Administrative Building of The “Hydroelectric Plants on the Drina”
Administrative Building of The “Hydroelectric Plants on the Drina” a.d. Višegrad is located in Andrićgrad, Višegrad, on the eastern side, along the Rzav River, and near the pedestrian bridge on the Rzav. The building has the purpose as administrative building, with total surface area of 3140m2 and floors Basement+GF+2. It is located in the surroundings of public buildings – the City House, University building, hotels, church, open air market – newly designed center of the city of Višegrad.
It is designed in a highly contextual manner, in terms of both its function and material. It uses autochthon, local simple construction materials for the finishing – stone and wood that surround it.
The Administrative Building of The Hydroelectric Plants on the Drina in Višegrad is the result of transformations of original ideas, and several projects in different locations, as well as changes that happened directly during the process of designing and construction.
We have designed the building as a response to the old bridge, the skill of the builder – master Sinan, the novel The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andrić, and especially as a response to the connection between the bridge, the people and the banks.
Meanwhile, based on the arrangement between the city administration and investor, a new location was specified for the building –it was relocated to the newly designed Andrićgrad (popularly Kamengrad). The program remained the same, but the context was totally different. The goal was to reconstruct the previous associations, in the new surroundings, to observe new urbanistic framework and to react to them. It was necessary to, in accordance with own architectural principles, fit into a development project that had been well under way, and which was led by famous director Emir Kusturica. It was his idea to valorize an autochthon, traditional building material, stone – to build an entire city in stone (Kamengrad - Stonetown), to reconstruct possible history or assumption of history that happened in this part of the Balkans without turbulence, confessional misunderstandings, presence of occupiers, destruction. And the architecture followed this idea of historical chronology, containing references to historical styles, with special emphasis on the stone as primary construction material.
We understood that the stone belongs to this region, that Sinan’s bridge is also an ode to this skill. Through the use of stone, we tried to show what, in our opinion, was to represent an archetype of a house built in a given region.
In a small community and with local builders, it was not possible to apply advanced and complex technological details. It has made us simplify architectural details to the primary form or level of feasibility, within local possibilities.
We have seen that simple material – stone – can appear exciting and natural if it is shaped and arranged, with understanding of the material and love for it – but common folk artisans, in our case: artisan Radovan from Herzegovina with his team of stonemasons. The result of their work is a stone wall that with its appearance and texture shows high degree of understanding between the builder and his material.
Walls of the building, finally, carry the spirit of a place, relation and connections that must be recognized and felt, and transfer our ultimate goal: creation of close relation between the man and space.