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Project RastkoHistory of Serb culture
TIA Janus

Ivica Mladjenovic

Modern Serbian architecture

Chapter from the book
"The history of Serbian Culture"
The history of Serbian culture  


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It is known that architectural images are first defined through urban planning. Prince Mihajlo Street in Belgrade with its neighbouring blocks has been a subject of architects' interest for almost three centuries. During the Baroque urban renewal of Belgrade, between 1718 and 1739, the present main street of Prince Mihajlo was set up by the Austrians as a monumental architectonic border between German and Serbian towns. In the very proximity of this street, parallel to the watershed, they established the Great Square. On two facing sides of the square they constructed two representative buildings, Alexander's and Mauer's barracks. However, this square did not preserve its function for long. With the return of Turks in the second half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century, the Great Square was reduced to the Little Market. The orthogonal block scheme found itself in the clutches of an uncontrolled building of town sections. The third urban reconstruction of the most significant part of Belgrade, from 1867 to 1887, which was carried out according to the ideas of Emilijan Joksimovic, the first Serbian town-planner, finally strengthened the domination of symmetrical blocks, in the European way. Along with the Great Square, or Little Market, or King's Square, or Student's Square today, Prince Mihajlo Street, backed up against the Belgrade fortress, has been the dominant motif in the vista of the macro-environment of all of Belgrade.

The Quarters of Princess Ljubica in Belgrade, second half of the nineteenth century.

Belgrade was not the only town to undergo the urban transformations. Many towns of modern-day Serbia have changed their urban appearance. For example, before being proclaimed the capital of Serbian Prince Lazar, Krusevac was not of any greater significance in the medieval Serbian state. Up to the final liberation from Turks in 1833, Turkish, Austro-Hungarian and Serbian armies came into Krusevac one after the other. All those armies, according to their states, defined towns and villages with urbanistic and architectonic images and buildings, as contributions to their own history. In the second half of the nineteenth century, court palaces, district offices, town administration buildings, barracks, hospitals and schools were the expression of a period of new openness toward the world. At the turn of the century, Banja Koviljaca near Sabac, Vrnjacka Banja near Krusevac and many spas near larger towns in Serbia, flourished in fashionable architecture.

The High School in Kragujevac, 1887, author unknown.

In 1968, the citizens of Belgrade celebrated the centennial of their first urban plan. The commemoration of the work of Emilijan Joksimivic was carried out in the context of preparations of a new urban plan. The distinguished writer Alberto Moravia arrived in Belgrade that year. At the end of his visit he stated: "Belgrade is a rare city, there are not many such cities in the world. At one moment, observing the silhouette of the city by the Danube it occurred to me that I was somewhere near Vienna. In the next instant, I had the impression of being in some other European city, Paris or maybe Brussels. Belgrade is unique, not only because of its ideal site on two rivers, but also because it represents a synthesis of several metropolises."

Belgrade has always been the main crossroad between European East and West, South and North, hence the influences that have probably been more noticeable in architecture than in science, technology, education, art, economy or sports. Visitors to Belgrade, like Moravia, have felt that this open city has something of almost every European metropolis in its architectonic heritage. It could be no other way!

Belimarkovic's Mansion, today The Palace of Culture, in Vrnjacka Banja.

Emilijan Joksimovic, a native of Banat, born in 1823, completed his higher education in Vienna, and as a geodesist and town-planner, he built his knowledge and skills into the urban plan of Belgrade. Aleksandar Bugarski (1835) graduated in Budapest: besides the National Theatre and the Old Court, he constructed many other prominent buildings in Belgrade. The building of the National Theatre was constructed in the Renaissance style and its rich spacial dramatics are defined by its triangular tympanums. Svetozar Ivackovic (1844), who finished his studies in Vienna and created the building of the Ministry of Justice at Terazije, epitomized the first epoch of Belgrade's representative architecture. He designed the Church of the Transfiguration in Pancevo in 1847. The architecture of this church has more characteristics of neo-Romantic historicism than of the Serbian-Byzantine style. Konstantin Jovanovic, the oldest son of the famous Serbian lithographer Anastas Jovanovic, born (1849) and educated in Vienna, built his first project in Belgrade - the monumental building of the National Bank, with reminiscences of the Italian Renaissance. Vladimir Nikolic from Senta (1858), educated in Vienna, continued his brilliant career in Belgrade, Sremski Karlovci (the Patriarch's Palace and the Theological Seminary) and Novi Sad (the Bishop's Palace). The architecture of the Patriarch's Palace (1892) belongs to the neo-Renaissance, although the author found his inspiration on the boundaries of the Renaissance, and among the Romantic and Byzantine symbols. After constructing the Bishop's Palace according to the principles of Hansen (1901), he remained faithful to the spirit of neo-Romanticism. A court architect, Jovan Ilkic, also born in 1857 in Belgrade, (the Hotel "Moscow") was an impressive architect, loyal to the principles of Academism, the Byzantine tradition and the Secession.

