Festina Lente (latin for „make haste slowly“) is the pedestrian bridge on the Miljacka river in Sarajevo (B&H) directly in front of the Academy of Fine Arts, built in 2012. Need for a bridge at this very location dates from 1989, when the first project contest was launched. After a series of failed project contests, the Association of Architects in Sarajevo held a competition in 2007, where my colleagues Bojan Kanlic, Adnan Alagic and me took the 1st prize.
The bridge is characterised by simple and unique form, which symbolises a connection between the spiritual and the profane, the embodiment of art on one side of the river, and a lively Radiceva street on the other, a very well-known meeting place in Sarajevo. By crossing over the bridge, the pedestrian has to go through the „gate“ characterised by a spiral loop in the middle of the bridge, which symbolises an important remaining element in the culture and tradition of B&H.
Construction of the bridge was relatively complex because of its unique form. Its main components are steel with aluminum plating, and the railings are made from laminated glass with wooden endings. The loop presents the critical point, and was designed to carry its own load. The bridge’s length is 38 meters, with its width varies from 4 to 7 meters. Two wooden benches are located underneath the loop, making the bridge a place of rest and meeting. The bridge is illuminated with white LED lights at night which are placed throughout the railings and bottom parts of the construction. This lighting’s placement gives the bridge an ethereal look at night. Because of its modern look, unique design and technological innovations during its construction, Festina Lente is one of the key symbols and attractions of Sarajevo today.