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International Architecture Competition | Ministry of Ecology Podgorica, Montenegro

in collaboration with: Anastasia Kapoli, Antonis Lionakis


The urban interpretation followed, recognizes the will of urban fabrics present in the city, to consist of an urban infrastructure.The urban infrastructures present in the tissue of Podgorica are forming the image of the city with a determine aspect. The present proposal insists of participating in the city’s urban form, and is the subject of an urban infrastructure syntax. Each of the described project levels is a gesture to engage public space. Forward to this idea are finalized, a public square, and an open air atrium, dedicated to the city’s configuration.
Willing to develop a procedure with the conviction to create a form which provides urbanity, the project lies in the interpretation of Piranesi regarding the city. According to Campo Marzio the basic element from which the city emerges is the wall. Radicalizing this idea, the building rises while negotiating its limits. Tracing the wall, results an interiority to the public space which investigates an enclosure. While at the entrance of the complex it’s defined a public square, crossing the building appears a Hortus conclusus, presenting a hybrid model of landscape. Hence, the landscape is seemingly between natural and urban conditions. The building volume is slidely open in the ground floor level, provoking access visual and physical to the enclosure.However, the above is generated after the intention to understand the very nature of a Health Center, as part of the city’s functional purpose. The isolation experienced during the pandemic, highlights the need of the below scenario. The phenomena of a temporary exile, in a specific context, willing to cure and return to urban everyday life. Reinterpreting the exile, the visitor is following a spatial itinerary, through the investigation and research of an apparatus which engages the dynamic purposes of sustainability towards a structured reading of social aspects.

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The program is composed in three parts. Developing the Hortus conclusus in two levels (ground floor and basement), a part of the basement level is facing the open air atrium, and allows both to host part of the program and have the addition of only one level above the ground floor. On the ground floor are situated the functions with the major need to communicate with the city, while the more intimate uses are placed on the level above. This configuration permits to the project a better use of the terrace willing to minimize the proposed footprint.

Following the above, the structure of the architectural proposal is based on a superposition of different schemes of walls. The threefold sequence of the walls is described on the facades. On the basement’s facades, is proposed a structural claustra, based on Pier Luigi Nervi’s concept of Ferrocement. The ground floor’s wall system is a series of concrete trusses, and on the first floor a continuous structural brick wall. The structure of the proposal is consistent with the architectural proposal, and at the same time is characterized by materials and construction techniques with no special standards or specifications. A steel structure appears on the terrace to host the photovoltaic panels and shade the above zone. The open air public space is paved with square cobblestones, and concrete tiles posed on softscape.


Stating sustainability’s social impact, the project is seeking to provide a concept which is based on social aspects and grows with consistency. Using low cost materials, providing a wide energy supply from the photovoltaic panels, providing openings towards well defined exterior spaces (cross ventilation), exploiting of the orientation regarding the sun’s direction, the present solution agrees with the standards of contemporary construction and comfort needs.
Regarding the elaboration and the procedure of the present work, BIM methodologies, UN Sustainability Goals, and the European Green Deal, are taken into consideration.

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