The National Theatre in Belgrade, built in 1868, a project by Aleksandar Bugarski.

Milan Kapetanovic and Andra Stevanovic, citizens of Belgrade, were both born in 1859 and studied in Munich and Berlin, constructed public buildings and villas of a completely unique style in Belgrade. Together with Nikola Nestorovic, A. Stevanovic constructed two buildings: the Belgrade Cooperative and the Fund Administration, which is nowadays the National Museum, and together with Dragutin Djordjevic, the building of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Belgrade Cooperative (1905) was created under the influence of the Paris Exhibition (1900) and Decorativism. Dimitrije T. Leko, born in 1863, educated in Zurich, Aachen and Munich, died at the age of 51, but he left behind the representative building of the New Military Academy in Belgrade, along with many other structures and villas. Milorad Ruvidic was born in the same year, an architect who got his diploma in Berlin and later showed its value through his architectonic work all over Serbia - in Sabac, Belgrade, Nis and Pirot. Dragutin Djordjevic (1866) graduated in Karlsruhe in 1893, and in Belgrade he followed both the trends of the eclectics who were devoted to the Renaissance, and of those who rejected the restraints of Academism. After completing his studies in Zurich, Milan Antonovic (1868) showed his abilities in Belgrade as an eclectic, but also as a devotee of Secessionism and classic Academism. M. Antonovic's contemporary, Nikola Nestorovic, had two degrees, from Belgrade and Berlin: in Belgrade and in some ten cities in Serbia he constructed mansions with specific architectural expressiveness.

The Patriarch's Palace in Sremski Karlovci, 1892, the work of Vladimir Nikolic.

Danilo Vladisavljevic (1871) arrived in Belgrade with a degree from Aachen, and about ten years later he erected the Military Hospital Complex in Belgrade. Viktor Azriel (1875), born in a wealthy Jewish family in Belgrade, came from Vienna to Belgrade with a degree in civil engineering. In a fascinating way, he applied wrought iron in the Secessionist style to the facade of Buli's Department Store in 1907, recalling the beauty of Art Nouveau. Petar Bajalovic (1876) was a violinist and photographer by avocation; as an architect in Belgrade, he remained loyal to the principles of Eclectic-Renaissance-Secession architecture. He built the Serbian pavilion for the International Exhibition of Liberal Arts in Rome in 1912.

The Raichle Palace, today the City Museum in Subotica, 1904, the work of Ferencz Raichle.

Branko Tanazevic was a native of Banat, born in 1876; he graduated in Munich and in a certain way he turned a new page in Belgrade and Serbian architecture with several monumental buildings (the Telephone Exchange, 1908 and the Ministry of Education, 1912). Jelisaveta Nacic (1878) from Belgrade was the first woman who had a degree in architecture, which she acquired at the Technical Faculty in Belgrade. She established the value of proportion in the framework of updated Renaissance in constructing the elementary school by the Cathedral. Milutin Borisavljevic (1888) from Kragujevac was educated in Belgrade, won his doctoral degree at Sorbonne, and worked first in Belgrade and later in Paris, becoming a world-famous architect and aesthetic. Momir Korunovic, five years older than Borisavljevic, after completing his studies in Belgrade in 1906 he continued his advanced studies in Prague, Rome and Paris, and entered the history of Serbian architecture by building the Post-Office and Telegraph Administration in 1930. It is claimed by critics that the building is in the "Serbian style". A year older that Korunovic, Svetozar Jovanovic had two degrees, from Belgrade and Berlin, just like N. Nestorovic. In his project for the Officer's Cooperative of 1908, he followed contemporary European practice.

