Urbani Balkoni - Zagreb Observation Tower


The proposal envisions a continuous concrete ramp that spirals towards an anchoring platform pointing north towards the river.

‘Urbani Balkoni’ tower sits 40m tall south of the Sava River, near the proposed Green Belt connecting Park Mladenaca and City Park.

The journey of ascension starts with a captivating, intimate concrete ‘Helicoid’ ramp, clad with Croatian Oak.

Capturing 360 views

The ramp starts at ground level and widens as it spirals towards the sky, ending with a gathering area that points north to the Sava River.

A dynamic, helical pathway that generates protruding ‘Urban Balconies’ capturing 360 º views of the city.

The ascending ramp is interrupted by dynamic ‘personalized urban balconies’ projecting out, framing the views of the city at different heights, vantage points, and angles.

The pathway takes the visitor on a journey of solitude and contemplation, suspended in the air.

The balconies grow in size as the tower rises, gathering more people in a space that grows larger as the tower soars upwards.

The apex of the destination is highlighted by a ‘Sky Piazza’ that gathers all the visitors at the peak pointing north.

Embodies the best of Zagreb’s architectural styles.

‘Urbani Balkoni’ tower proposes the duality of both personal space and social gathering, The tower asserts itself with a strong architectural language, balanced with modest materiality that complements the natural environment around it.

The fortified Neo-Brutalist geometry of the tower is counterbalanced with an open, light and airy approach to public space.

Its balconies project outwards at unusual widths and cantilevers, similar to the ‘Secessionist’ architecture found in the city.

The tower brings the luxury of outdoor lifted space while abstaining from ostentatious decoration or strict utilitarianism.

  1. Type
  2. Client
    International competition
  3. Size
    1600 sqm
  4. Location
    Zagreb, Croatia
  5. Status
    competition entry
  6. Lead Architect
    Riyad Joucka
  7. Team
    Wael Nasrallah
  8. Date


Drawings showing the Elevations, Sections of the proposed design.

GIF showing the plans flow of every level.

Diagram Showing form development throughout the project.

Diagram showing the circulation vignettes, and the experience throughout the journey of going up.

Diagram reflecting the conceptual approach of the proposed design.