The making of Sarajevo Alipasin Most station

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Marialena Kasimidi

The making of Sarajevo Alipasin Most station Re-imagine a forgotten place


The making of Sarajevo Alispasin Most station; Re-imagine a forgotten place

Graduation thesis Delft University of Technology Masters of Science in Architecture, Urbanism and Building sciences RMIT (Heritage & Architecture) MSc 3&4 Sarajevo Green Design studio January 2015

Marialena Kasimidi Mentors: Job Roos Frank Koopman Gerdy Verschuure





I would like to express my gratitude to my mentors Job Roos, Frank Koopman and Gerdy Verschuure for their valuable guidance and confidence in me. With their constructive criticism, they helped me overcome the challenges of this project and shape my approach. I would further like to thank Ellen Sakkers, student advisor, for her honest care and advice when much needed. This project would not have been possible without the contribution of tutors and students of the University of Sarajevo. Therefore, I would like to specifically thank the Urbanism professor Nasiha Pozder, as well as the students Sanela Dizhar and Dina Haljeta for her hospitality and their unlimited help with the site and documentation. I would like to thank my mother Maria and my partner Dimitris for their constant support, patience and encouragement during this thesis. Finally, many thanks to my friends and colleagues, Divya Jindal, Nuci Carrillo, Saskia Hesselink, Anastasia Chranioti, and many more that contributed creatively to my work in many different levels.




In the current economic climate the role of the architect evidently shifts from accommodating huge investment plans to dealing creatively with a growing empty building stock within the urban fabric. RMIT Sarajevo graduation studio addresses therefore, the need to re-think about the future of cities in their context. The intervention strategies that arise during this quest are not generic, but strongly related to the experience and spirit of the place, its current tangible and intangible values.

Studio framework

Project description

This study is ‘placed’ in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a city that integrates many different stories. Sarajevo is a place with a long and complex history; starting from prehistoric settlements, to a difficult recovery from a recent and violent war. It is a place of unique landscape, as it develops along a river valley, in a constant ‘battle’ with the dominating surrounding mountains. It is a place where religion and politics blend-in; a place where culture unites people, as well as divides them. Today, the city is under transformation. Foreign investments on one hand and relatively low living standards on the other hand, are responsible for the co-existence of new high-rise administrative glass towers and malls, competing in height to the steep hills packed with unplanned private housing. Accordingly, the task of this thesis is actually to (re-) imagine the city of Sarajevo and its potential future development. Taking into account the huge gaps of urban activities within Sarajevo’s fabric, like its exindustrial site, and the recent establishment of initiatives, like the Green Design Festival, the assignment focuses on sustainable transformation strategies, which will not only address every-day life, but also boost economic, technological and societal growth and plurality. 7



Contencts [1]

Introduction Problem statement Research question Approach


Research The role of the area within the city The spirit of the place From challenges to aims Concept


Design of Alipasin Most station Organisation of space Underground level experience Station hall Railway platforms and canopies Pedestrian connector Place-making in Sarajevo Strategy Method




1 Introduction

Problem statement

European cities are currently in a state of transition. Global competition, economic crisis, urban congestion, personal mobility and climate change push designers and policy makers towards a comprehensive re-thinking of the future. Changes affect all aspects of development: economy, society, technology and ecology constitute a new cast of actors in reversed hierarchies. Gradually nations lose their protagonist role over dominant entrepreneurial cities, which grow in demands and acquire international branding. (Sassen, 1991) The times when everything seemed solid and permanent are well gone, and the future looks unreliable and very much centred around the networked development of those complex urban regions. Meanwhile, and also due to the shifting needs of the contemporary society from industrialization to services and international commerce (Castells, 1989), the cities are faced with the spatial consequences of the current climate: a drastically rising number of vacant buildings and sites scattered across their urban fabric. Spaces designed for various purposes are underused or stand completely empty as the evidence of the brutal inability to adapt to change. Those buildings and their surroundings constitute large non-functional gaps, at the same time when cities continue to exert pressure to cover their growing needs. Derelict and ‘forgotten’ industrial structures, especially, located on financially or spatially valuable land within or at the edge of the urban nest are becoming a common ‘non-place’. At the same time, they act as the receptors of a certain history, collectors of memories and attached values that are both personal and collective. Nowadays the strategic conversion of such sites has been a common ground for researchers


