ADA Mostar – Centre for Architecture, Dialogue and Art

Färgfabriken has initiated and engaged in the construction of a new cultural center in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in cooperation with the newly formed organization ADA (Center for Architecture, Dialogue and Art, The agency works with various cultural programs that include art, architecture and urbanism. In this way, ADA strengthens the role of culture in Mostar through workshops, seminars, discussions and exhibitions.

The beginning

In the autumn of 2012 a New Urban Topologies was conducted in Mostar (Färgfabrikens international urban project). By applying new perspectives on how to read urban spaces, the partners chose to focus on the no man’s land: The District – the boundary between the two ethnic groups, Bosniaks and Croats. Excursions and workshops were held with representatives from the city, international guests, students and activists. The results indicated that physical and social reconstruction of the city must be complemented by a cultural program. This has led to the emergence of the organization ADA Mostar, through a strong local commitment. Färgfabrikens role is to build up and serve as a support for the content and implementation.

ADA’s activities

The physical location of ADA is located in the old music school in Mostar. The school was very badly damaged during the war, but the facades are now renovated. Inside, however, the premise is still completely blown out. On the ground level ADA now has a temporary physical space to work in, which is supported by the municipality. The activities are based on communicating with citizens through an active cultural program, creating an international network and acting as a positive force for Mostar and the entire Balkan region. Since 2014, it has implemented a program of activities that focus on the city itself, its future structure and the examination on the existing values ​​available. An installation with a large aerial photo over the city of Mostar was placed on the floor of a room in the music school where workshops were conducted. Children worked with animated films, where their parents told their stories. Discussions were held and an exhibition of video projections were shown from Beirut and Stockholm. The project is looking for stories about the city and serves as a catalyst for the development of a future of Mostar. Subsequently, there has been an active seminar program which, among other things, discussed the social commitment, urban planning, contemporary and future art and architecture – in tandem with international guests such as architect Kengo Kuma from Japan.

In Autumn 2015, the exhibition is being prepared for the project Building Blocks in Mostar, where children and adults with architects will create buildings to scale 1: 1. The project would call for a free experimentation and challenge prevailing standards in architecture, while also focusing on key issues such as social commitment, and environmental issues.

More detailed information can be found on the ADA’s website.


Arna Mackić – A Jump into the water

“What stays behind after the death of a city?” Savaged beauty, bullet holes as ornaments and prejudice. In Arna Mackić A Jump into the water. We visit Mostar: gorgeously in ruins and (re)constructed in the ‘separate and equal’ fashions of the divided metropolises of today. Among this division sits the Central Zone a place belonging to neither side, almost ahistorical, of no importance to the cultural divisions that rip Mostar apart, and so it is one of Mostar’s most important places. We visit the Stari Most in search for a common urban material and symbolic language in search of a unity deeper then religion, built upon the physical joys of human life and playfulness. Mackić brings together different sources to break the architectural barriers that support difference and division and helps the reader experience the weightlessness and fun of flying while falling. “Everything that we viewed as ‘meaningless’ was left untouched after the war.” writes Mackić as the author examines the absolute importance of historical fact and how one can come to forgive it.

Read the hole essay in our catalogue Patchwork of NarrativesDownload as pdf here.


A report over the activities conducted at ADA until 2017.

Download by clicking on the image.


Daniel Urey
Process leader