Prešeren Park

location: Sarajevo, Bosna in Hercegovcina | Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
client: Društvo Consortium Artisticum, a voluntary project
area: 1500m²
design period: 2003
implementation period: 2004, implementation interrupted
project team:
landscape architecture: Ana Kučan, Luka Javornik
sculpture: Mirsad Begić
graphic design: Ranko Novak
contact person for implementation: Asim Kulenović, u.d.i.a.
contractor: Džekos, Sarajevo

At the side of a large, sun-lit square in front of the Peoples’ Theatre, the project places a soft and shadowy volume, under which, following the principles of the Sarajevo urban structure, traces of the past are inscribed. Spatial differentiation from the large square is defined by a group of trees, which helps Prešeren Park acquire the necessary degree of intimacy. It claims the park as a recognisable urban place, defining the park’s volume and distilling the flow of street life. The entrance to the park is marked architecturally and with an inscription in memory of the eponymous Prešeren. The architectural composition of the walls, with an embedded kiosk, defines the entrance and the surfaces bear information about the park and the donors. The space from the entrance gently unfolds under the tree crowns to the main area of the park, where, near the memorial heritage of the base of the former mosque, lies a place for staging cultural activities. The memorial component of the park is made even stronger by the water, which is its visual, auditory and symbolic focal point. Water is a connection, linking the new into the existing in symbolically merging different cultures. It appears as a dramatically designed source of drinking water, the work of sculptor Mirsad Begić, a native of Bosnia. The drinking fountain is placed in the middle of the park, at the side of the former mosque. As such it focuses the activity of the park and is, at the same time, the symbolic origin of it. The fountain creates an atmosphere of intimacy, which draws people from the street into the park. The space of Prešeren Park is thus transformed into a public, urban space and a new venue for cultural events in the city.