CITY ON A GRAIN OF SALT
Usually, the best ideas are essentially very simple.
The whole site is based on the idea of salt crystals, given that the entire, incredibly rich history of Tuzla is, in one way or another, associated with salt.
Since the basis for contemplation of the space is tied to the vertical emphasis as the future landmark of the city, the idea was born for the vertical edifices to take shapes to create the impression of crystals emerging from the earth.
Crystals are comprised of atoms, molecules, or ions appropriately structured according to certain pattern, spread across all three dimensions. For that reason crystals carry high value.
That was actually the idea for the architectural shapes, to take form of crystal structures, and in a way, to resemble salt crystals.
Adding to this basic concept, there is the idea of providing the traffic solution within the site area. As so the street, as required by the city, will connect the southern and northern ends of the city. Any possible parking and sedentary traffic issues are resolved underground, i.e. on three subterranean levels reached by a central roundabout, which supports the entrance for ground floor and subterranean levels.
This five units are created to accommodate five buildings of residential, service and commercial nature. Main feature of the idea to be reflected in reality, is the fact that at the level of the gallery, an amazing view is being created (7 meters above ground level).
Organizational idea for the space strives to avoid conventional shopping malls, thus the design aims to integrate the space throughout the site on these two levels, fully connected both outdoor and indoor.
The space organized in such manner would include shops selling diverse goods at the ground level, i.e. at the street level where noise is louder, whereas the gallery level would include only service facilities such as restaurants, bars, pubs, lunchrooms etc., where it is more peaceful with a better view over the area.
Above that, there are residential- and business premises, commercial apartments and the hotel, distributed within the five towers (Crystals) and one horizontal building along the river Jala. Sedentary traffic would be concealed underground (in accordance with the proven principle of large shopping malls), connected through central square via passages and indoor via vertical routes.
Vibrancy of the site would be maintained by the main street passing through the center, whereas the central roundabout would slow down vehicles and reduce traffic noise. Assorted accommodations of public nature (service facilities and commercial-administrative entities) and private residences, as well the high-end hotel, would provide for the liveliness of the 24h a day and it would not become a city dormitory. It would become a city center which is interesting to the entire population of the city and its visitors.
The edges of the site and its central roundabout would be covered in high growing foliage along with low foliage planters around the plateau, creating the ambience of natural environment with plenty of green.
Many forms up to 15 meters tall would be amorphous, thus the human experience of the site would be of an smooth site with no sharp edges or rough architectural contours whereas from such natural basis, glass towers arise, visually resembling from a distance salt crystals emerging from the earth. Each of the five crystals is illuminated in different hues during night time, thus the crystals would vary in color during the night.
Essentially the goal is for the entire image of the site to be experienced as a single sculpture emanating the harmony of the crystals during day time and displaying quite a different image of crystals in color during night time, drawing attention to itself from large distances.