new life of abandoned spaces_

Elective course, First year of Master studies
Faculty of Architecture University in Belgrade_
Head of course_Ass. Prof. Ana Nikezic, PhD _assistant_ Natasa Jankovic, M.arch._
associates_ Dragan Markovic, M.arch. and Marija Obradovic, B.arch.

The main objective of the course RE_BIRTH_ new life of abandoned spaces_ is to understand the complexity of the phenomenon of abandoned space, and examine the po¬tential of their transformation. Training for the analysis of the abandoned area of urban, architectural, cultural, histori¬cal and socio-economic point of view, and test its potential transformation observed in the framework of contem¬porary everyday life.

Polygon of the study was Svamala in Belgrade, Serbia. Savamala is the oldest part of the Bel¬grade which changed in the course of its 150 years history from a lively and scenic riverfront to a neglected area, character¬ized by heavy traffic and disconnected from both the city center and the river. Savamala is located to the south of the Kalemegdan fortress and the neighborhood of KosancicevVenac, and it stretches along the right bank of the Sava river. The area was the first new settlement constructed outside the fortress walls of Kelmegdan. Construction began in the 1830s as ordered by the prince of Serbia, Milos Obrenovic, after a popular pressure to build a Serbian settlement outside the fortress and the Turkish settlement. The area was originally a bog called Ciganskabara (Gipsy pool), but the name was later changed to Bara Venecija (Venice pool). The pool was drained, becoming a neighborhood of its own and Savamala grew around it. Its current marginalization and dilapidation is in strong contrast with its location and potential. Savamala has a his¬tory, but it lacks a vision for its future.
Students had a task ot understand not only the technical background of spatial transformation, but also socio-economic circumstances, and also issues of environmental changes in the process of reactivation of under-utilized spaces in the area of Savamala.

Selected location, which is not entirely abandoned and that has its own specific mode of operation, we were looking as “urban laboratory”, which heterogeneity should be fostered, but also to meet different needs, in order to avoid “technical” way of solving problem.
The task was to propose intervention in the recognized spatial framework which would be scenography for the event, a different fragment, a catalyst for further intervention. In this way to the place that was already recognized as a break from their surroundings, with the ideology and the sociology of the proposed intervention is given a new meaning as Individual or common area, as well as break from everyday urban life, as a place of relaxation and leisure, posing the potential for further transformation.

346a is number of cabinet of Assistant professor Ana Nikezic which is placed on Faculty of Architecture University in Belgrade and in which she together with her associations and students is trying to improve teaching program and way of dealing with architectural topics during the studies.