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Make haste slowly to Sarajevo to see this winning bridge design in action


This unusual little bridge in Sarajevo is the design of three Bosnian product design students in response to a tender issued five years ago. Just completed, the Festina Lente bridge (which translates as ‘to make haste slowly’) has been described by its designers Adnan Alagic, Bojan Kanlic and Amila Hrustic as ‘lightweight, agile and adaptable’ and is rapidly absorbing media attention across the world.

Located outside the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo, the crossing was initially conceptualised as a unique experience for pedestrians with the single curling form used to ‘prepare us to enter into another dimension’. The main bulk of the bridge is made from steel with an aluminium trim and glass fencing and incorporates a single wooden bench to provide a contemplative haven for pedestrians.

The designers explain: “The form is unique, simple and attractive and because of the unexpectedness triggers a series of associations and establishes a new vision. The loop on the bridge is a symbolic gate. Traditionally entries into cities have are marked by gates. Technological solutions and the modern design of the bridge become the brand of Sarajevo.”

During the day, the Festina Lente bridge glides across the Miljacka River in a graceful, modern loop and at night it is illuminated with bright white LED bulbs. For the designers it was paramount to respond to the site context with the two banks on either side – one grass, the other stone – providing added inspiration for the ‘other dimension’ vision.