The challenge and relevance

Image on previous page: Sarajevo Novi Grad under construction Source: Panoramio, Google Maps photo/7404611 [Accessed Sept 2013]

and designers. From comprehensive redevelopment to temporary uses, there is a variety of different ways to treat those areas. Today’s economic climate adds though a higher degree of complexity, due to the lack of funding and multiplication of empty spaces. Contemporary society has to come up with new ways to overcome those challenges. Adaptability and sustainability

Current trends in dealing with such matters explore concepts such as sustainability and resilience, in all levels of scale and aspects of development. It is evident though, that despite the considerable efforts, sustainability largely remains an undefined field of knowledge with a huge variety of interpretations and fields of action. To be able to comprehend sustainability, and implement it in a transformation strategy all efforts have been concentrated on narrowing it down to a specific aspect, which reflects the potentials of the particular place (Sarajevo). Inspired by the Europan 12 theme, adaptability becomes here the principle vision for future cities: ‘it is about anticipating the inevitable impacts of change, allowing a plurality of uses, but also being capable of making creative use of what already exists. And therefore, adjusting to what is already there while developing visions of the possible that take account of both permanence and variation.’ (Europan Brochure, 2013) This attitude furthermore responds to the ‘official’ visions of the local authorities of Sarajevo that dream of a ‘Green City’, without any substantial measures or ways of implementation.



Research question

The case of the ex-industrial zone of Sarajevo

In Sarajevo, such conditions are revealed when dealing with its ex-industrial zone. It is more than evident that the area is led by strong forces of transition, ever since the end of the recent war. Even if it is still identified by its industrial character, the zone is clearly in limbo between comprehensive redevelopment plans along the main boulevard and the exerting dominance of urban residential sprawl on the hills. Evidently, the residents and former workers have no say in the development of the area, which is mainly based on commercial investments with minimum care by the public and the local authorities. The old industrial zone is in the hands of private interest that only takes advantage of the financially profitable proximity to the road networks without a particular local vision. This in-between state of the area shows its potential to be used as a testing ground for a transformation strategy that would allow the city to adapt in the near and long-term future. Consequently, the general research question that comes up from such an approach examines the ability of the industrial zone of Sarajevo to act as an incubator and point of reference for an adaptable development of the city. Image bottom left: Sarajevo attracts foreign investment that supplies the city with high rise office and commercial towers Source: http://www.e-architect. sarajevo-skyscraper [Accessed Dec 2014]

Image bottom middle: Currently the city has 400.00 people and its population is expected to grow. Source: sarajevo-wallpaper-5/ [Accessed Sept 2013]

Image bottom right: The fragmented state and local administration struggle to offer a common vision. Source: BBC on protests in Tuzla. world-europe-26086857 [Accessed Oct 2014]


Sarajevo has always had a crossroad position between the East and the West, and therefore a strong intersection identity. The railways were essential ingredients of this character, but no longer.

Image: Commercial trains were using complete track network till 90’s. Here, a train crossing Alipasin Most area. Source: Forum for railways in BiH. index.php?/topic/13270-ranzirnikolodvor-alipasin-most/ [Accessed Feb 2014]


A crossroad identity

This investigation is focused on one of the industrial zone’s most characteristic elements: the railway lines that run through the city become the incentives for further research. It is a fact that the transportation network of Bosnia and Herzegovina has undergone a series of development phases during its existence since late 19th century, but retained its importance until the recent war. Initially built during the Austro-Hungarian period, the railroads were widely exploited for passengers and cargo transit after WWII under the socialistic governance of ex-Yugoslavia. Additionally, Sarajevo preserved a strong identity of a ‘crossroad’ throughout its history. From the Ottoman caravanserai to a busy 19th century Balkans rail station, the city was continuously situated along the connection corridors between the West and the East. Today the railway is underused and infrequent, but most importantly acts as a border, both spatially and mentally. Accordingly, the research focuses on the potential to overcome this challenge and reconnect the city and its people with one of the most sustainable means of transport, and an indisputable symbol of connection and communication between cultures and people. Therefore, the research question is formulated as following:

Research question

How can an adaptable design of a station reactivate the railway network, and transform it from its current divisionary role into a local hub that connects the region spatially, socially and economically?



Following the challenges and potentials that are addressed here, the general scope of this study is to re-imagine Sarajevo, and show the city and its people the bright possibilities of their adaptable future. The aim is to use adaptability in design interventions that would contribute to the ‘distinctiveness of place’ by discovering and preserving the existing spirit of place.

