In the last ten years, Brutalism has experienced a kind of came back. A well-known style in architecture has been widespread throughout the world since the 1950s. It is known for its minimalist appearance, which is characterized by bare building material without decoration, the use of concrete or brick, and steel, and in more modern versions of brutalism, glass and wood are also present. It is also characterized by a monochrome color palette and angular geometric shapes.
Due to the fact that we are admirers of this style in architecture, we’ve decided to present you with 5 brutalist masterpieces in (and near) Belgrade which are definitely worth attention and admiration.
MONUMENT AT KOSMAJ
The stunning monument at Mali Vis dates back to the early 1970s, and it is devoted to Kosmaj’s partisan unit from the period of the Second World War. This peculiar monument is made out of concrete and it has been known among brutalism aficionados for many years.
The monument is made of five 30m high concrete prongs and due to its interesting shape, it became a viral hit worldwide while being labeled as the socialist sci-fi architecture together with the rest of socialist monuments around former Yugoslavia.
Another brutalist masterpiece is definitely the Avala tower. This 204m telecommunication tower is made of concrete back in 1965, however, it was partly destroyed in the NATO bombing in 1999 and therefore reconstructed in 2006. Represents a rare example of a tower to have an equilateral triangle as its cross-section, and one of the very few towers not perched directly into the ground, but standing on its legs. The legs formed a tripod, the symbol of the Serbian tripod chair, so-called “tronozac”. As well as the previous brutalist masterpiece this one is also widely known as the “socialist sci-fi architecture”.
The Genex tower, set in New Belgrade is probably one of the finest examples of the brutalist style in architecture across the globe. It was built in the early 1980s by a prominent Yugoslav (and Serbian) architect Mihajlo Mitrovic. The building consists of one residential part which is open for a visit and one commercial that is currently closed since it used to serve as a headquarters of the Yugoslav company “Genex”. The total height of the building is 124m, the tower (intended for housing) has 30 floors and a total of 184 apartments, while a commercial tower (closer to the highway) has 39 floors. The Genex Tower is also known as the “Western gate of Belgrade”, and in the past has symbolically represented the power of the “new socialist state” and metaphorically, the embodiment of new social relations.
A Belgrade Modernist (Brutalist) architecture tour is available here.
KARABURMA HOUSING TOWER
Another residential building is known for its unique “Toblerone shape” stands in the Belgrade neighborhood of Karaburma, near Pancevo bridge. The “Toblerone tower” is also a fine example of brutalism. This masterpiece is erected at the beginning of the 1960s and designed by architect Rista Sekerinski.
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS BELGRADE
For the end, we have selected the building of the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Belgrade (MoCAB). Set on the confluence of Sava and Danube rivers in the natural resort, the building is characterized by its unique cubic form, composed out of six cubes with sliced angles for sloping roof surface and covered with glass and merged into an organic honeycomb structured unity, without excessive details.
Unique, but specifically complex interior space, with no vertical partitions and corridors, is divided into five exhibition levels which are connected with stairs.
The genuine building of MoCAB is constructed in the mid-1960s and designed by Ivan Antic and Ivanka Raspopovic.