May 14, 2009

Main Post Office in Belgrade

This building is an impressive project, that emphasize the architecture of Belgrade. In some academic circles, there is still some sadness about the fact, that the original modernist project (of the duo Picman/Baranji) was not realized, but that a russian architect (Vasilij Androsov) revised the project and relized the actual building. I like the monumental Androsov project better!

The Main Post Office on the corner of Takovska and King Aleksandar's Boulevard was built from 1935 to 1938 for two highest state institutions: the Main Post Office and the Postal Savings Bank.

At the time of the construction it was the largest and the most representative postal building in the whole Kingdom of Yugoslavia; when it was finished, apart from the Main Post Office and the Postal Savings Bank, it also housed other high-ranking state institutions: the Ministry of Postal Services, the Main Radio-telegraph, the Main Telegraph and the School of Postal Services.

The palace was built according to the design drawn in 1930 more precisely, the combination of modern design by architects Josip Pičman and Andreja Baranji and the subsequent modification of the facades in the spirit of academism following the idea of architect Vasilij Androsov.

the Picman/Baranji project

The modification of the modern concept of the floor plan of the building into representative aca
demic style was demanded from the top Yugoslav echelons specifically, by king Aleksandar Karadjordjević in person.
Such architectural concept, calling for representative and monumental character in public buildings, designed in the style of high academism, served as visual presentation of strength and prosperity of the new Yugoslav state and its capital, Belgrade.
the Androsov project

The pa
lace was envisaged as a free standing structure with facades covered with rustically worked stone blocks and one entrance from each of the streets surrounding it. A pronounced overhang divides the main façade into two unequal sections reflecting the inside functional division of the building.

The overhang serves
as the front of the building, emphasized with the main portal in the ground zone, with elongated Doric columns in the zone from the second to the fifth floor and a characteristic clock tower in the top zone.
The palace of the Postal Savings Bank, the Main Post Office and the Main Telegraph, as the principal institution of its kid in the
Kingdom of Yugoslavia, testifies to the development of postal services.
By its dominant position at the crossroads of two important city thoroughfares, in the immediate vicinity of the National Parliament House and the royal court complex, it presents a visual point of reference standing out in the central city zone.

By its monumental size and representative outer finish, the palace ranks among principal examples of academic architecture of Belgrade.

As the only work of profane character designed along the principles of academism the building also holds a special place in the creative opus of architect Vasilij Androsov.

Although it has not been constructed according to the first, modern concept of architect Pičman, the monumental design of the Main Post Office palace did manage to give the structure the desired representative character, which still plays an important role in the formation of the architectural appearance of the central city zone.

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