It is about finding an ‘appropriate transformation strategy between legacy (history of places), invention (innovation to accommodate a plurality of uses) and reversibility (temporary developments). [...] It is a method of establishing links between natural and cultural environments and finding compensations and connections [...], by adding meaning and purpose (re-connections)’ to the place. (Europan Brochure, 2013)

Image bottom left: Europan 12 logo Source: [Accessed Oct 2013]


Image bottom middle: Genius Loci. Towards a phenomenology of Architecture. Source: Scanned book cover

Image bottom right: State of railways in Alipasin Most today Source: Personal archive

For this reason, a network facility such as the railway is to be revitalized to assist this goal, and re-introduce to the city its unique contribution to its genius loci. Creating a new station, which is much more than a train platform, would primarily have a tangible impact to the area as well, as it would boost the economy, assist the current residents’ needs and bring new public facilities. Then, ‘the combination of economic development with the preservation and enhancement of spatial qualities’ would have been achieved (Ovink, H. Wierenga, E, 2011). The research question, theoretical framework and method of work are all interrelated to support and achieve this aim and its design assignment.


2 Research

Image: Aerial view of Sarajevo Source: img26/4215/img6701zx.jpg [Accessed Sept 2013]


The role of the area within the city

The case of the industrial zone of Sarajevo, and especially Alipasin Most area has been crucial for the development of the city. Set for a long time at the west end of Sarajevo, the area is now challenged by the coming growth. New investments are made along the main road, while the population is expected to rise. It is evident that Alipasin Most area has lost its former industrial character. What should be therefore the new role to perform in the future?

City centre

Railway Alipasin Most industrial zone

Image on previous page: Sketch of Alipasin Most area. Source: own illustration



0 100 500






Roads Rail Tram



Urban development

Economy Secondary sector Services sector

Ottoman development Habsburg plans Yugoslav planned neighbourhoods post WWII urban sprawl

A stop along an eastern trading route Yugoslavia 2030


Habsburg empire 1920s


Ottoman empire 1460s


bosnian war

Image: Ottoman Sarajevo. Source: own illustration

Sarajevo was officially founded when it became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. The topography of the area dictated its location at the east end of a long and narrow valley, where the river Miljacka descends from the mountains. The proximity and control of the trading route that connected the East and the West formed the identity of the new city. Primarily a market place, Sarajevo also accommodated governmental courts, places of worship, and inns (places for temporary stay for the merchants). The surrounding slopes developed as strictly residential neighbourhoods called the ‘Mahalas’. Such was the reality of Sarajevo for several centuries.

Development from the West Yugoslavia 2030



Habsburg empire 1920s

Ottoman empire 1460s


bosnian war

Image: Austro-Hungarian Sarajevo. Source: own illustration

In the late 19th century Sarajevo became part of the Habsburg Empire and followed a ‘European’ course. The city expanded towards the west, doubled in size, but did not significantly increase its population. It primarily served as an administrative centre for the Austro-Hungarians, and became the testing ground for new technologies. The first tram of Europe started its operation there, while major investments were made in the railway system across Sarajevo and the Balkans. Initially built to serve military scopes, the railway gradually started to play an important role in the economy of the city, which followed a slow industrialisation process. The station of Alipasin Most was among the rail facilities that were established during that period.



0 100 500






Roads Rail Tram



Urban development

Economy Secondary sector Services sector

Ottoman development Habsburg plans Yugoslav planned neighbourhoods post WWII urban sprawl

Post WWII Yugoslav city expanstion Yugoslavia 2030


Habsburg empire 1920s


Ottoman empire 1460s


bosnian war

Image: Yugoslav Sarajevo. Source: own illustration

Sarajevo met its biggest growth after the Second World War. As the capital of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the city became an administrative, economic, and labour centre. The industrial zone was set at the west end, whereas numerous high-rise housing blocks were constantly being built after the 1950s. Many transport networks including air, road, tram and rail traffic were built or expanded. As a result of urbanisation urban sprawl started to develop on the hills. Today, the combination of all those contradicting factors that developed during that period of time is part of the identity of the city.

The recent disruption of a war Yugoslavia 2030



Habsburg empire 1920s

Ottoman empire 1460s


bosnian war

Image: Indicative map of types of war damages. Source: own illustration

For almost five consequent years, from 1992-1996, Sarajevo was under siege by the “Army of Republika Srpska�. The impact of the war in the city and its citizens is still visible today. Infrastructure and important city facilities were completely destroyed, whereas residential buildings were also heavily targeted. Along with the global trends of deindustrialisation, the area of Alipasin Most gradually lost its character and role within the city of Sarajevo.



