Belgrade Waterfront

Belgrade, Serbia

With 2.8km of river frontage, the Belgrade Waterfront will regenerate a previously underused urban area, becoming a vibrant and diverse new quarter for the city.

Expertly masterplanned to provide the best possible inner city environment, the development will be a hub for technology and smart design. The 100ha site is set to introduce a quality of facilities not seen before in the region, providing innovative and sustainable design to make this site a modern leader and exemplar in redevelopment.

Putting our extensive experience of working on complex international projects to use, the Buro Happold team is providing engineering and environmental strategies for the Belgrade Waterfront masterplan.

Challenge

The site was previously home to a rail network and industrial units, as well as seeing years of large-scale military conflicts, leading to complex ground and soil conditions. We needed to overcome these issues in order to put a utilities strategy in place for the site.

Further considerations for our engineers included delivering an energy strategy that aspired to revolutionise the existing gas and electricity network by installing a new energy centre that will generate renewable, clean and efficient power.

Another key challenge for our engineers is working with international teams across a number of time zones and language barriers to ensure a fully joined-up approach.

Solution

To address the challenging ground conditions, we liaised closely with local historians to understand the background of the site. Our engineers incorporated the information into a report to enable the local geotechnical engineers to carry out a detailed ground assessment. This was successfully achieved through close collaborative working between consultant teams based in both the UK and Serbia.

The utilities strategy devised by our team delivered design solutions for stormwater, drainage, levels and infrastructure. This work involved careful interaction with Belgrade utility companies, LA based landscape architects and the Abu Dhabi based client to ensure high quality, sustainable solutions that work in unison with the waterfront location.

In particular, the Belgrade spatial plan required extensive amendments to ensure it would be as effective, innovative and sustainable as possible. Our team’s storm water strategy will reduce the variation in ground levels, the piping distances and cut and fill requirements, as well as significantly reducing flood risk to the site. Our solutions greatly improved the city’s spatial plan while also maximising safety and cost.

Options have been presented to the Belgrade utility companies seeking to improve the spatial plan for the city. Additionally, alongside local transport consultants and in close liaison with the Belgrade Ministry for Transport, our team’s transport plans have proposed the riverfront promenade and other public amenity designs that favour cycling and walking rather than car travel. We have also delivered our first Environmental Impact Assessment outside the UK and Middle East.

Working closely to ensure successful collaborative working, individual disciplines across the practice have delivered an outstanding contribution to the masterplan, ensuring the whole design team works to best European and Serbian industry practice. These strong working relations have garnered excellent results.

Trevor Curson, Head of Environmental Consultancy
Belgrade Waterfront regeneration project Serbia
Our work to ensure the ground was suitable for development has led the way for the construction of a new iconic tower for Belgrade, creating a centrepiece for the district. Image: Buro Happold

Value

Belgrade Waterfront is an excellent example of how Buro Happold’s interdisciplinary team have worked together in a positive and cohesive manner to successfully deliver a challenging and truly international project. By working successfully alongside the local government and Belgrade project team, we have ensured that the future regeneration of the site will bring people and investment, making the development of huge public, economic and political value.

regeneration in belgrade
Stretching out along the riverfront, the new Belgrade Waterfront development will be connected to the historic old city by a high-speed tram system, uniting the old and the new.

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