Lonzionica

Ložionica

2021

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Ložionica is a proposed multifunctional creative hub that revitalises the historic Belgrade Railway Station.
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Ložionica is a proposed multifunctional creative hub that revitalises the historic Belgrade Railway Station.

Location:
Belgrade, Serbia
Client:
Serbia Creates
Government of Republic of Serbia
Role:
Architect, Landscape Architect
Status:
Proposal

Strategy

The Government of Serbia announced a competition for a new Creative-Innovative Multifunctional Center - Ložionica - located in the former railway station area of Belgrade. The historic railway depot was to be turned into a multifunctional creative hub, alongside a business annex for the Office for Information Technology and eGovernment.

Lozionica Site Belgrade 4
Lonzionica Belgrade Railway Station Historical Photo 3
Lonzionica Belgrade Railway Station Historical Photo 4

The Belgrade railway station is a cultural monument of significant importance, built in 1884 as the first railway connection in Serbia. Though now derelict, the station once stood as a prominent landmark and an important symbol of Belgrade and Serbia's presence on the European map.

Ložionica was the pride of the Industrial Age: dynamic, industrial, noisy and sometimes messy. Locomotives and steam engines were rotated on large, impressive turntables to be cleaned in an open field of tracks. These inspired our designs, and our starting point was to bring the sense of energy and movement back to the site.

Specificity

To house the new offices, we placed a twisted drum of volumes atop the old Okretnica rotating platform.

This building was articulated as a series of stacked modules, as though rail carriages were spiralling into the sky. The building offered panoramic views across Belgrade, as well as flexible floorplates and a generous rooftop terrace.


Lozionica Radial Stacked Building Concept 2
Lozionica Initial Concept Drawing
Initial concept sketches for Ložionica, showing a new cylindrical building framed by the old arcing railway station
Lonzionica Concept Sketch
Lonzionica
Lonzionica Concept Sketch 2

A two-sided crane sits atop the building, capable of spinning 360 degrees, bringing movement back to the core of the site.

This sculptural object transforms the building into a functional piece of rail infrastructure. It would be used to move installations around the site, as a rigging for marquees, or as a hoist for event signage.

The new Okretnica drum is then framed by the old station building that arcs around it. The restored station building hosts theatres, event spaces and galleries, performing as a multifunctional creative hub.

The sensitive treatment of the historic building ensures that it retains its original character and charm, while also providing modern amenities and infrastructure.

Lozionica Plan Drawing
The repurposed Okretnica turntable hosts the new cylindrical office building, with the restored Belgrade Railway Station arcing around it.
Lonzionica Belgrade Railway Heritage
A dialogue between the old and new: the restored railway station hosts exhibition and creative work spaces, and frames the new office annex opposite

Sustainability

The combination of the restored historic station building and the new Okretnica drum creates a unique and exciting architectural experience, blending history and tradition with innovation and forward-thinking.

Together, these two contrasting buildings create a dynamic balance, providing an inspiring environment for the next generation of Serbian creatives to work in.

Lozionica Site Belgrade 1
A new city park extends underneath the fly-overs, creating an active urban underbelly for skateboarding and shelter
Lozionica Site Plan Render

The post-industrial landscape that surrounds the buildings will be turned into a city park, a new destination for play and celebration.

The landscape design works with the geometries of the lost railway lines and turns the area below the fly-over into a park. Scattered red follies symbolise the red locomotives of the past, and animate this landscape with playful installations and food kiosks.

Driving along the highway in the evening, Ložionica reads as a beacon of activity, a hive of creativity that shines brightly in the night.


Lonzionica Belgrade Railway Aerial
Team