Co.Design

Splashy New Science Complex Is a Floating City

Wolfgang Tschapeller’s winning design for a building in New Belgrade hovers gorgeously in mid-air. Eat your heart out, Cobb!

Austrian architect Wolfgang Tschapeller has won an international design competition to build a massive new science city in Serbia, which is awesome news for architecture dorks everywhere who still can't stop fantasizing about Inception: The building floats!

The behemoth, proposed for a tech park in New Belgrade, hovers in mid-air like some sort cross between a UFO and an AT-AT, only with the structural columns and assorted stairways and elevators touching earth. This leaves 65 percent of the ground open for green space, jogging paths, and bike routes — a welcome flourish in a place dominated by big, bulky structures. The complex is called the Centre for Promotion of Science, and it's being built to ramp up New Belgrade's science bona fides, to serve as "a national bank of knowledge in the field of science."

There were many excellent entries in the competition (see ArchDaily's full coverage here), so we're curious how the jury picked Tschapeller. Maybe it had something to do with his yen for nerdy architecture references: The structure takes its cues from the five points of architecture, a manifesto on the design theories of Modernist grand-daddy Le Corbusier. (Point No. 1: Float buildings on pillars.)

Architects, of course, love to pay homage to Le Corb, whether they've got reason or not — he's something approaching architecture's very own Abe Lincoln. Here, though, it actually makes sense: New Belgrade counts among the many European cities built after World War II according to the principles of the Athens Charter, an urban-planning document also penned by — you guessed it! — Le Corbusier. Oh, Wolfgang. So thoughtful.

[See lots more images and descriptions at ArchDaily.com.]

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