The City Hall in Krusevac, 1905, author unknown

The Ministry of Construction in Serbia paid great attention to talented high school students who wanted to devote their lives to architecture. Young people were given scholarships, attending elite European schools and returning to Belgrade as architects with high grades from their studies. Without any experience, they took upon themselves the most difficult construction tasks. Their architecture radiated with freshness, distinction, mastery of skills and had a strong historical vigour. Essential organizational changes were conducted in the Ministry of Construction, under the guidance of Jevrem Gudovic, a civil engineer. The architectural section became autonomous. However, this did not mean that better conditions were created for Serbian architects. Almost all of them still lived and worked during a troubled time in the Balkans. Nor did the architects whose creative work epitomized Serbian architecture between 1910 and 1940 have a brighter destiny. These generations studied at the Technical Faculty in Belgrade, which had had a Department of Architecture since 1897. On account of their wealthy parents, some architects still managed to sojourn for short periods in Paris, Vienna and Berlin. The Belgrade school of architecture entered its experimental period and earlier architects took over faculty chairs, introducing the spirit of the modern era in teaching.

The hotel "Moscow" in Belgrade, 1907, the work of Jovan Ilkic

Milica Krstic (1887) built two high-schools (1931, 1936) and the Gendarmerie Centre (1929) in Belgrade. Her contemporary Dragisa Brasovan, who completed his studies in Budapest in 1912, epitomized Serbian and Yugoslav architecture for half a century in Belgrade (the Provinincial Administration building in Novi Sad, the State Printing House in Belgrade, the Cable Industry in Jagodina). The Belgrade Modern style is best seen in the building of the State Printing House. Aleksandar Djordjevic, who was born in 1890 in Belgrade and studied in Karlsruhe and Paris, renovated a castle in Slovenia and incorporated the spirit of French architecture into all of his creative work in Belgrade. Aleksandar Deroko, born in 1894 in Belgrade, was a symbol of authenticity in architecture and around it for more than sixty years. Djordje Tabakovic, born in 1897 in a Serbian family in Arad, was educated in Budapest, Belgrade and Paris; he made an outstanding career for himself in Novi Sad (the Tanuri Palace of 1934) and Karlowitz. His contemporary Nikola Dobrovic (1897), from a Serbian family in Pécs,graduated in Prague, proved his skills mostly in Belgrade (the Ministry of Defense building). This building was almost shocking to the public and provoked controversy in 1963, during the period of sterile construction.

The Belgrade Cooperative in Karadjordje's Street, 1905, the work of N. Nestorovic and A. Stevanovic

Milan Zlokovic, was born in 1898 into a Serbian family in Trieste; he studied in Graz, Belgrade and Paris, and epitomised two epochs of architecture in Belgrade, before and after World War Two (the Children's Hospital, 1940). Branislav Kojic (1899), who graduated in Paris, is one of the founders of Group of Architects of Modern Trends, whose activity between 1928 and 1938 deeply influenced the first post- war generations. The brothers Petar Krstic (1899) and Branko Krstic (1902) from Belgrade introduced the spirit of fine art into architecture, as its essential expression, with the Church of Saint Mark and the "Igumanov" building in the centre of Belgrade. Miladin Prljevic (1900) and B. Bono constructed the first business tower in Belgrade, the "Albania" building. Bogdan Nestorovic, born in 1901 in Belgrade, who made projects for the branch-offices of the National Bank all over Yugoslavia, built in a way which showed a profound understanding of architecture (the PRIZAD/TANJUG building, 1937). Mate Bajlon (1903), who spent a great part of his life as a professor in Belgrade, constructed schools in Trsic and Valjevo. In the period between 1932 and 1953, Branislav Marinkovic (1904) was engaged in various architectonic disciplines, promoting purity and clarity. Grigorije Samojlov, born the same year, graduated in Belgrade in 1930, was a successful designer on the Belgrade architectural scene for more than fifty years. With Momcilo Belobrk (1905), whose voluminous creative opus is impressive, the epoch of the rule of modern trend architects came to an end.

