Last year the city of Belgrade launched an international competition to design the Beton Hala Waterfront Center in Belgrade, which would provide a new anchor for the vibrant pedestrian zone. Japanese firm Sou Fujimoto Architects tied for first place in the competition with this swirling series of intersecting and overlapping ramps. The cyclone-shaped form would add an impressive new public space to one of Belgrade's most historic areas.
Belgrade is the largest city in Serbia, and the riverfront district, located along the Sava River between the Sava Port and Kalemegrad Park, is one of the city’s oldest continually inhabited areas. Architect Sou Fujimoto, best known for designing light and modern residences in Tokyo, proposed an innovative, swirling form for the prominent site. The complex structure would contain cafes, restaurants and exhibition spaces on the lower level. The spiraling structure on top features pedestrian walkways that would provide great lookout points from which to view the city and the Sava River. Sou Fujimoto tied for first place with ARCVS Studio.
At the center of the swirling ramps there is a small open area that could be used for open-air art installations. Shops, public seating and other amenities are tucked under the tangle of pedestrian ramps, and the parking lot would be buried underground. The judges were effusive in their praise of the design. “This brave proposal held highest emblematic potential among all of Beton Hala entries,” they wrote in their assessment. “It offers a brave, iconic structure which skillfully blurs the difference between urban and architectural scales and spaces.”