What if we told you that making a cement factory headquarters out of concrete is a brave thing to do? But in 21st century Bosnia, it is.
Let’s face it, brutalism isn’t all that popular in the general population. Raw concrete is something most people find ugly and unfinished. They find little worth admiring in the intricate plays of light and shadow, the simple honesty of the material and the beauty of formwork craftsmanship. To add to it, most brutalist buildings in the Europe’s east are remnants of old regimes and most have been seriously neglected for at least thirty or forty years.
That’s why making a gray building in the grayest town in Bosnia is something you do only if you really, really know what you’re doing.
Factory head office buildings here usually fall into two categories: either a tour de force of the owner’s complete lack of taste, or, alternatively, specimens of soulless corporate architecture designed to control the workers. Both are seen as examples of an ideal working environment for a company, yet both are completely inhumane.
So it’s somewhat funny to have this brutalist building that is actually more welcoming than the buildings most people would find acceptable, not to mention likeable.
And building it took knowledge and courage, not only from the architects but also from investors. The result is one of the buildings that we are proud to show as a prime example of contemporary Bosnian architecture and one of the winners of the Collegium Artisticum 2018 Grand Prix.