It is essential to understand that the building contains two segregated circulation systems. One serves the exhibition centre program and the second the public circulation system. This vertically connects the carpark to the plaza level and then up to the proposed cable car and bridge. This system is generally open to the elements. It is a continuous extension of the public space.
At plaza level the public circulation runs east west connecting the old Beton Hala to the new. The second circulation system allows the users to pass through a public street. Here one finds an open water garden and glass elevators travelling up and down. The user is free to explore the city and this circulation system is open 24 hours much like a train station or bridge.
Entering the Exhibition Center one travels through the lobby and past the information counter and water garden. This is glassed off separating the gallery from the adjacent public circulation system. The journey continues upwards to the main exhibition space via a choice of circulation paths. One can take one of two glass lifts that also serve as goods lifts. By incorporating the goods lift into the gallery circulation system, rather than passenger lifts, the scale of space is retained throughout the journey. Alternatively one can take the east escalators or the spiral ramp that traverses the water garden space.
Arriving at the exhibition level, one stands on a grated floor and is suspended over the plaza, which is visible through a large void to the east. The main exhibition space is flexible with walls that can be stacked at one end to make a singular volume. These can also be pulled out to arrange the space into a series of smaller interconnected and more intimate rooms. The end climax of this experience is a void, this time overlooking the river, and an elevated view to the north of the Great War Island. Exiting this space one can then relax in hammocks suspended in the relaxing area. Continuing up, a stair circulates about the outer perimeter of the building where the smaller exhibition space at this level is found. Continuing on upwards to the roof a sculpture garden and reflection pool are discovered. This water is collected from the rain. This has a visual use as well as being an integral part of the building’s sustainable systems. In winter the reflection pool becomes an ice-skating rink and an extension of the natural plateau to the east with all of Belgrade in full splendor below. It is a fitting finishing point to the Exhibition experience and even more astounding in the evening. Alternatively to the exhibition spaces found at level one is the Conference Hall. It is a simple volume that is one and a half stories in height (10 metres). It is orientated back to a view of the old city Kosancicev Venac. It is an urban view of the city that exists for those visiting. The theatre can be blacked out.
The Exhibition Centre’s twisted geometries between outer and inner shells are designed to disorientate and confuse. This enables the building to surprise with specific focused views of the city. This adds to the cinematic experience of the building and the journey it offers. It also reinforces the pivotal quality of the site and heightens the drama and experience of the building and city. The building surprises both the person who lives in Belgrade, as well as the traveller.