Sarajevo Classroom

Vernes Causevic, Lucy Dinnen

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and former Yugoslavia
44.982616, 16.705978

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Instagram:                   @projektvarhitektura

The Sarajevo classroom is run by projectvarchitecture; an award winning creative architecture practice working in London and Sarajevo. The practice was co-founded by architects and researchers Vernes Causevic and Lucy Dinnen.

Our approach to architecture and design is driven by in-depth contextual research, developing new architectural processes and making a social impact in the places we work. We actively engage with the specific political, economic and environmental complexities of each site and project at all scales, often enabling community participation and activism.

projectvarchitecture are committed to developing projects and research in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) and the former Yugoslavia (ex-Yu) region, with a focus on themes such as: post-war reconstruction, social justice, sustainable return, memorialisation, community peace-building and conservation of modern architectural heritage.

We combine our work with practice-based education, through organising and leading ‘hands-on’ educational workshops, involving students of architecture, as an integral part of delivering our live building and research projects on the ground. Our workshops have included working with collaborators who are world leading specialists in their respective fields, with whom we provide training to students of architecture, local communities, engineers, builders and young people.

The Sarajevo Classroom offers students the unique opportunity to gain and share knowledge and practical experience, through working collaboratively on live projects and workshops that are embedded in Sarajevo, B&H and ex-Yu communities. Through this, our ambition is to develop alternative forms and opportunities for architectural education and production in B&H and the ex-Yu region, while making a direct contribution to the broader processes of democracy building and sustainable post-conflict reconstruction in disenfranchised communities.

projectvarchitecture are currently planning educational workshops for our live projects in B&H, which include:

The Rammed Earth Most Mira Peace Centre in Prijedor, B&H, for Bosnia-UK charity Most Mira (Bridge of Peace). A participatory project, situated near the former Omarska concentration camp in the village of Kevljani, which we are designing and building through a regular workshop series, bringing together architecture students, youth and professionals from ethnically divided communities across B&H. In October 2017 we co-organised and co-led a 5-day on-site building residency making 1:1 scale rammed earth wall prototypes with 12 B&H and UK architecture students and world renowned rammed earth experts Martin Rauch and Lehm Ton Erde. Demolition Works were completed on site in November 2018. The project is currently at the end of technical design phase and soon to be tendered for Construction to start in autumn 2019. The project will be delivered through a series of on-site educational rammed-earth building residencies, starting in Summer 2020, which will be part of our ‘Building Democracy through Architecture’ programme. 

The Living Memorials research project in Sarajevo is centred around mapping material evidence of the architecture of the Siege of Sarajevo (1992-1996) and developing new forms of mapping, memorialisation and conservation to inform more resilient urban planning processes. The most recent component of this project was a short film produced in May 2018 as part of a 3 day architectural workshop ‘Sarajevo and The Siege: Between Occupation and Freedom’, which involved making 3D digital scans and animations of contested urban sites with 10 architecture students from the ex-Yu region and UK digital experts ScanLAB Projects, supported by the British Council and organised in collaboration with Days of Architecture Sarajevo Festival 2018. 

Surveying the History Museum of B&H. Since 2017 we have been working with the History Museum of B&H to produce a digital architectural survey and conservation proposals for their modernist heritage listed museum in Sarajevo, which has been neglected by government authorities since its partial destruction in the 90’s war. Our work includes making detailed existing drawings of the Museum, and developing new methods for mapping, representing and conserving material evidence of war damage and various layers of weathering, inhabitation and transformation throughout history. We have also been working on a detailed design for the conservation of the Museum courtyard, and working with curators to re-design their Besieged Sarajevo exhibition.

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