The building of the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina was designed in 1959 by Boris Magaš, Edo Šmidihen, and Radovan Horvat. It is a unique example of the international style in architecture; its dominant cube forms and clean lines stand out in the panorama of the city of Sarajevo.
Prof. Stjepan Roš wrote about the uniqueness and the architectural values of the Museum:
“The building of the Museum of the Revolution manifests the pure architecture of Mies van der Rohe. It is constructed of “boxes,” transparent and full. The glass-lined breathable skeleton stretches on a white stone pedestal, on which rests a full stone box. The neoplastic structure has the effect of lightness and balance and is reminiscent of El Lissitzky Proun. Spaces are extroverted, clearly oriented towards the inner garden. Nine columns — slender trees — contradict their own actual function because it looks like they break through and do not support. Free placement of walls gives the impression of moving billboards and an “open free plan.”
An interesting story about the idea for the appearance of the Museum building relates:
“Boris Magas has thought a lot how the Museum of the Revolution in Sarajevo should look. When the idea was born, the only paper that he had beside him was the toilet paper. That is how the basic outlines of the future Museum of the Revolution, today the Museum of History, were created. Later he developed the idea with Edo Šmidihen and Radovan Horvat. It was in 1964, he was less than 28 years old, he knew a lot about the theory of architecture, but had little concrete construction experience behind him. Shortly afterward he graduated.
‘The exhibition rooms are cubic volumes that rise above an almost completely glazed ground,’ as he described the abstract, modernist building that is quite different from his later works.”
(Jutarnji list, Hrvatska)