The Telephone Exchange in Belgrade, in Kosovo Street, 1908, the work of Branko Tanazovic

Sacral monuments, the Orthodox churches from the last century and this one are presented here only in order to emphasize that the Serbian- Byzantine tradition was preserved throughout the centuries without any significant external influence. The Cathedral in Mostar, built in 1873 on the foundations of an older church, the biggest and the most beautiful one in Bosnia and Herzegovina, demolished in the current brutal war, was the work of Andrej Damjanov. The author of this project (who constructed churches in Smederevo, Nis and Sarajevo before that) revived the distinctive traits of the old architecture in a Romantic way. The fact that the construction of this great and representative Orthodox church, on the most beautiful site in Mostar, was approved by the sultan Abdul Aziz who also donated a large sum of money to it (100,000 silver coins), may seem bizarre, but it is worthy of mention in these turbulent times. The Church of the Transfiguration in Pancevo was created by Svetozar Ivackovic in 1874. Offering his project to the citizens of Pancevo, the architect emphasized that he was inspired by the Serbian-Byzantine style. However, it is obvious that the national valorization of neo-Romantic historicism is in question. The wall paintings in this church were done by Stevan Aleksic, and the iconostasis was painted by Uros Predic. The Cathedral in Belgrade of 1841 was built, better to say restored, on the old foundations at the behest of prince Milos. In 1836 Franz Janke started to work on its plan and construction. Facades in the Classicist style and a Baroque bell-tower became models for the architects of numerous churches in Serbia. The Church of Saint Mark is the work of Petar and Branko Krstic. It was built in 1836, under the influence of several historical styles. The Church of Saint Sava, designed by Bogdan Nestorovic and Aleksandar Deroko in 1929, was constructionally and technologically introduced into the new age by the head architect Branko Pesic. The Serbian Orthodox churches in Sremska Kamenica (1785), Sremski Karlovci (1762), Becej (1853), Smederevo (1855), Sarajevo (1869), Nis (1872), Kragujevac (1880), Oplenac (1912), and Belgrade are architectonically similar to many others in Serbia, in former Yugoslavia and abroad.

The Post Office and Telegraph Administration in Belgrade, Palmoticeva Street, 1930, the work of Momir Korunovic

Since the middle of the last century, more than fifty foreign architects have also worked in Belgrade. Most of them acclimatized and felt at home in Serbia. Among them are J. Nevole, E. Steinlechner, N. Krasnov, S. Titelbach, V. Baumgarten, J. Dubovy, F. Cordon, J. Kasan, and Franz Janke. The architect Jovan Frencl stayed in Belgrade for almost seven years, and he did projects for the Clinical Eye Hospital in 1855.

The business building of "Energoprojekt" in Belgrade, 1982, the work of Aleksandar Kekovic

Some thirty Serbian architects have been mentioned so far. About twenty more, who epitomized the last fifty years of Serbian architecture, will be mentioned later. The architectural frameworks are defined by names, and without them the discussion of the influence of Classicism, the Renaissance, Romanticism, Eclecticism, Academism, the Secession or Modernism would be pointless.

The building of the Federal Ministry of Defense in Belgrade, 1963, the work of Nikola Dobrovic

The trends in European architecture between 1835 and 1847 are strongly reflected in Belgrade's architecture. The tardy appearance of Classicism, offering the unity of sense, beauty and morality, and the even later appearance of Baroque, offering decorativeness, picturesqueness, drama and Christian mysticism, were both domesticated in Belgrade in a special way. Romanticism, angry at Classicism and devoted to sensitivity, imagination and distant ideals, supported by Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance principles, became anchored in Belgrade's architecture between 1847 and 1880. Through Ecleticism, containing Renaissance and Baroque logic, the European academic formulas from the end of the last century maintained their ground in Belgrade's milieu for almost thirty years. The beginning of this century was characterized by the Austrian Secession which gradually came to rely on native Serbian, traditional roots. Academic architecture subsisted until the entrance of the International Modern and Corbusier's ideas.

