The Office for Information Technologies and e-Administration and the Srbija Stvara Platform (The Serbia Creates Platform) of the Government of the Republic of Serbia have launched an international architectural competition for the reconstruction of the former Ložionica building to be transformed into an innovative and creative multipurpose centre.
The future multipurpose centre, as a public facility, will mainly focus on content related to information technology, creative industries, innovation and economy. The idea is that Ložionica will become a place of creation and meeting of talent and that the authenticity and creative energy will become the centre of new trends for all types of creativity and knowledge-based economy, as well as a Belgrade landmark and tourist attraction.
The object of the competition, which has been launched in cooperation with the Association of Architects of Serbia, includes the complex of the former Ložionica building, which was located between the main railway station, the motorway and the water tower. The complex, which is located inland near the Sava River, between Branko Bridge, Karadjordjev Square and Savska Street, the Belgrade Fair and the old railway bridge, includes other cultural monuments such as the State Printing Works, a steam mill and the Belgrade Fair.
The Ložionica building was built almost a century ago (1926) when, together with the construction of the Central Station, it was deemed a great technological achievement. At that time, the Ložionica provided the fuel to power the second Industrial Revolution: railways, iron and steel, production machinery, steam and electricity. The new Ložionica will instead stimulate the engines of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, that is creativity, innovation and knowledge.
“Ložionica will become the city’s epicentre of excellence and a dynamic meeting place for talent, innovators and creatives a century after its construction, such as Belgrade, Serbia and the region have never had before. The idea is for this multifunctional space to be an innovative and creative hub, an urban and dynamic centre of life and creativity, but also a fantastic tourist destination in the capital,” says Ana Ilić, who leads the team of the Srbija Stvara platform.
“Following the initiative of Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, the Government of the Republic of Serbia has initiated and completed many infrastructure projects, science and technology parks, the State Data Centre, etc. Ložionica will become a hub that will connect everything that has been done in the segment of digitalisation, creativity and innovation,” says Mihailo Jovanović, director of the government’s IT Office and eUprava.
The project of reconstruction and adaptation of Ložionica’ is part of the strategic efforts of the Government of the Republic of Serbia to support the development of innovation and a creative ecosystem, favourable to domestic and foreign investments. As a multifunctional centre, Ložionica will be intended for both professional and non-professional audiences. The complex will contain a larger space for the IT community, where events and programmes will be held, as well as smaller spaces for workshops and research work, and adaptable space for performing and applied arts.
The focus will be on those sectors of the creative industries that do not have their own venues, such as design and fashion, in order to boost their development by providing fablab space for prototype development and teamwork. In addition to experts and specialized associations, which will have office space here and a development programme at their disposal, Ložionica will offer a large public space for community meetings, well as space for outdoor events and programmes.
More details about the competition, how to participate and submit entries can be found on the official website. The deadline for submitting competition entries is 29th October 2021.
(Serbia Creates, 17.08.2021)
Photo credits: Serbia Creates
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