Overview Block 61-63
Palace of Serbia
|Brasilia-type large scale highrise area next to the old town of Beograd.
For short overview of history see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Belgrade:
SIV 1 or Palata Srbije (Palace of Serbia)
First sketches of urbanistic plans were developed by Nikola Dobrović in 1946 and preparations began in 1947. Architect Mihajlo Mitrović called New Belgrade "an obsessive vision of Dobrović". A monograph on the construction of New Belgrade by Slobodan Ristanović described what the area looked liked before the city was built: "In the thick reeds and bulrush there were many snakes and frogs, fishes and leeches. Above this swamp, flocks of birds were circling and the swarms of mosquitos and other insects were going up and down. Just few houses and occasional shack in the marsh around the Zemun airport, so as the derelict neighborhood of Staro Sajmište attested the human presence in that inhospitable ambience."
It was on 11 April 1948, three years after World War II ended, that the ground was broken on a huge construction project, which would give birth to what is known today as New Belgrade. During first three years of construction alone, over 200,000 workers and engineers from all over the freshly liberated country took part in the building process. Work brigades, parts of the Youth work actions made up of villagers brought in from rural Serbia provided most of the manual labour. Even high school and university student volunteers took part. It was backbreaking labour that went on day and night. With no notable technological tools to speak of, mixing of concrete and spreading of sand were done by hand with horse carriages only used for extremely heavy lifting. The concept of Youth work actions continued up to 1990 and the objects built this way include the Studentski Grad, Block 7, Block 7a, Paviljoni, Gazela Bridge, Hospital Bežanijska Kosa, SIV, etc.
Before the actual construction started, the terrain was evenly covered with sand from the Sava and the Danube rivers in an effort to dry out the land and raise it above the reach of flooding and underground streams. From 1947 to 1950 over 200,000 voluntary workers were employed in the construction of the new city. The first building which was officially opened was the Workers University, which was opened on 29 November 1949. But the construction of New Belgrade was almost slowed down significantly after 1950 and the ongoing Tito–Stalin split. The full, rapid development continued after 1960.
Among the first to go up was the SIV 1 building, which housed the Federal Executive Council (SIV). The building has 75,000 square metres of usable space. Built during the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, it was also used during the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia before its dissolution. The building was renamed to Palace of Serbia, and now houses some departments of the Serbian government.
First buildings for classic residential purposes were built as pavilions close to the area known as Tošin Bunar (Toša's Well). Studentski Grad (Student City) complex was also built around the same time to meet the residence needs of the growing University of Belgrade student body that came from other parts of Yugoslavia.
SIV 1 or Palata Srbije (Palace of Serbia)
Buildings sprung up one after another and by 1952, New Belgrade was officially a municipality. In 1955 the municipality of Bežanija was annexed to New Belgrade. It was for years the biggest construction site in Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia and a huge source of pride for country's communist authorities that oversaw the project.
One of the major successes during the construction was the arrangement and planting of the greenery. The main obstacle was the, now sandy, terrain. Still, the planting of the parks began after 1956. In 1961, the Park of Friendship was opened, to commemorate the 1st Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. Park itself is part of much larger Park Ušće. Also in the 1960s, the arrangement of the promenades along the Sava and the Danube began.
In 2010, the first international architectural design competition in almost 30 years was organized for one of the future symbols of Belgrade in Block 39. It was the project of the Center for Promotion of Science. Out of 232 submissions, the work of Wolfgang Tschapeller was selected. The design of an elevated, ethereal building, which was to appear from distance as hovering, was supported by the architects, but not much by the public. Main problem was the price. Initially estimated to cost €10 million and to be finished by 2014, the projected price skyrocketed to €65 million and the construction never began. Local architects now called the project a colossal waste of money and in 2015 government scrapped the project all together. In July 2020 it was announced that the massive new police building will be built on the location, which remained undeveloped.
Since the 2000s, and especially in the 2010s, the rapid development resumed in the southwest half of the municipality, bounded by the streets Tošin Bunar, Vojvođanska, Milutina Milankovića and Sava's left bank. Prior to this. one of the central streets in the neighborhood, Omladinskih Brigada, was urbanized "here and there", with buildings humble in both architectural merits or functionality and this section of New Belgrade was considered to be neglected in terms or architecture and urbanism. In one decade, new boulevards were constructed (Heroes of Košare Boulevard), while numerous large buildings and objects sprawled along the boulevards, including some entire neighborhoods and residential or business blocks: Airport City Belgrade, Delta City, West 65 (will be 142 m (466 ft) tall), Savada, A Block, Novi Minel, Roda shopping mall, Ekstra shopping mall, hotels, gas stations, many business highrise, etc.
By 2020, this urban development was considered mostly positive, as being functional and credited with lifting New Belgrade's business and commercial quality to the highest level in all of Belgrade. Especially commended objects include Airport City, West 65, string of business building along the Omladinskih Brigada street, complex in Block 41-A, Holiday Inn hotel and a bit older headquarters of the municipal Tax Administration. Criticized projects are several buildings, representatives of the "investors urbanism", where building was constructed by the wishes of the investors, no matter what (like the building at 11 Milutina Milankovića).
In general, development of New Belgrade is divided in four major phases, all of which have a landmark buildings constructed in that periods:
a) First phase (1948–1958)
completion of the first residential blocks, 7 and 7a;
founding of the first local community “Pionor” (now Paviljoni);
completion of the Studentski Grad (1949–1955).
b) Second phase (1958–1968)
Friendship Park and SIV (Palace of Serbia) completed in 1961;
Building of the Municipality of New Belgrade finished (1961–64);
Museum of Contemporary Art finished in 1965;
Ušće Tower, completed in 1964
Hotel Jugoslavija Opened 1968
c) Third phase (1968–2000)
Residential blocks 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 45 and 70 (first half of the 1970s)
Sava Centar with Hotel Intercontinental (now Crowne Plaza Belgrade) opened in 1977.
Western City Gate finished in 1980
d) Modern period (from 2000)
Belgrade Arena, finished in 2004
Delta City, opened in 2007
Belville Complex, opened in 2009
Sava City Opened in 2009
Airport City Belgrade
Ušće Shopping Mall, opened in 2009
A Block, still in construction."