The Church of Saint Sava in Belgrade, in construction from 1929,

A group of architects of Modernism declared that they would follow the internationally defined ideology of modern architecture. In the periodical "Architecture", edited from 1931 to the middle of 1934 by Dragotin, alias Dragutin Fatur, a Slovenian, with an editorial board from Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana, the Belgrade modernists Kojic, Maksimovic, Zlokovic, Belobrk and, especially, Dobrovic were highly publicized. In his text "In the Defense of Modern Architecture", Nikola Dobrovic wrote "Styles like the Secession, Jugendstil or Cubism were just well-meant reactions to Eclecticism, but they had no right to survive, they burdened architecture with formalism. In the development of modern architecture they are only episodes and transitory delusions. Those styles did not face the essential problems of constructing, they were mostly occupied with facades." Dobrovic supported the opinion that architecture is obligated to meet the needs of the state, society and individuals, and that it must impose usefulness and rationality on new materials and constructions. The l'art pour l'art principle is, according to Dobrovic, antisocial. However, the architects who mastered the road from Eclecticism and Academism to Classicism did not share this opinion. Nor had their predecessors who travelled the road from Renaissance and Baroque to Classicism, and who actually defined even decoration in the Secession! In fact, one could say that the overly earnest adherents of the first, second or the third movement were just a part of a history which suited the needs of the civilisational development at given times. The Belgrade painter Bosa Kicevac wrote, in 1982, "I fell in love with the craziest piece of work of human imagination, the Moscow Church of Saint Basil the Blessed. It is probably so because there is nothing economical, rational, logical or functional in it -as opposed to what we expect from good architecture -and yet it is so humanly warm and close to the complicated human soul". Among the enchanted authors of Corbusier's epoch and the visionaries who epitomized the secular architecture of the nineteenth century and the beginning of this century in Serbia, the writer of these lines would find only those who could touch the most delicate senses in the human being.

The residential-business tower "Western Gate" in Belgrade, 1980, the work of Mihajlo Mitrovic

The Serbian architects on the list that follows have been prominent participants in the modern architecture of the world, Yugoslavia, Serbia and Belgrade from 1945 to this day. Belgrade's architects have planned and constructed several hundred buildings in some thirty countries. Not even the approximate number of projects built in former Yugoslavia is known, and in Serbia, where they were hosts, they did as much as they could. It should be noted that Serbian architects secured leading positions in some twenty countries, where they were emigrants or simply on short sojourns, and they have already entered the history of architecture of those countries. More will be said about them later. Let us present them in order.

The "Beogradjanka" building in Belgrade, 1974, the work of Branko Pesic

Ivo Kurtovic (1910) from Brac, after completing his studies in Belgrade, drew up plans for the buildings of the Chamber of Foreign Commerce (1960) and the National Library (1972) in Belgrade. Explicit and defined in his artistic expression, the academician Milorad Pantovic (1910) drew the plans for the gigantic exhibition halls at the Belgrade Fairground (1957). He followed the ideas of Corbusier, in whose studio he spent some time before World War II. Ratomir Bogojevic (1912), who planned the building of the Pensionary Bureau (1958) and the Press Centre (1958), controls mass in motion in a refined way and promotes visible detail. Milica Steric (1914) created a distinctive image in the world of architecture and business. She followed the trends of CIAM (Congres Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne). With the construction of "Energoprojekt" (1957) she epitomized a period in Belgrade architecture. Branko Pesic (1921) opened some new horizons with his "Beogradjanka" high rise in 1974, and as the chief architect of the church of Saint Sava he introduced the well-known architectonic elements into modern practice. Mihajlo Mitrovic (1922), the most important representative of neo-Romanticism in Serbian architecture, built an impressive number (over hundred) of buildings bearing his characteristic style (an apartment house in Braca Jugovici street, the Genex towers). Ugljesa Bogunovic (1922) and Slobodan Janjic (1928), working as a team, erected the building of "Politika" and the TV-tower on Avala. Aleksej Brkic (1922), ever searching for the abstractness in architecture, is the builder of the buildings "Hempro" (1957) and the Bureau of Social Insurance. Josip Osojnik (1923) and Slobodan Nikolic (1931) together drew up the plans for the Military-Medical Academy in Belgrade and raised it impressively in 1973. Ivan Antic (1923) planned the Museum of Modern Art in 1965 together with Ivanka Raspopovic.

