Scarcity and fun: architecture of outdoor sports!

Scarcity and fun: architecture of outdoor sports!
Jadranko Čilić, photographer, bivouac Zoran Šimić
It seems that everyone is running insane distances of the trail races, climbing mountains or freeriding: but what kind of architecture goes along?

Kenan Vatrenjak
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Visionary Architect with a wide scope of interests, on a mission to use every kind of knowledge to create spaces that elevate human well-being.
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Urban planning, Research, Other
Project category
Rural spaces
Project submitted

I’m an award-winning architect with +10 years of work experience in diverse project scales and typologies, from urban master plans to shelving systems. The scale is of no importance to me. A chair and a city block are equally complex and stimulating design challenges.

Among my proudest achievement is the co-founding of the studio Filter Arhitektura with a group of passionate architects, that went on winning multiple awards at international competitions while at the same time playing a prominent role in inspiring the next-generation architectural practice in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the region, fully anchored in local context albeit with contemporary design language.

I enjoy each stage of design process, from the first raw idea to seeing it becoming a livable object, but what I’m particularly passionate about and skilled in is resolving contradictions stirred by the brainstorming dialogue, not only I see them as thought-provoking means but firmly believe no design issue can be unlocked without true collision.

I think of architectural and design solutions as tools for improving the quality of life but also as means to inform us about or revealing the conditions we live in. Yet, architecture alone cannot achieve this dual purpose, but only in synergy with other perspectives and sensitivities. It is this very cross-disciplinary nature I love the most and the one I believe has true transformative potential in shaping our communities for better, the way we live and interact.

When not drawing or thinking, I like best indulging in other passions of mine, mountaineering, skiing, ultra-trail running, sailing…

The outdoor recreation industry is among the fastest growing industries in the world and has become a flagship of a modern lifestyle. It seems that everyone is running insane distances of the ultra-trail races or climbing mountains. Industry has proven to be immensely creative in the field of new technologies, advertisement or job creation. This research aims to examine what kind of architecture goes along with special interest in context of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Observations are based on my professional as an architect, as well as my long-term engagement in the outdoor sports.
A mountain bivouac that exposes visitor to a striking landscape is to serve a strategic goal: promotion of particular area through very specific architectural. Primary function of a shelter is just a starting point, and not sufficient. In a situation where a virtual reality of a place, that is a web picture, is equally important as the real one, it is crucial to design very specific architecture in order to grab a moment of attention of a backpacker surfing for the next spot.
In these conditions, building technology, dimensions and usage of space are brought to test. No standards are valid, and no function is certain. There is no programmatic complexity; user is prepared for substandard space and comforts. All of this opens space for experimentation.
For the last 10 years I have been conduction design research through architecture competitions and mountaineering clubs’ commissions. Major fruit of this research had been completion of Zoran Šimić bivouac in 2019. It has come at the very moment of explosion of outdoor sports in the country, of a certain discovery of new and positive identification, that has been so eagerly sought after in the post-conflict society: and to a great surprise it succeeded to become a kind of icon of this new development. Building on this practical and theoretical experience, this proposal seeks to further develop and synthesize this research.