Note by John Yarwood
Central Mostar was a devastated area in 1994. As soon as possible, I invited five specialised consultancy firms to make a submission covering their track-record and approach. In the conditions obtaining, a quick decision was needed and I chose the Danish firm DEMEX, which was managed by a leading demolition and recycling expert, Erik Lauritzen. He proposed a partnership with a structural engineering firm, Ramboll, Hanneman and Hojlund. After negotiation we signed a consultancy contract in early 1995. The first problem was the lack of a legal basis for demolition work to buildings which we did not own. Usually, the ownership was in dispute between Croats and Muslims. A decree was drafted to give us the necessary powers, which was signed by the Administrator (after consultation and agreement from both sides) on 19 March 1995.
To set up a comprehensive contract would have taken a long time, so we pursued very quickly a small ‘emergency contract’ which was awarded to the Scandinavian Demolition Company after an international tender on rates.
The major contract (1995196) followed on, and Niels Strufe describes this here. It had a tremendous impact on the appearance of the city. Streets had been blocked by masses of fallen masonry. Building interiors were full of rubble. The city was in a horrific mess. Afterwards, of course, ruins were still evident, but they were clean and orderly. Doors and windows were neatly closed, streets were clear, unstable walls were propped by timber scaffolds, and structures exposed to rain were protected from further deterioration. Many buildings were utterly destroyed and incapable of later repair, and these were totally cleared. The most important example was the Razvitak Building on Marsala Tita Street, a nine storey reinforced concrete slab block, built in the 1970s. It was very ugly and its removal greatly improved the skyline.
We also established a waste material sorting, recycling and storage centre. A mobile concrete crushing plant was donated by the Danish Government. This centre employed many people, and the sale of material created an income large enough to sustain its ongoing operation. This was donated to the city prior to the end of the mandate.
This chapter describes a contract for the protection of damaged buildings and waste management in the reconstruction of Mostar. The work was driven by an urgent need to secure the buildings against any hazard posing a threat to human lives and