The building of the Military-Medical Academy in Belgrade, 1973, the work of J. Osojnik and S. Nikolic

He also constructed the Memorial Museum in Kragujevac and an impressively designed hangar at the Belgrade Airport. Mirko Jovanovic (1924) introduced vividness and new dimensions into residential architecture. Dobrivoje Toskovic (1927) spent two years in India in order to make a general urban plan for New Calcutta as the team leader. Aleksandar Stjepanovic (1931), Branislav Karadzic (1929) and Bozidar Jankovic (1931) made, as a team, several housing projects with accompanying buildings and constructed the Faculty of Dramatic Arts. They valorised architecture with expressive materials (rough concrete, brick, dyed linen). Petar Vulovic (1931) suggestively hunted for background architecture in constructing buildings in Belgrade and all over Serbia. By building the Faculty of Philosophy, Svetislav Licina (1931) proved that a relation between modern architecture and tradition is possible. Stojan Maksimovic (1934) shapes dimensions through architecture and uses monumental media in order to express each of his architectural works. The projects for the congress complex "Sava Centar" and the hotel Belgrade Intercontinental were done by him in 1979. Branislav Jovin (1935) became part of the history of Serbian architecture after constructing the building of the Urban Planning Bureau (1970). He skilfully designed the pedestrian zone of Prince Mihajlo Street.

The Centre of Yugoslav-Norwegian Friendship in Gornji Milanovac, 1987, the work of Aleksandar Djokic

Aleksandar Djokic (1936) is one of the most significant representatives of his generation, performing on the boundary between post-Modern and neo-Romantic architecture. His Centre of Norwegian-Yugoslav Friendship in Gornji Milanovac reminds one of Watanabe's works. This passionate architect built dragons and tigers into his architectonic corpora. Djokic's symbols are Viking boats and Serbian log cabins. The opus of Zoran Bojovic (1936) is almost entirely built in the architecture of Africa and Middle East (Al Khulafa, Baghdad, 1985). With the building of "Energoprojekt" of 1982, for several thousand employees, Aleksandar Kekovic (1938) presented himself as a great thinker, artist and a technician at the same time. The Bakic couple, Dragoljub (1939) and Ljiljana (1939) erected a great number of housing projects and representative constructions both in Yugoslavia and abroad, which are characterized by a distinctive creative curiosity. Their works are the sports complex "Pionir" (1973) and the hotel "Sheraton" in Harare from 1986. The team consisting of Milan Lojanica (1939), Predrag Cagic (1941) and Borivoje Jovanovic (1938), in which each worked individually or with a partner, is remembered for the innovative housing projects "Julino brdo" (1972) and Block 19 (1976). The couple Marusic, Darko (1939) and Milenija (1941), occupied themselves only with residential architecture: the housing project "Cerak vinogradi" (1983-1987) marked their most significant creative period.

The Museum of Modern Art in Belgrade, 1965, the work of I. Antic and I. Raspopovic

The representatives of the Belgrade municipality did not show up at the opening ceremony of a three day exhibition of the Group of Modern Trend Architects in the Pavilion "Cvijeta Zuzoric" on February 19, 1933. It was stated in the newspapers that the authors could be criticized for not applying the "new style" in residential buildings, where it was most needed. The general reproaches were: the modern trend architects apply their dynamic architectural expression, characterised by exceptionally pure lines, in private buildings, usually villas and apartments for lease and pleasure, instead of to collective colonies, medical institutions, schools, children's shelters and sanatoria. Even these notes are enough to make one understand that every movement, before or after the International Modern, was not inclined to wrestle with "insignificant" matters and solutions. The movement always aimed at a generally declared ideal which could be carried out only when there was enough money. Momcilo Belobrk was the only one among Belgrade's modernists who had an understanding for investors without a lot of money, and he constructed some fifty larger residential homes for them, in almost all sections of Belgrade of that time. Those buildings, today have no splendour, because no one ever took care of them, and remind one of the Modern age before World War II only through their corner solutions and the purity of relationship between "full and empty" facades.

