New Belgrade Brutalist Architecture

It’s not the first time I’ve heard the expression New Belgrade brutalist architecture.  Since 1976 when I came to Belgrade, New Belgrade has been in full swing with construction.

New Belgrade brutalist architecture
New Belgrade brutalist architecture buildings © by Filip Budimovski / canva.com

At that time no one was concerned about this brutalist communist architecture.  Many forget that Novi Beograd (New Belgrade), was a post-war planned municipality. Its building started, opposite Old Belgrade, on the left bank of the Sava River.

Before its constriction, New Belgrade area had less than 3000 inhabitants. The building began in 1948, and almost 100 thousands workers and engineers, participated in the project. 

Today Novi Beograd has over 200 thousands  residents. It’s Serbia’s second most populous urban municipality. It’s a city for itself.

New Belgrade brutalist architecture concept

After World War II, the idea of a new socialist state was to transform this part of the city to an urban city unit. The intention was to realize a modern city divided into zones –  administrative, industrial, residential and recreational. 

To illustrate, this construction concept, the architects started building new residential blocks (blokovi). As a result, there are blocks that often  holds more than ten thousand residents.  For example, block 21 is the longest residential building, built from 1960 to 1966.

Although Old  Belgrade  is in nature just a stone throw from Novi Beograd, the two cities are totally opposed in their outlook. Old Belgrade, classical and elegant, opposite to New Belgrade, brutal and excessively monumental.

If we add, the poor quality of rough materials such as concrete (French term béton-brut (“raw concrete”), than brutalism entirely corresponds to this architecture. The communist architecture of New Belgrade is very well described in this article

New Belgrade architecture
Block 28 - residential apartments built in the period 1970-1974 called Televizorke (windows like old tv screens)

New Belgrade Life in the high-rise

Maybe, visiting Novi Beograd for the first time, it won’t leave a positive impression on you. In particular, your first contact with New Belgrade will be coming by taxi from Nikola Tesla airport.

The first thing you will see is Genex Tower, called  Western Gate of Beograd. This inevitable concrete colossus consists of two connected skyscrapers, the smaller 26 floors and the higher 30 floors. 

New Belgrade Brutalist western gate

The tower is a symbolic entrance welcoming visitors to Novi Belgrade before entering inside the urban area divided in 72 blocks. If you like  this monumental buildings, take your opportunity to stay in one of elegant top floor apartments. 

The apartment is on the top floor and is facing East, towards the old city of Belgrade. The view over the town is amazing. You can even arrange airport transfer from the airport.

Architecture of New Belgrad

Architecture of New Belgrade represents the landmark of the city. Here is a New Belgrade gallery of some examples of brutalist architecture and  some of the most important after war Belgrade architectural works.

SIV Serbian Government building
SIV - Ex Federal building located near Usce making part of 'Block 13'.Today the Palace of Serbia

Brutalist architecture in Belgrade is spread not only in New Belgrade but also around the city on the right bank of Sava river. Opposite of Genex tower coming from west there is a complex of three large residential buildings – called the Eastern Gate of Belgrade.   

Eastern Gate of Belgrade
Eastern Gate constructed from 1973 to 1976 consists of three buildings each with 28 storeys

Despite everything, New Belgrade Brutalist architecture is not just simply decaying remnants to a former socialist glory. Today, things are changing as New Belgrade turns into the most developed and the most modern municipality.

Modern apartment buildings, wide streets, a lot of green parks, long bike paths, main city airport, the Sava river quay, nightclubs, shopping centers are some of the symbols of this part of Belgrade.

New Belgrade Brutalist new map

A new map celebrates the disappearing Brutalist architecture

This map is an invitation to explore and recognize some of the most prominent achievements of Tito’s Yugoslavia and Modernist architecture in existence today. This map is the latest in a series that includes Brutalist London, Brutalist Washington and Brutalist Paris.

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