0 100 500






Roads Rail Tram



Urban development

Economy Secondary sector Services sector

Ottoman development Habsburg plans Yugoslav planned neighbourhoods post WWII urban sprawl

Future plans for a European Sarajevo Yugoslavia 2030


Habsburg empire 1920s


Ottoman empire 1460s


bosnian war

Image: Expected and planned growth. Source: own illustration

Today, Sarajevo benefits from international investment, mainly coming from Turkey and Arab countries. The economy has been growing along with the height of office and retail buildings. New construction works are currently transforming the city into a hub with large shopping malls and glass company towers. The old industrial zone that has suffered severely in the past, has yet no place in the redevelopment plans. The area struggles between different forces of transition and is in a derelict state since the 1990’s. On the meanwhile, new transport networks (motorways and metro line) are planned.

Introduction of an interchange station Yugoslavia 2030



Habsburg empire 1920s

Ottoman empire 1460s


bosnian war

Image: Proposed area and concept. Source: own illustration

Alipasin Most area has though a strong asset: the railway lines that cross at the edge of the industrial zone with the residential neighbourhoods. Therefore, an opportunity arises. The introduction of a new interchange station, that connects different means of transport (metro, tram, rail) could potentially benefit not only the city in its whole but largely improve the area and transform it to a local hub. The needs of the surrounding neighbourhoods will also be addressed, as well as economic growth and job opportunities that derive from such an investment.


Image: Sketch of Alipasin Most area. Source: own illustration


The spirit of the place This study is a quest to find and understand the dynamics that shape the place and give its unique character. It is about discovering the meanings applied on the material substance of the place and reflect its distinctiveness. For this purpose, the notion of “the spirit of the place� is being used. The spirit of place, the genius loci, is conceived as a reality derived by the combination of structures and meanings, which relate to economic, social, political, cultural and many other complex phenomena of human life. (Norberg-Schultz, 1980) The discovery of the spirit of place is indeed regarding architecture as the spatial expression of it. But, it is both tangible and intangible elements that shape the genius loci of Alipasin Most. For the case of Alipasin Most area, there are 5 elements that in combination present the spirit of the place. Those are explored here.


1 Crossing networks



Underestimated landscape

Derelict i heri

Image 1 : Railways in Alipasin Most today Source: personal archive




industrial itage


Dominating surrounding functions

Image 2: River running behind buildings Source: personal archive

Image 3: Demolished Zica factory Source: personal archive

Missing public space

Image 4: Adjacent types of housing Source: personal archive

Image 5: Streets on hill Source: personal archive


Image: Alipasin Most area today. Source: Google maps


From challenges to aims

As a result of this study, it became evident that Alipasin Most area has no strong locality. The aforementioned elements do not offer a concise identity to the place. Furthermore, the area is currently in transition. The railway lines act as a border and the current station is underused and abandoned. At the same time, the surrounding neighbourhood is expected to grow in population, while new investments are made to built-up new office towers along the main road. Drawing from that background, the study is based on finding the appropriate (re)design starting points that correspond to those challenges.



Division of the area into three isolated zones

Physical and natural barriers





Rail-related, indu now d

Strengthen networks and connections


Reclaim nature and landscape

Set the g a civic e

ial History

ustrial area that is declining

ground for economy


Public space

x Mono-functional, isolated ‘islands’

Boost diversity, multi-functinality and cohesion

Lack of local vision and public spaces

Bottom-up, connected public spaces Images : Research diagrams Source: own illustrations


Image: Summing up challenges Source: own illustration



Rail and north road cut off the residential area

The railway lines act as a border between the neighbourhood and the industrial zone. This is reinforced by the presence and future expansion of the Safeta Zajke north road. Due to the small number of trains passing through, people are nowadays crossing the lines on foot, which clearly indicates a need for connection.

The natural landscape acts as a border

This border condition is further strengthened by the topography of the area. The houses, the railway and the industrial zone are all set on different heights that are not interconnected. Furthermore, the river that crosses through the industrial zone is currently completely hidden and inaccessible.

