even more demanding audience for cultural events. Such an environment also requires new, adequate facilities for concerts, theatre plays, operas, exhibitions, events of various kinds, therefore, a new and larger concert hall and theatre hall. The existing capacities of the Banski Dvor or the city theatres, as the epicentre of indoor cultural events, have long been insufficient.
‘Also, for economic development, as well as for the development of congress and conference tourism, and various manifestations, fairs, ceremonies, celebrations, commemorations of significant events and persons, promotions and similar events, there has long been a need for adequate facilities in the city, where a large number of participants would be able to hold plenary sessions or work in workshops/panels at the same time. Therefore, there is a need for a congress/conference centre with the associated facilities.’
Banja Luka is a historic city of around 185,000 inhabitants located on both banks of the River Vrbas in the Banja Luka valley. The settlement lies between the major cities of Belgrade in Serbia, Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Zagreb in Croatia.
The building will be constructed on a large undeveloped site, north-east of the city centre and next door to the city stadium and a shopping centre.
Proposals must include a 1,500-seat multifunctional hall, a 200-capacity concert space, a 700-seat theatre, and an exhibition hall for permanent and visiting shows. A press centre, administrative complex, car parking, restaurants and coffee shops will also be required.
Applications may be in English or the official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Submissions may include a written document of 1,000 words with images, two exhibition posters, graphical attachments, and a 3D animation.
Entries will be judged on their spatial qualities and the quality of connections between proposed spaces, their compliance with site restrictions, their ability to improve the surrounding location and identity, and their ability to integrate new sustainable technologies. Judges include the architect Igor Radojičić and engineer Miomir Mijić.
The winner, to be announced on 15 May, will receive €30,000 and see their scheme further developed with a view to constructing the project. There will also be second and third prizes of €15,000 and of €7,500.
The deadline for applications is 15 April.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
Department of Spatial Planning
City of Banja Luka
Tel: +387 51 244 444 (extension 654)