Developing an Evaluation Framework and Re-Design Strategies for Modernist Housing Blocks in New Belgrade

Promotors: Uta Pottgiesser

Modern Movement buildings are decaying, being altered beyond recognition or even demolished, as they are an underrepresented heritage on the World Heritage List. The buildings urge re-evaluation and appropriate (re)use and repair strategies. Belgrade modern architecture, as part of this larger cultural phenomenon, will be a subject of this PhD research. More specifically, the PhD will focus on modernist housing mega-blocks in New Belgrade which are not considered as architectural heritage by now. Although in the first post-war years New Belgrade denoted the concept of a capital city, it was eventually realized as a city of housing mega-blocks in 1960s and 1970s, as an answer to the post-war housing crisis. Today, modern buildings are left to decay, while the urban pattern of New Belgrade is being altered once again, now by market-oriented urban practices. The main research question of the PhD is how the blocks can be transformed in order to adapt to the contemporary contexts, societal and user’s needs, and yet their architectural values be preserved. The potentials of the blocks for these transformations will be identified, categorized and evaluated. The research contributes to a better understanding of the architectural and heritage values of the buildings, but also highlights their current condition and the need to be adapted. The main aim is to develop a set of different interventions for the blocks. Furthermore, it aims to establish a new conservation-renovation method that balances between the preservation of the identity and values of the blocks and improvement of their functionality.