This conference will combine lectures, field visits, presentations, sightseeing, a river cruise and social events. The people you will meet and the places you will visit reflect the true spirit of Belgrade.
Participants will earn up to twenty AIA continuing education system learning credits. A gala dinner and Sunday luncheon are included in the registration fee. Attendees who stay through Sunday night will enjoy a special social event.
Belgrade is one of Europe’s oldest cities, with a recorded history spanning some 7,000 turbulent years. Having stood in the path of many conflicts from East to West and from West to East, Belgrade has repeatedly been destroyed and rebuilt. The adoption of late 19th century styles of urban planning and architecture gave Belgrade a European appearance.
Belgrade’s present image consists of Old Belgrade and the Zemun district, with New Belgrade between them, plus greenery and the confluence of important rivers. The city’s charm is based on a mixture of styles in urbanism and architecture — a combination of various approaches to city planning and the careful management of relationships between old and new structures.
An opening lecture will shed light on the most important periods and key events in the urban and architectural evolution of Belgrade, from the pre-historic period to the modern era.
The New Belgrade quarter of the city was planned and built mainly during the second half of the 20th century, based on doctrine and design concepts drawn from Le Corbusier, the CIAM postulates and the international modernist movement. Erected during the socialist period, New Belgrade symbolizes visions for of a new type of a city and society. The urban history of New Belgrade from the 1930s to the present will serve as a backdrop to excursions and lectures about the area’s development and its new public and commercial architecture — malls, offices, shops, cultural institutions, entertainment facilities.
Discovering the architecture of New Belgrade will include lectures and visits to the Savograd offices and apartments, with their passive solutions for lighting and ventilation. We will also tour the renovated Museum of Contemporary Art — a modernist building from the 1960s now under heritage protection — now transformed into a smart building with advanced systems for treatment of indoor exhibition space and protection of the environment.
The city’s most important heritage sites and buildings are located in Old Belgrade and the Zemun area. This building stock is composed of remains from the Roman era, the Middle Ages, the Ottoman era, and modern times.
The renewal of Belgrade’s urban heritage began as a post-modern movement in 1980s with the transformation of Knez Mihajlova Street, at the center of the urban core, into a pedestrian zone. At the same time the city completed archeological excavations, renewed old buildings, incorporated new structures and upgraded its infrastructure.
Lectures on current urban and architectural heritage revitalization will cover a broad range of interventions: adaptive reuse of a small textile factory; protection, enlargement and adaptation of an old power station into the Museum of Science and Technology; and the visionary transformation project of the Port of Belgrade into new Belgrade’s riverside neighborhood.
Reconstruction of the Middle Age Nebojsa Tower and its transformation into a “City Gallery” is part of the program to preserve and rehabilitate the famous Belgrade fortress. Even today, the tower offers important lessons for construction in areas with high water tables. The Belgrade fortress, a remarkable monument of the city above the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, will be presented through the lens of its current regeneration programs. The fortress was converted from military to public use during the second half of the 19th century.
The Sava and Danube river cruise will offer an unexpected insight into Belgrade’s ambience. The reforestation and restoration of the Great War Island — a landscape of greenery and water at the heart of the city — teaches us that caring for nature is part and parcel of Belgrade’s overall renewal.—Vladimir Macura, Int’l. Assoc. AIA, Conference chair