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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Liberland’s Second International Architectural Competition’s results announced – fifth place goes to neighbouring team in the Balkans

Competition comes on the heels Liberland announcing an initial investment commitment of EUR 140 million 

Liberland announced the results of the second international architectural competition. Sergio Bianchi was crowned the winner with a team from neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina taking fifth place.

The local entry was led by Dr Tarek El-Akkad, AIA, coordinated by Aiša Kvrgić and included team Members Amina Ljubunčić, Irfan Gibanica, Semina Crnomerović, Merjem Sijarić, Amna Marić, and Carolina Siruguet.

The second Liberland Architectural Competition attracted more than 20 entries from architects, designers and engineers from many countries including teams from Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czech Republic, China, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States.

The competition jury panel was led by President Vit Jedlicka and architect Patrik Schumacher, Principal of Zaha Hadid Architects, and included citizens, technologists and architects involved with Liberland. The judging took place in May 2021. 

The results of this competition come on the heels of Liberland’s announcement of an initial investment commitment of EUR 140 million from a number of key supporters.  These commitments demonstrate the tremendous interest in investing in Liberland. 

President Vit said “Back in 2015 we held out first Liberland Design Competition and witnessed great passion and architecture combined. This second competition has resulted in even more inspiring results.

“We are delighted to attract such a powerful entry from a team based in a neighbouring country.”

Dr Tarek El-Akkad talks about the design process:

“I have been interested in Liberland as a new micronation ever since it was proclaimed in 2015. I followed its development over the years and I was on the mailing list always getting the latest information. Its location on the Danube River in the heart of the Balkans is of special interest since I have done quite a bit of research work on the architecture of this area. I moved to Sarajevo in 2019 to teach architecture so when the design competition was announced I knew I had to put a team together to take advantage of the opportunity.

“Liberland being a new micronation at a strategic location was used as a case study to design the “Sustainable City of the Future.” The team was challenged to create a model to follow in the design of green, sustainable, and smart cities. The emphasis was on using bioclimatic and biophilic concepts to reduce energy consumption and mitigate urban heat islands. Alternative sources of energy were explored taking full advantage of the location of the site. Passive design strategies were to be employed whenever possible. Communal living with maximized amenities that promote recreation, healthy living, and urban agriculture was to be focused.

“It was a dream come true! I always thought of designing a prototype for living but I never imagined the opportunity to design a whole micronation. The team initially worked on the master plan and wanted to maximize the use of the natural elements of the site. Using waterways for the main transportation system was a perfect solution. Once this system was established, we worked on developing logical zoning of different districts. These districts reflected the personalities of the team members as each one was fully responsible for the design of a specific zone.”

The Design competition was curated and authored by Daniela Ghertovici, Director at ArchAgenda LLC. Launched last year, the competition requirement was “to translate blockchain concepts into urban and architectural design strategies”.

As Ghertovici explains: “The thesis of the Liberland Design Competition agenda posits that the infusion of decentralized blockchain logics into urban and architectural design, with its potential to radically disrupt and innovate social, economic, and political arenas, will ultimately transform the physiognomy and functionality of cities. 

“From a historical standpoint, I theorize blockchain as the 8th mass media after Print (1450), Recordings (1877), Cinema (1900), Radio (1910), Television (1925), Internet (1990) and Mobile phones (2000), with the crucial distinction that it is a decentralized mass media, and this attribute of decentralization is itself a transformative concept for urban design and development.”

When writing the 2015 brief for the first Liberland Design Competition, it was very clear to Ghertovici that “Liberland, the world’s newest micro-nation — a sovereign values-based minarchy — has unprecedented potential to radically disrupt and innovate in every facet of society (governance, economy, jurisprudence, sustainability, education, charity, peace and most importantly freedom), but especially urban and architectural design.”

“In 2021, through Liberland’s extraordinary vision and perseverance, it has evolved into a global phenomenon among emerging models for building new societies (charter cities, special economic zones, free private cities, seasteading, etc), but unlike other models, Liberland’s sovereignty as a microstate  means that is can build innovative urban systems without the difficulty of having to compromise and adapt to outdated urban planning and zoning restrictions,” she says.

Jillian Godsil
Blockchain Advocate, Founder, Conference Chair, Women in Blockchain Advocate, Keynote Speaker, Crypto Journalist, Broadcaster, CEO, Writer, Homelessness Advocate, Former European Parliament Candidate, Law Changer, Mother, Choir Member, Hill Walker, Dreamer

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