News 16.05.2024

Gillespies finishes in top 8 shortlisted for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Natural History Museum & Park of Arts and Culture competition, Montenegro

We’re proud to have finished in the top 8 teams shortlisted for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Natural History Museum & Park of Arts and Culture competition, which was hosted by the Montenegro Ministry of Spatial Planning, Urbanism and State Property.

The competition, which received 47 entries, sought a compelling landscape concept for an incredible site in the heart of Podgorica.

Our landscape concept drew heavily on the story of the River Moraca, next to which the competition site is located, a sinuous ribbon connecting the mountainous region, the urban centre and the farming lowlands, each with its own character that balances the juxtaposition of nature and human intervention. As the concept design forms emerged, we were passionate about layering in an interactive landscape, challenging the idea of art and history being constrained within four walls, and using the arrangement of water, woodlands, gardens, paving and planting to create a canvas for installation options, truly a park for arts and culture.

Merve Kaya, Graduate Landscape Architects, who was instrumental in developing the narrative and vision, said:

“I believe architectural competitions are platforms to display creative manifestos. Surrounded by mountains, fields, and the river at the heart of the city, Podgorica was truly inspiring to work on. I am thrilled that as a team, we took part and told our story”.

Our team placed great importance on creating a site-specific planting strategy, working alongside Giacomo Guzzon, our specialist in resilient planting design, to select species important to the region, its people and its history whilst recognising the implications of climate change and the need to boost biodiversity and deliver resilience against future climatic events. Retaining almost all existing trees offers a grounding of the proposals within their setting and a foundation onto which we developed our planting proposals. Our planting approach is best illustrated within the Botanical garden, where we’ve collated a palette of native and resilient species to educate and inspire visitors to take away an essence of this approach to their own gardens.

Thanks to our competition team members from Stefano Boeri Architects, Hilson Moran, and AKT II for making this such an enjoyable experience. We look forward to working with you all again soon.