Savski square Beograd Beograd 2019 competition project
The erection of Monument to Stefan Nemanja in the center of the public space could lead to a transformation of the square into an oversized monumental platform. We saw the transformation of traffic currents on site as an opportunity to design a safe, open space of substantial size. We decided to introduce new landscape elements that will redefine the experiential features of the square by forming several smaller but interconnected public spaces.

The principal landscape element of our proposal for the redesign of Savski Square is a large, green ‘grass carpet’ in shape of a dramatic bowl with a slightly extended edge toward the roadway that provides a gentle visual barrier between the square and the car traffic while attaining the visual presence of renowned surrounding buildings. In contrast to this large green grandstand is a flat, paved surface on the lower level which acts as a forespace of the Monument to Stefan Nemanja and the future museum in the old central railway station. At the very entrance to the area along Karađorđeva, a water element is placed. It creates a sound barrier and forms a smaller square with a recognizable character in front of the entrance to the old railway station.
Along the most characteristic view towards the monument - while ascending down the axis of the Nemanjina Street toward ‘Belgrade Waterfront’ - an illusion of classically designed central composition with symmetrical green screens that accentuate the monumental position of the sculpture is created. In contrast, when entering the area of the square a surprising richness of spatial gaps and sequences unfolds.

The pavement of the central plane, the square itself, is designed in a consistent pattern and material. This fan-like mesh supports several formal variations and can thus respond to or generate various characters of city spaces. The design of the pavement originates in the urban scale of the regular semi-circular shape of the square, but it could also relate to flaky skin structures of freshwater fish – a reminder of the former topographical feature of the site. The module of the individual block of pavement is designed in a way that enables several orientations and uses. The central plane of the square is primarily defined by a pavement made of light / white granite blocks enhanced by additional colorful stone blocks originating in various Serbian quarries – thus metaphorically connecting the entire Serbian territory.

In line with the open, park-like character of our proposal for the site, the ‘green bowl’ can function as an informal space, enabling various leisure activities during the entire day and in various seasons – as a social space, an auditorium for events, a slackline area between trees, a picnic space, a sunbathing area, a stargazing spot …

Authors: Rok Žnidaršič u.d.i.a., Aljoša Kotnjek m.i.a., Dino Mujić m.i.a., Samo Mlakar u.d.i.a., Jerneja Fischer Knap u.d.i.a., Dejan Fortuna u.d.i.a., Katja Ivić m.i.a.

Collaborator: Katarina Čakš u.d.i.a., Žiga Ravnikar u.d.i.a., Urh Wiegele abs. arh., Deja Đukić abs. arh., City Studio: Andrej Cvar u.d.i.g., Igor Stavrević u.d.i.g.

Client: City of Beograd, Architects' association of Serbia

Project date: 2019

Area: 22.000 m2