Industrial buildings lost their function or are demolished

The area has a quite big variety of industrial buildings in good shape that are either still used or not. Some of those warehouses have been demolished to give space to new housing blocks, while others are still standing derelict. All those buildings though play a significant role in the identity of the area and the memories of the people who once worked there.

Isolated areas designated for one use

Planning policies of older times have played a significant role in shaping introversion and disconnected communities. Every neighbourhood is relatively isolated, mono-functional and has limited diversity. The industrial zone inevitably applies to those rules.

Network of staircases and roads as the only public space on hill

Public space is the lacking element. Within the industrial zone there is hardly any space for pedestrians. On the south side of the city, not used large green areas compensate the high-rise housing blocks. Additionally, the hilly neighbourhood on the north offers exclusively a complex system of stairs and streets that take up any public action. 39

Image: Summing up aims Source: own illustration



Railway station as a connecting element

The aim here is to overcome the current border condition of the railway lines. To achieve this, the proposal focuses on ways to activate and strengthen the rail network while creating bridges or connections for the pedestrians. Such a bridge is offered with the introduction of a station.

Break the fragmentation of the hill locally

Those proposed connections would offer at the same time a way to “expand” the landscape of the hill towards the city. Bridging the areas on either side of the railway will break the border locally, and further connect it with the river. Therefore, it is equally important to revitalise the riverbank too.

Introduce new working conditions

Since the area had been a primarily place of work, the idea is to bring people back and to invest in businesses. It would be a waste of resources and a missed opportunity unless labour conditions could appear again on the site, updated with the current trends and flexibilities. A stable and people-oriented economy could then be established.

Create a reference point a ‘common place’

Diversity, multi-functionality and cohesion are among the main aims for this area. The new neighbourhood around the station should be accommodating not just housing, retail, leisure or work activities, but all those together and in relation to each other.

Built up a local vision that addresses the needs

Public space is the glue for all this to happen. Well-connected and accessed public space is one of the main reasons that people from around would visit the area. Open to all, planned where possible with bottom-up strategies, and with a cosy and comfortable feeling, people are expected to conceive this space as theirs.


RESIDENTIAL HILL Image: Existing urban conceptual section Source: own illustration






In the current situation, the difference in levels due to topography, and the isolated functions (rail, industry, housing) are causing the discontinuity of the area. There are two clear borders dividing the industrial zone from the railway tracks and the residential area. Furthermore, the river and the high-rise buildings along the main street are bordering the industrial zone towards the city. The biggest challenge is therefore, that the connection between the residential area and the city is limited.






RESIDENTIAL HILL Image: Proposed urban conceptual section Source: own illustration






The concept for this area addresses the need for connection between the different levels and uses. With the introduction of a train station, diversity and accessibility would be enhanced, while the character of the area would be reinforced. Place-making is the ultimate goal that would be achieved through such an intervention. Alipasin Most would gain a new enhanced identity based on the existing “spirit of the place“ and the people would benefit from a central place to communicate, work, live and connect.






3 Design of Alipasin Most station


Complexity in levels & Diversity of uses This is a project that celebrates diversity and complexity in both the circulation and use of the space. The train station is introduced parallel to the existing rail lines, and offers four different platforms for travelling on an urban and regional scale. A large pedestrian corridor enhances the rail station with vegetation on the top level. Additionally, an underground metro station is designed to connect the airport with the city though this site. Parking facilities and bike paths reinforce the idea of a “transferium�. The design follows the concept of connecting the residential neigbrourhood with the industrial zone, and offers a mix of different functions in the area, such as offices, warehouses, housing and public spaces. The design of the station complex acts as a key development for the revitalisation of the whole area.

Images: Physical model picture Source: personal archive


Hill River bank Industrial zone +4,00m 50

Rail tracks +10,00m

North road +18,00m

Distribution of functions in multiple levels

Images: Diagrams on different levels Source: own illustrations

Metro, parking & station square +4,00m

The current level differences are being used to accommodate the proposed functions. The industrial zone lays on the lowest level (+4,00m from river bank) and hosts the metro platforms, covered parking lots and large public spaces, including a big station square. On the +10,00 m level are currently the railway lines. This is where the rail station platforms are placed. Finally, the new pedestrian platform is located on the top level, at the same height with the north road (+18,00m), to accommodate access from the residential hill.

