Vukovar Water Tower – A Memorial Centre
Vukovar Water Tower (Croatian: Vukovarski Vodotoranj) is one of the most famous symbols of Vukovar city, but also the main symbol of the Battle of Vukovar and the Croatian War of Independence. During the War, the Water Tower and the city itself were largely destroyed by the Yugoslav forces (95% of the city was destroyed), while the Water Tower itself was hit 640 times during the siege. Because defiantly and proudly it still stands upright, the Water Tower become a synonym of the defiance, spirit and brave Croatian heart of all Croatian defenders who resisted the attacks of military forces and aggressor paramilitary units, and not only in Vukovar but throughout the Republic of Croatia, for whose independence and freedom they fought.
The Water Tower is reconstructed during 2020, but not restored to its original state. The traces of the war remain visible on its structure, and glass walls were added inside in order to create a separate interior protected from the outdoor atmosphere, due to large holes in the structure. A panoramic elevator is added and a walking path is created leading towards the observatory on the top. Today, Water Tower is a memorial area to the pain and suffering that Vukovar endured. The Vukovar Water Tower is a protected cultural asset as a technical and memorial monument, officially opened on October 30th, 2020.
The role of Nova-lux in this project was a complete electrical design, including architectural exterior light design and interior light design.
The exterior architectural lighting is transforming the Water Tower 50,33 m high into a powerful, dominant structure symbolizing the suffering of Vukovar citizens but also their unbreakable strength and the unity of all Croatian people through the Homeland War, especially the strength of Croatian defenders in resisting the attacks of the aggressor. White light is used in the everyday lighting scenario, while colours of light are used in order to allow dynamic lighting scenes during various occasions organized in the amphitheatre near the Water Tower. The Croatian flag (red, white and blue, with a red and white chessboard in the middle) is projected in colours of light as well on the request of the Client, the City of Vukovar.
Within the Water Tower, a walking path with a spectacular view through the open holes of the structure, is lit with white light from under the handrail, in order to avoid any disturbance of light sources while looking outside, but still to make a walking path clearly visible and secure. The interior of the Water Tower is lit with colourful light enhancing the structure with visible wounds and scars caused by direct hits during the War.
This project is one of our favourite ones since both owners of our company are from Vukovar city and lived in Vukovar city for more than 20 years. Zlatko was born in Vukovar and was a Croatian defender during the Croatian War of Independence. Diana was a President of the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of the City of Vukovar founded by the Croatian Government after the War. With the realization of this project, we express our sincere gratitude and pride.
Category: Museums & Sacral Objects, Old Cities & Culture, Exterior & Landscape, Bridges & Structures
Image and photo sources: Nova-lux archive (photos made during lighting tests before the official opening)