The position of Bosnia in the Balkan Peninsula and the Sarajevo region in its centre has intertwined the influences of diverse ethnic and cultural currents into specific spatial physiognomies of human settlements within certain epochs, in the continuity of about five millennia of their duration. The shifts of turbulent and calm periods have moved the inhabitants of our region from the plains to steep hills to build forts (defensive fortifications), refuges (shelters for the local population) and fortified cities. This turbulent historical context determined the formation of the Old Town Vratnik at the eastern end of the urban core of today’s Sarajevo. Although its territory was completed just in the Ottoman period, there are indications that the fort existed there in prehistory, which marked the nucleus of the much later fortified town of Vratnik with five bastions in the walls. Today, the Old Town Vratnik is faced with numerous spatial and functional degradations of the environment, of which the inadequacy of the inherited urban matrix to the intensity of road and stationary traffic stands out, and to which the urban parterre is maximally subordinated. Such a situation requires functional rearrangements and restructuring, based on both the preservation of heritage and tradition, and the adaptation to modern life trends. This implies that the projection of the final statements of transformation must be guided by an integrated approach in the application of its interdependent methodological procedures: functional, historical and environmental, moreover, because the vision of the concept includes the application of modern engineering “large format”. Starting from the thesis that the civilizational obligation of every society is to respect culture, tradition, history and heritage in the transformation of living space, not taking a hermetic stance, but respecting the need for growth and development, the aim of this paper was to find an answer to the question: How to implement a new articulation of the urban parterre of the Old Town Vratnik by applying modern engineering structures, while remaining based on preserving the identity of spatial expressions that represent the sedimentation of cultural and historical trends of its long existence? We found that the answer to the question lies in the ambiguity of the transformation process, justified by the results of the analysis of the historical context of the formation and current degradation of the Old Town Vratnik, and the provisions of the current Regulatory Plan. It has been shown that the acute problem of urban parterre load with traffic flows can be solved by applying modern engineering structures, by building a garage buried in the rock mass according to the principle of NATM excavation. Also, this first level of functional transformation enabled further rationalization of the use of space, by acting on several levels. That is, it created a basis for the conceptualization of strategic principles in the restructuring of content oriented towards improving the quality of life of the local community, but also the implementation of functional transformations at the level of urban details. All these levels must be guided by the procedures of the historical method of redesign, which, based on the design theory of the traditional in architecture and urbanism, is the only one that can properly channel the influences of history and tradition on the objectivity of transformation. Finally, the method of environmental and ecological redesign is unavoidable, which, according to the same principle, and in cooperation with the previous two, forms a unique platform for conceptualizing the approach to the transformation of the Old Town Vratnik. Lastly, our vision of the future status of the town of Vratnik has received guidelines for upgrading the current Regulatory Plan “Vratnik”, which we consider an important contribution of this research.

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