Reconstruction of Bemax Arena brought the Novi Sad project bureau a prestigious award

Awards in the field of sports architecture, which they award International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee and International Federation of Sports and Recreational Facilities (IACS) were awarded on October 26, 2021 at a ceremony in Cologne. Novi Sad design DBA received the IACS award for the realization of the project of reconstruction and transformation of Bemax Arena in Podgorica.

Reconstructed Bemax Arena in Podgorica (Photo: DBA)

This award is considered the most important award in the field of design, implementation and equipment of sports facilities in the world, is narrowly specialized and was awarded for the 65th time under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee in various categories. The prestigious recognition shows that Serbian architects can keep up with the leading names in world architecture. This year’s award was given to, among others, the biggest name in the world of sports architecture, Populous from London, the great studio of Bjarka Ingles from Copenhagen, the Japanese giant Nikken Sekkei, large design bureaus from the USA, Canada, Australia, Austria and Germany.

Projects realized around the world are divided into several categories and the gold medal at this year’s competition was awarded to top facilities:

  • Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London, by architect Populous;
  • Buy Hil u Copenhagenu, arhitekte Bjarke Ingles Group;
  • Aquaticum in Debrecen, architects BORD;
  • Arriake Arena u Tokiu, arhitekte Nikken Sekkei i Shimizu Corporation.

SC Morača complex, which consists of a large and a small hall, was built in 1978 on the banks of the Morača River in Podgorica, according to the project of architect Predrag Dmitrović and the construction of Đorđe Zloković and Rade Mrdak. The small hall of the Morača Sports Center was originally designed for a complex of indoor swimming pools, but due to poor use and lack of maintenance, it collapsed over the years and remained abandoned for almost 30 years.

Over the years, the large sports hall has remained in operation and has been reconstructed and adapted for competitions several times. There is a need for a hall that can be used for concerts, fairs and exhibitions, and its use for various purposes during the year results in economic profitability. The complex has once again become a part of the everyday life of citizens, both through various sports events and manifestations, and through the daily use of accompanying sports and commercial content.

Of particular interest is the gym and outdoor fitness, when during the summer months the plateau in front of the entrance to the ground floor open to the river, is used for group training, due to the favorable position and pleasant air flow along the river. It is easy to install a temporary assembly and disassembly pool made of stainless steel panels for possible large swimming competitions or to set up a skating rink. With the reconstruction of the facility, most of the space became accessible to people with disabilities, both visitors and athletes with special needs.

bemax arena

The characteristic shape of the ceiling has been preserved (Photo: DBA)

The basic structural system of the building has been retained, and the parts that have been upgraded are designed to improve the modern functioning of the building. Practically, the only preserved original element of the building is the characteristic roof construction. All installations in the building have been replaced, and special attention has been paid to functional, decorative and dynamic lighting. multifunctional halls and building facades, using a state-of-the-art Philips system.

One of the major interior changes in the hall is the removal of the central sound system, in order to visually release the coffered ceiling in the form of a hyperbolic paraboloid and practically only now shine in its original beauty. The concept of the sound system has been changed so that the logic of the constructive supports is followed, so the sound still remains in the central zone, but the center of the ceiling is released. In terms of installation, the facility is absolutely the most modern sports facility in the region with equipment that is currently the best available on the world market. It is the only facility of this type in the environment that has the most modern system of monitoring the audience by recognizing the shape of the face and eyes.

All external walls and roof are thermally insulated with stone wool as a natural material. Facade openings have been replaced by energy-efficient aluminum profiles with thermal insulation three-layer glass packs filled with argon. As the hall is predominantly southeast oriented, for events held during the day, the flash in the hall was a problem, automatically controlled horizontal brisoles were designed as a new element of the architectural language on the facade. A new roof waterproofing based on FPO membrane was performed. The repair of concrete elements on the facade with special repair mortars has been designed.


Source: Gradjevinarstvo.rs – VESTI by www.gradjevinarstvo.rs.

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