The hotel "Sheraton" in Harare, 1986, the work of Ljiljana and Dragoljub Bakic

If one traces Serbian residential architecture from the eighties of the last century, almost nothing has changed in terms of context, until the seventies of this century. There were always restrictions on residential housing, which were often explained by the need to be "rational, cheap, directed". Hence, there are many regulations about the proportions of every room in an apartment, the number of square meters in an apartment, the number of tenants, the width of balconies or loggia, the possible height of ceilings, the number of sanitary facilities and sanitary hook-ups which can be attached to a sewage line, the width and height of windows and doors, and so on. Absolutely anonymous architects oriented themselves the best under such strict regulations, when even really formal decisions were made, for example not to construct buildings higher than ten floors. They built more than ninety percent of the residential dwellings in Serbia. The most tragic fact is that all of that was mostly going on in Corbusier's epoch. Corbusier shook the world with his five commandments (The Five Points of a New Architecture). The same was done by F. L. Wright who, at the age of sixty three, presented his ideas about the organic and rational in five points. Their followers and narrow-minded epigones did all they could to put the residential architecture into well-known nondescript frames, and not only in Serbia. Yet, after 1967, Serbian, and after them other Yugoslav architects as well, began to fight against the restraints in building residential homes. The struggle between the high-strung, "dancing" architectonic masses and the wavelike "started" buildings went on for some ten years. The buildings were the victors. Critics, who were the same ones to introduce the given notions, admitted their defeat. The recent period began with housing projects of three couples: Aleksic, Bakic and Marusic. The last phase is characterized by the works of Aleksandar Djokic and many other Romanticists, but also of those who unfortunately were influenced by post-Modernism.

The residential-business complex "Al Khulafa" in Baghdad, 1985, the work of Zoran Bojovic

In the domain of public buildings, in the last hundred years the highest consideration was given to school buildings and day-care centres. Many schools, in which the ideas about what is rational, intimate and beautiful were skilfully interpreted, and were constructed in Belgrade and all over Serbia. Hospitals were also a subject of interest for many generations of architects. The buildings of king's, prince's and government institutions were naturally the main subjects of interest, so they were rarely characterized by poor architectonic interpretation. The buildings of cultural institutions were also in the hands of good, privileged architects. Hotel architecture ranged from fashionable to inspired. The same was true of congress centres. However, the congress centre "Sava Centar" is a creation into which Maksimovic built the best of the current practice in the world.

Architects from Belgrade, from Josic to Garevski, mastered their skills all over the world, and especially in France. For more than thirty years, some ten Serbian (French) architects (Dusica Milojevic, Ognjen Babic, Zan Dimitrijevic, the couples Mole and Ilic, Ljubomir Nikolic and others) were among the creators of elite French architecture. Serbian architects were among the leading architects in the USA, Canada, Chile, Venezuela, Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy and Sweden. They left Serbia thirty, twenty or ten years ago, but remained bound to its roots. Architects from Belgrade bureaus, "Energoprojekt", "Komgrap", "Rad", "Aeroinzenjering" and a dozen others have built about a hundred constructions in many countries. Two of them are presented here photographically.

SDK building at Novi Beograd, 1986, reconstructed by Petar Vulovic

At the end of this segment about the experience of Serbian architects world-wide, it should be mentioned that triennials of world architecture were held in Belgrade in 1985, 1988 and 1991. Almost two hundred architects from forty five countries were presented. About six hundred mock-ups (100/100 cm) were exhibited at triennials - at Belgrade Fair and in twelve leading galleries in Belgrade. The author of all three triennials was Ivica Mladjenovic (1937), and sponsors were the Association of Artist of Applied Art and Designers of Serbia (ULUPUDS) and the Association of Architects of Serbia. The triennial reviews, in their full or reduced form, were shown again in Austria, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, the USA, France, Mexico, Argentina and Hungary.

// Projekat Rastko / The history of Serbian culture //
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