1st PRIZE of International Competition for an Urban Planning and Architectural preliminary design of Tourist Centre on The Klekovaça mountain in Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
An evolutionary city.
Cities evolve over time. Cities grow, they transform, contract and mutate continuously over the years and centuries. Our proposal for the Klekovaca Tourist Centre is a flexible structure that’s able to adapt in a positive way and evolve with the changes. It would be possible to draw multiple cities within the city’s own structure and all of them would remain being the same city. This allows a structure that gives order as well as freedom to the city. This structure is formed by a large forest ring where the architecture is a clearing within the forest. Its shape is fixed but the possibilities are endless.
The large clearing on the Kozila Plateau.
The Kozila plateau is a place with its own identity. A large clearing surrounded by walls of fir trees, it is a place where every season brings new changes, from snow in winter to spring wildflowers.
The forest ring. A clearing inside the clearing.
Our proposal for the Klekovaca Tourist Centre is a clearing within the forest clearing: a large forest ring in the center of the Kozila plateau, as a reflection or extension of its original condition. However, while the large natural clearing has an irregular shape caused by the local conditions (geographical, biological, anthropic, historical, climatic, etc.), the new clearing responds to factors related to identity, ecology, mobility, sustainability, etc. This is a circular ring made up of 7,000 trees such as firs, beeches, poplars, etc.
The topography and the valley.
The forest ring takes advantage of the topography and the valley section.
The prevailing winds.
The forest ring protects from the cold winds (storm and nocnik) and opens to the dry and warm wind (white wind).
The natural hydrological system.
The force of water is present in the place. The Kozila Plateau is marked by traces of water. The sinkholes are large runoff’s coming down the slopes of the Kozila Plateau. The forest ring adapts to the natural runoffs allowing its continuity and never changing its course.
The tourist houses and the climatic health resort equally respect the natural runoffs, allowing water to flow naturally at all times.
The forest ring opens onto the ski slopes, allowing skiers to enter the city’s interior. The chair lift that allows skiers to go back to the skiing plateau has been moved from the inner void to the forest ring to avoid interference with the central plaza. The new gondola lift connects the skiing plateau with the climatic health resort.
The architecture is a clearing inside the forest ring.
All the hotels and indoor sports are located in different clearings inside the forest ring.
Once users of the Klekovaca Tourist Centre leave their cars at the plateau interchange, there are multiple ways for them to move around inside. Priority has been placed on means of transport with 0 energy consumption; in other words, those powered by the users themselves. The next level of energy consumption still low and represents elements used to move people. This is the lightweight machinery that weighs less than the people it transports, such as gondola lifts, chairlifts, and elevators. The final energy level includes machinery that is heavier than the persons being transported, such as electric buses, and whether these are public city buses or the semi-private buses from each hotel. The rest of the vehicles using the communication loop (for loading and unloading, emergency vehicles, etc.) should also operate using a sustainable energy source.
There are few cities with an opportunity to be seen from above, and this is one of them. You can see it skiing at the top of Klekovaca Mountain or paragliding in summer. You can recognize not just the general city shape but also you can locate your hotel and arrive skiing to it.
The new Klekovaca Touristic Centre aims to have its own and recognizable identity.
The new Klekovaca Tourist Centre needs to become a new international brand. What does usually do a tourist before he decides to go to a city? Most of the times he searches it in google earth before he visit it. In this way we think our proposal could become an iconic spot in google earth.
Therefore, the new Klekovaca Tourist Centre is a city where the traditional urban grid is replaced by a forest of trees, a grid of trees. Providing oxygen for 14.000 people and consuming 150.000 KG of CO2 from the atmosphere. We want to reduce as much as we can the natural impact of a new city like this one.
There is no doubt that the best cities have always been those that can reinterpret the natural environment they inhabit and that have evolved in conjunction with it. Our proposal for the Klekovaca Tourist Centre evolves over time, but with a very diverse set of rhythms:
a. The landscape rhythm from the seasonal changes, the colors, the leaves falling, the wildflowers…
b. The tree growth rhythm that can be slowly perceived. All the trees are not planted with the same size. They are planted regarding the location of the three phases. The large trees are close to the phase 1 buildings, the mid-size trees around the phase 2 and the smallest one close to the phase 3. The trees will grow according with the building construction.
c. In this way the tree growth rhythm will be synchronized with the evolution of the construction of the city. Therefore each one of the three phases becomes an autonomous city, completely independent from the next phase. In other words each one of the three phases is a small city by itself.
d. But like we all know, the phases are not build spontaneously. They take time. In this way the construction period between one phase and the next become a really important moment for the city, where the city life needs to be synchronized with the city construction. The clearings surrounded by trees on the one hand will hide the construction work and on the other hand they become a productive landscape until the construction work begins.
The central plaza is the main engine of the city’s public life. A large plaza formed by four other smaller, cosier and more comfortable plazas. Each of the small plazas shows a different morphology.The interior spaces of the small plazas are located in a privileged position between the forest ring and the protected areas of the plazas.
The forest clearing buildings are located within the forest ring and they house the hotels, apartments and residences, along with other complementary programs such as shops, restaurants, etc. The underground level functions as an interchange that connects with the communication loop. This interchange includes the various platforms used by the hotel bus passengers, as well as the loading and unloading areas for the shops and hotels. The hotel users enter at this level through the two-story entrance hall, which houses the main reception area on its lower floor. The conference space is also located on the underground level, and it can either be divided for sharing among the hotels or turned into one large room. The utilities equipment, laundry rooms, and other service spaces for the hotels are also located on this level.
Climatic Health Resort.
The buildings for the Climatic Health Resort literally adapts to the local geographical conditions. From the territorial landscape-axis, the building is broken into multiple “arms” at different heights that are introduced into existing forest clearings, thus allowing all rooms to face south with views towards Klekovaca Mountain. The central building hosting the gondola accommodates common uses and acts as the major distributor and connector to the landscape and to the rooms.
Instead of an urban grid we are proposing a forest of trees. Instead of land parcels we are proposing forest clearings. Instead of streets we are proposing ski runs, bicycle paths, forest trails, etc. Instead of cars we are proposing gondola lifts and electric buses. Instead of construction in phases we are proposing an evolution where each phase can be not only independent, but also able to co-exist with the construction of the next phase. Finally, this is a city that minimizes its environmental impact by serving as a new lung that can absorb CO2 while supplying O2. New cities should no longer “rob” energy from the environment, but should instead compensate for and minimize their impact.
DESIGN TEAM: Victor Jiménez / Teresa del Prado / Pablo Magán / Pablo Méndez / Mireya Escobedo
LANDSCAPE: Brianda Campoamor.
MOBILITY SYSTEM: Carlos Corral.