May 19, 2009

"Televizorke" - Buildings in Belgrade

The trip from the Belgrade Airport to the city center goes through the middle of the district of 'Novi Beograd' (
New Belgrade). Facing the freeway that cuts across the residential area (an idea from the 60's) there are some interesting blocks.

Some of my favorites are the megablocks called "televizorke" (TV-sets) that got their name because of the television-shaped windows. They belong to Blok 28, and there are two of them and they are called "Sestica" and "Petica".

My husband and I on the 9th floor terrasse

Here are some very nice pictures from Robert Haynes (flickr) that shows how individually the single windows and appartments are decorated and make an interesting play.

Well, usually, such kind of blocks are associated with words like "heartless" and "ugly" but there is something about these blocks, probably their weirdness and their unique way to play with the facades, that gives them a friendly personality.

The project was made by Serbian architect Ilija Arnautović (born in 1924 in Nis, died January 2009).
His professional career started after the 2nd World War, in the period of establishment of Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia and e
nded in the late eighties. He studied in Prague and now lives in Ljubljana. The "televizorke" were built from 1970 - 1974 with an intelligent skeleton assembling system called "Zezelj-type".

The system of industrial construction of buildings using prestressed concrete under the name IMS-Zezelj started to develop in 1957. The author is Prof. Branko Zezelj. The system was conceived as an open system of structural elements by which, honoring minimum rules, many buildings can be composed of different sizes, heights and purposes.

It's no surprise that Arnautović decided to use suc
h a system. His buildings and forms of the buildings are coming from thoughtful use of constructional principles, constructional techniques and materials.

Sketches from the architect,
a playful facade that hides
a straight rational project behind it

Novi Beograd was literally build in the sand.
A picture from the 70's.
The postwar period of general reconstruction, development and industrialization generated problems such as growth of the cities and huge lack of housing. As an answer to those problems, Ilija Arnautović focused on collective housing – he designed and built large housing complexes in Ljubljana, Kočevje, and later in Belgrade and Algiers.
His work is built upon deep understanding of the 'collective' and the 'individual'. So its buildings are highly rational but do not lack of a good living quality and a certain flexibility.
Two levels of parking,
either outside on groundlevel
or downlevel with single garage-boxes.

On the ground floors are stores and rooms for public use.
The entrances are all equiped with interphone with camera.
One downside: one lift for 44 apartments!

The view from a 9th floor apartment

And here some links:
My post about the future of Novi Beograd
Architect Ilija Arnautović on wikipedia
Residential project of Arnautović


  1. It's an interesting post. Keep up the good job!

  2. Thank you Karl! Now I just visited your website and like it very much! Will put it on my blogroll! Hvala!

  3. Many Thanks.

  4. Hey, Sajkaca! Thanks for pointing out this post of yours to me, after having viewed 'my' underwear today! :<)

    I am now going to add your blog as an addendum to my post today so people can click on it and check it. The garden at the end of the 'televizorka' on the highway still looks pretty much like in your first photo.

  5. Followed the link given by Bibi. Highly interesting.

  6. In Italy we call these "Falansteri";there are a lot in our suburbs.It reminds me about Le Corbusier Haus in former west berlin,near olimpia Stadion !Just a question,
    Is this a "komunalka" building?

  7. @Filip: No it was not a komunalka. When it was built the flats were sold to privates, and also today, the people who live inside are owners of the apartments.
    You're right, It's very Corbusiers like, stands on pillars, thought as vertical city.....the idea also of the falansteri!

  8. Sjajan post! Samo jedna ispravka - zgrade se zovu televiZorke, sa Z a ne S.
    Lepo je opet videti zgradu pored koje sam svaki dan prolazio na putu u skolu. Uzgred, osnovna skola Radoje Domanovic je takodje zanimljivo arhitektonsko resenje - u obliku je deteline s tri lista i ima odvojenu salu za fiskulturu do koje vodi podzemni hodnik.
    Takodje, "potkovica" i park sa "indijanskim selom" su jako zanimljivi... Izvini, secanja naviru :)

  9. @trifunovici: thanks, now I corrected the "z" !
    I have also pictures from Radoje Domanovic school and the Potkovica building, I just need to find more informations about them to make a good post!
    Thanks for visiting!