The new building within the RBI complex is conceived as a flexible compound of different research units that meet together in the common space – the entrance atrium base. Two equal slabs are laid out in the east-west direction, keeping the in-between space as a green extension of the adjacent forest. The RBI complex is strongly defined by the relationship of its slab pavilion buildings rhythmically sequencing the free space and opening towards the sloping terrain and the forest. 

The dual character of the facades emphasizes this relationship further. The rough and enclosed skin of black metal mesh sheets outlines the building’s profile and continues this solid-void sequence. In contrast, the glazed facades in the north and the south use their neutral and ordered division to reflect the strict organization of the laboratory process inside, while at the same time connecting to the existing complex.

The entrance space on the ground floor, featuring the administration and the auditorium, opens to the central atrium and links all the different building departments – animal testing labs, nuclear magnetic resonance, experimental chemistry and molecular medicine departments. Each department’s common space extends to the atrium and the green roof of the ground floor.  The second floor connects the two slabs of the new building to the rest of the pavilions in the complex. The large bridge features meeting rooms, a relaxation zone and a long gallery overlooking the forest. From this point, an additional external link connects the gallery, the green roof and the atrium.

It is an organizational plan that highlights the specific relationship of a strictly controlled program with the looseness of the surrounding context.


CLIENT: Ruđer Bošković Institute, competition, 1st PRIZE

YEAR: 2017

SIZE: 7077 m2


COMPETITION TEAM: Nika Dželalija, Iva Martinis, Krešimir Renić

DESIGN DEVELOPMENT TEAM: Nika Dželalija, Iva Martinis, Nikola Matuhina, Marcela Ostroški, Krešimir Renić, Ria Tursan