Belgrade War Museum

Milica Simić
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade, Serbia

Idea projektu

Wars represent a large part of Serbia's cultural identity, which is sadly reflected in the architecture of the cities. The main desire of the project was to give thanks to the city of Belgrade and its turbulent history with which it has struggled for centuries. By analyzing the destroyed and abandoned buildings around the city, the question arises as to how to treat such spaces from the architectural side and what their role could be in the modern world? The project, whose idea is apparent in the title itself, in addition to aiming to create a new interactive museum that deals with the subject of wars without any prejudice, wants to try to give a new life to old and abandoned spaces, whose cultural significance is disappearing over time.

Popis projektu

The Spanish house in Braće Krsmanović street was chosen as the field of intervention. The Spanish house is now a semi-destroyed building in the Belgrade neighborhood of Savamala. At the time it was built, it was one of the most representative buildings in this part of the city, and in the early 21st century it became one of its symbols. From the mid-20th century to the first decade of the 21st century, this facility changed several tenants and several reconstruction plans, most of which were discontinued because of the lack of funding. The Spanish house, now almost a ruin without roof or windows, is in great danger of being fully destroyed due to negligence. Despite a large number of destroyed and abandoned buildings in Belgrade, this one was chosen because of its current destroyed state, which speaks the best about our concern for cultural heritage.
Placing a museum in such space was a real challenge, which by its form should speak clearly about this topic, without causing aversion and attracting the interest of people of all nationalities. The whole form is a metaphor, responsive to the theme. Space itself creates a story that every individual could feel without recounting real and difficult historical data.

Technické informace

The building consists of two parts: The Museum, which is located within the existing "coulisse" of the Spanish House and the Workshop , which is connected to the museum by a bridge and a shared garden. The already existing entrance of the Spanish House is accentuated by grandiose stairs, which split the building into two parts and thus resemble a large crack. The stairs prepare and introduce visitors to an unusual space that aims to elicit a strong reaction in them and should not leave them indifferent. The museum part consists of a ground floor and two floors, which, aside from the exhibition space, has a meeting room, spaces intended for holding lectures and a gift shop. In addition to the museum space, the project envisages a workshop for the restoration and digitization of old writings and drawings. The main activity of the workshop is the intangible preservation of heritage, thus avoiding situations of erasure of cultural assets that were inevitable during the war. The workshop is intended for anyone who wants to restore and digitize an old document, picture or drawing. Within the workshop, a special exhibition part was designed, as well as a cafe, intended for everyone. The specific bridge, by which the workshop and the museum are connected, draws visitors to experience the full impression the object provides them. The museum has an extension in the form of a console, which offers an ideal view to the river. This console leaves the user with himself and his thoughts, which adds to the overall impression of a museum tour that conveys a not so easy subject. The facade is the main element of the project, which in addition to its design specificity, is extremely attractive with an unusual color.

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