Ena Kukic

Kenopsia—Sarajevo War Tunnel Museum

Sarajevo 2017

The Sarajevo Tunnel is a passage constructed in 1993, during the Siege of Sarajevo. It was built under the airport runway to link the besieged city of Sarajevo with the Bosnian-held territory on the other side. After the war, it was turned into an unofficial museum, later “touristified” and misrepresented by the authorities, while its content remains politically controlled and original artifacts improperly managed, offering visitors a false promise of first-hand experience. This thesis highlights the history of the tunnel through factual analysis and offers an architectural solution for both sides of the tunnel with the aim of contributing to transitional justice and the proper management of historical legacy, as the collective memory in Sarajevo is already carefully fragmented, trivialized and charged with identity politics. The thesis revisits the past and regional culture of remembrance. Medieval Stećaks and Yugoslavian Spomeniks provide a basis for the architectural language, as the new museum takes cues from the specific context in which the tunnel was built. The project reinterprets those circum- stances through its spatial organization, carefully envisioned vistas, and materialization, keeping the focus on the main showpiece—the tunnel itself. The exit on the rural side of the tunnel offers a simple memorial, conceived as an ensemble of concrete monoliths that take the form of the demolished houses which served as secret exits from the tunnel. These monoliths are a negative concrete cast capturing the space and accentuating the absence of original objects. The entire complex stands as an authentic artifact within the spatial framework of Sarajevo’s collective memory.

1st prize, Graz Architecture Diploma Awards 2018
Archiprix World’s Best Thesis Awards 2019 nomination, 20 final projects

@counterintuitive_typologies #bosniaandherzegovina #yugoslavwars #sarajevo #siege #wartunnel #infrastructure #memorialarchitecture #nationalhistory #museum #remembrance #politics #contemporaryhistory

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