Rail station +10,00m

Pedestrian platform +18,00m


Hill River bank 52

Access, mobility & circulation

Images: Diagrams on mobility Source: own illustrations

The different levels are connected with each other and accommodate the multiple means of transport. Metro and rail follow the existing tracks but on two different levels. Road access is available from all levels. Buses and taxis are running on the north and south road, while a new service road is introduced, which runs parallel to the train platforms and gives access to the kiss & ride zone and the underground parking. Bikes are allowed all around the site and bike paths run parallel to car traffic, and along the riverbank.

Metro, cars, taxis buses & bikes

Rail, cars & bikes

Cars, buses & bikes






Main entrance for pedestrians

As far as the pedestrians are concerned, the station has a clear but complex circulation pattern. The main entrance is located at the lowest level, where the volume of the building stretches out to welcome the visitors and users. This design choice shapes the identity of the station, and offers a distinct public entrance. A full glass facade makes the volume float, while the vegetation hangs out of the edges of the top level to support the idea of an extended natural landscape. The most visible element at the ground level is the central void with the staircases connecting all levels. Natural light is coming down to illuminate the vertical movement. At night this void is also lighted to indicate the entrance. On the ground level, the pedestrian access to the parking and metro station are also organised. It feels as if someone comes into a natural dyke when entering those areas.

Image: Perspective view of main entrance Source: own illustration





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Image: Ground level plan Source: own illustration



Underground level experience

At the metro platforms the traveller is able to perceive of all three levels of the station complex. Escalators and stairs connect the metro with the rail platforms in four points. Their canopies follow the movement of the trains, while the platforms are covered and protected by rain. A concrete retaining wall with a rough finish is bordering the north platform. On the opposite side, a glass wall divides the platform to the parking area, to offer full visibility. The aim is to give the traveller the chance to see all different flows of movement and feel like being in a busy urban transport hub.

Image: Perspective view of metro platform Source: own illustration





[10] [3] [4]



[6] [7]

[8] [8]






[11] [12]


Image: First level plan Source: own illustration



Drop-off and central circulation zone

Under the elevated bridge, the central circulation area of the station is located. The large supporting columns form a distinct central area where all movement is connected. Access to rail and metro platforms through stairs, lifts and escalators are organised on both sides, along with ticket machines, waiting and rest areas. The service road goes through that particular space as well. A double lane street gives direct access to cars, and designated areas allow drop-off. The space is lighted up during day and night, while illumination follows the shape of the elevated platform.

Image: Perspective view of kiss & ride area Source: own illustration



Station hall

The drop-off zone separates the station platforms from the main ticket hall. The station building is organised around a central void, where all three levels are directly connected. At one edge of the staircases is a covered open-air plaza where passengers can get a coffee to go, a sandwich or a ticket. Train information is displayed on a wall through a beamer, and updated regularly via an online system. Flexible Wi-Fi areas are located on either side of the circulation void. Finally, there is a kitchen bar at the edge of the building with a view of the city and the landscape. The new restaurant is meant to accommodate not only passengers, but also residents and visitors. It therefore retains its independence from the rest of the station program. The kitchen bar is illuminated during night to reinforce the entrance of the complex.

Image: Perspective view of central circulation void Source: own illustration


Facade, ceiling and floor details 5 7

8 1





9 8

7 5 Glass column fixings 7

Spider fixings and column 2 1 3



Glass facade and station interior

The interior of the station building is treated similar to the outdoor spaces. The anti-slippery concrete floor continues to the inside, while the large glass facade offers an unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape. Therefore, a full glass facade system is chosen. Glass panels are connected with spider fittings and supported by vertical glass columns. A suspended ceiling covers mechanical and electrical installations, and is assembled out of acoustic plywood panels. The timber ceiling gives a smoother feeling to the otherwise rough interior.

Images: Facade details drawn in 1:5 Source: own illustrations

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Laminated glass supporting column Insulating unit, solar control, toughened safety glass Steel plate with spider fittings Polished cement flooring 50mm Bubble deck floor Perforated plywood acoustic panels Thermal insulation panels LED light tubes Heating duct



Images: Section and elevation fragments Source: own illustrations



Images: Section through station hall Source: own illustration



Railway platforms and canopies

The canopies of the stairs and escalators are designed to follow the movement of both passengers and trains. Those concrete structures are meant to give a feeling of flow to the whole complex. Covered by steel frame, single glass facades, the canopies offer protection by wind and rain, and incorporate waiting areas. There is space for circulation on the platforms around them.

