Museum of Brutalism

Vid Savić
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade, Serbia

Project idea

The macro situation of this project is Kruševac, the seventh biggest city in Serbia. The project has a very good micro-location on a prominent access road to the city. It is planned as an extension of the Slobodište Memorial Park, which was erected in honor of the people who lost their lives during World War II, designed by a renowned Serbian architect called Bogdan Bogdanović. The Site was once among the most visited monuments of the former Yugoslavia, but over time it has lost its earlier significance and was partially destroyed by vandals. The Memorial Day of Independence specific to this park is no longer held there, while other events, inappropriate for this venue, are taking place on a large green field near this park. This project envisages the revitalization and extension of Slobodište Park. Through a modern approach, the principal elements that are remarkable for Bogdanović's architecture will be preserved: symbolism, mysticism and originality.

Project description

The project named Museum of Brutalism also represents a form of homage to the architecture which was popular throughout the so-called Eastern Block. Especially the former Yugoslavia developed its own interpretation of brutalism by using it as a way to create its visual identity between East and West. In recent years this style became more popular, especially after the exhibition in the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) held in 2018. Name of this exhibition was Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980.
My project consists of six main elements:
1. A Tower – that hosts the Museum of Brutalism, as the city's new visual icon
2. A Pedestrian and bicycle bridge that is connecting the Tower to the highest hill above Slobodište Park
3. An Amphitheater, a new venue for The Memorial day of Independence, which provides 400 places for visitors
4. An Accommodation extended by a coffee shop/restaurant and a gift shop, located below the ground level
5. A main pedestrian corridor that maintains the existing pedestrian direction to Slobodište and connects the other parts of the project
6. Reflecting water used as a mirror, an essential element of the project, will further promote the feeling of mysticism.
The absence of color in the entire project is accentuating the style of brutalism, specific to the gray color of concrete.

Technical information

The tower is not just a museum itself; it is furthermore an iconic visual element of the project. People often pass by Slobodište unaware of what lies next to them. This 200m high tower should create enough awareness and attract passengers with its brutal appearance.
Several floors of the museum-Tower will host a permanent exhibition. In addition to that, one floor at a height of 72m connects the building with a 350m long bridge which leads to Bagdala Hill and features a new perspective to the project itself and Slobodište Park. The bridge is supported by pylons located at distances of 50m.
In corners of the tower are vertical communications leading to specific floors. The accommodation is planned for actors of the events that are going to be held again in this park, but also for students who will attend summer education programs that will cover the history of the site and emphasize the importance of cultural heritage.
From a bypass of the city’s access road, it is possible to enter directly the underground garage, which provides 120 parking spaces and will ensure hustle free means of transportation.
The absence of color in the entire project is accentuating the style of brutalism, specific to the gray color of concrete.

Can a project like this demonstrate people how important it is not to forget our cultural values?
Yes it can!
Therefore we need to preserve and revitalize this monument with its historic significance.
Since we can’t afford to lose our own identity!

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