Image: Perspective view of train platforms Source: own illustration



Images: Sections through station circulation Source: own illustrations


Stairs and escalators

Metro ceiling 2 1

3 Fixed glass windows steel frame




6 5 4


Station materialisation and details

The structural system of the whole complex is made out of concrete, and particularly the bubble deck system. This is used for the horizontal floor surfaces, in order to achieve large spans taking into account the weight of the soil on the top level. Bubble deck floor is a system where air balloons are placed within a grid of steel reinforcement, and concrete is casted around them. The benefit of such a solution is that there is no need of extra beams, due to the concrete’s performance in that system. The structural system of the canopies is independent but still made out of concrete. The only exceptions are the suspended ceilings installed in both metro platforms and rail canopies. Timber panels form a suspended ceiling over the metro platforms to accommodate lighting and offer better acoustics. Additionally, translucent plastic panels are hang from the canopies’ ceiling to hide long LED light tubes. The idea here is that the light follows the movement. Furthermore, rail platforms are made out of precast concrete planks. Safety grooves are incorporated, in the precast system.

Images: Stairs details drawn in 1:5 Source: own illustrations

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Bubble deck floor Prefabricated cement floor tiles Solid timber slats fitted in aluminium support structure Steel support frame Fixed, single glass Water pipe Concrete roof beam Translucent plastic panels Hangers


Images: Rail platforms details drawn in 1:50 Source: own illustrations



Images: Metro platforms details drawn in 1:50 Source: own illustrations




Images: Overview drawings Source: own illustrations


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]








Image: Top level plan Source: own illustration



Pedestrian connector

The top level of the station complex is a long pedestrian platform that connects directly the residential area to the station. The design of this level aims to give a feeling of a natural landscape that flows from the hill towards the industrial zone. Therefore, both edges of the elevated platform are covered with soil and vegetation. This leaves a central corridor for the pedestrian circulation. The entrances to the station platforms are connected with this corridor. The width of the pedestrian street varies in order to take up not only the movement of the rail passengers, but also the slow walk of visitors and residents. For this reason there are smaller corridors between planted areas that allow slow movement. Seating areas are placed along those paths.

Image: Perspective view north pedestrian entrance Source: own illustration



Images: Plan and section of top level drawn in 1:50 Source: own illustrations


Bench details (cross section)



5 4

6 3

Bench details (elevation)


2 1

Edge detail (plan) 4 3


6 2 1


Edge detail (section) 9



Furniture and details

The seating areas at the top level are designed out of the same material as the floor. Concrete floor panels with visible aggregates are moving away from the ground to form the benches. Timber is placed on the seating edge. Some of the benches have a back, while others not. Water drainage is organised under those pilled-off benches. Vegetation grows next to the seating areas and reaches the edges of the platform. The design of the platform edges aims to allow vegetation to grow over, and therefore, a steel mess is placed. Concealed light tubes are fitted on the handrail to reinforce the long shape of the platform during night.

Images: Park details drawn in 1:5/1:10 Source: own illustrations

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Bubble deck floor Roots barrier, drainage and waterproof membranes Sand with gravel Fine sand layer Concrete floor planks Duct for water drainage Soil for vegetation Wooden seat bolted on steel frame Concealed LED light tubes Eco woven steel mess Steel post



Landscape and sightlines

Close to the south edge of the platform, the central circulation void is located. Light makes the void glow at night. Pedestrians can either move down or continue till the limit of the park, at the viewing point. Sunbeds between short bushes are found there. In terms of the vegetation, bushes are the main elements. The idea is to introduce native plants all around the platform. More particularly, local medical and aromatic plants are placed there, such as lavender, calendula or chamomile. Along with those, native flowers like the Bosnian lily offer more colors to the new landscape. Finally, local fruit trees are also planted. Short trees, like the apple tree are ideal for offering some higher reference points but also shade, and are therefore organised in groups close to the seating areas.

Image: Perspective view of edge of elevated platform Source: own illustration

Native flowers (Bosnian lilly)

Native medical & aromatic plants (lavender, calendula, etc)

Fruit trees (apple tree)


Public space and communal activities reinforce the identity of the place Even if archaeological excavations have shown traces of inhabitation dating back to the Neolithic Age, the city of Sarajevo was officially founded only when it became part of the Ottoman Empire in the middle of the 15th century. The topography of the area dictated its location at the east end of a long and narrow valley, where the river Miljacka descends from the mountains. The proximity and control of the trading route that connected the East and the West formed the identity of the new city. Primarily a market place, Sarajevo also accommodated governmental courts, places of worship, and inns (places for temporary stay). The city centre was developed along the river and concentrated all those functions, leaving the surrounding slopes available for living quarters. The ‘Mahalas’ that emerged on the hills were strictly residential neighbourhoods clustered around a mosque, a bath house, a bakery and a public fountain.


4 Place-making in Sarajevo



The proposed design of the station acts as a key development for the transformation of the whole surrounding area. A strategic masterplan is set to accommodate additional uses in short and long term. The existing businesses will remain in place, while others will start coming in. Old empty warehouses will gradually be hosting temporary work/live spaces. Investment will further transform the central point of the development around the station entrance into a mixed-use area. Ground floor retail uses, such as pharmacies and bakeries will attract people. Housing on the top floors will secure safety at night. Additionally new riverside family flats will bring in a housing type that is much needed in the area. Finally, public space will connect all those functions and lead towards the use of the station as a community hub.

Image: Birds eye view of station area Source: own illustration




A new interchange station is introduced as a key development for the area

Existing and new businesses will re-invest in the people and place


A new m developme housing a


mixed-use ent will bring and retail



The river bank is transformed with housing and linked with the rest of city

Public space and communal activities reinforce the identity of the place

Images: Development phases Source: own illustration







Method 1. Discover what is there This project explores an innovative approach to reuse and architecture, where existing environments are the inspiration for a redesign. In this case, the industrial zone of Sarajevo becomes the test bed for the discovery of its tangible and intangible values. Where many people see obstacles, this project aims to value the physical and mental structures of the area, and find opportunities in things that might not matter to others. The methodology of such an approach becomes equally valuable to the outcome of the design.

Existing values







2. Enhance the place’s identity Following the discovery of the strengths and the character of the place, the project aims to enhance the meanings found there. With the introduction of a new use that takes advantage of the history and values of the place, Alipasin Most becomes again a meaningful place. Therefore, the strategy is not just to find what is there, but also to add to it according to its values and history.

Added values






3. Make a sustainable place Finally, this project aims to support the idea of sustainability in terms of climate, technology, society and economy. The public space that is celebrated here offers the area accessibility, diversity and adaptability. Those values are actually the ones that may allow the area to evolve in the future, while keeping its character. Sustainability in this case means continuity.

Image: Physical model picture Source: personal archive


Grote Markt Station The Hague


The High Line New York

Sesc P Sao P

Pompei Paolo

Inspiration and reference projects

Bijlmer Arena Station Amsterdam

NDSM Wharf Amsterdam

Images: Project pictures Source: onlice


Selected bibliography

Norberg-Schultz, C. (1980) Genius Loci; Towards a phenomenology of architecture. London: Academy Editions Lynch, K. (1992) The image of the city. Cambridge: MIT Press Cullen, G. (1971) The concise townscape. London: The Architectural Press Sassen, S. (1991) The global city. Princeton: Princeton University Press Castells, M. (1989) The informational city; Information technology, economic restructuring and the urban-regional process. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. (2013) Adaptable city; inserting the urban rhythms. Europan 12 Theme Brochure Ovink, H. Wierenga, E. (2011) Regions in transition; Designing for adaptivity. Design and Politics #5. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. Team 00:/ (2012) Compendium for the civic economy. What our cities, towns and neighbourhoods should learn from 25 trailblazers. London: Trancity-Valiz


Sarajevo sources

Books Mazower, M. (2000) The Balkans: A Short History. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson Donia, R. J. (2006) Sarajevo, a biography. London: C. Hurst & Co. Ltd Filmography Emir Kusturica (1995) Underground Srdjan Dragojevic (1996) Pretty Village, Pretty Flame / Lepa sela lepo gore Jasmila Zbanic (2006) The land of my dreams / Grbavica Michael Winterbottom (1997) Welcome to Sarajevo Short movies / documentaries Eylem Kaftan, (2013) Sarajevo My Love, Al Jazeera World episode for Al Jazeera. Available online at: http:// aljazeeraworld/2013/06/201361091927868566.html [Accessed on 4 September 2013] Vice Documentaries (2012) Around the Balkans in 20 Days. Available online at watch?v=MDQ7Vnq72A8 [Accessed on 22 August 2013] BBC Documentaries (2012) The death of Yugoslavia. Available online at: watch?v=oODjsdLoSYo [Accessed on 9 September 2013]