Removing flower pots, billboards and parked cars, regenerating underground passages and giving priority to pedestrians and public transportation vehicles are the basic ideas that guided architects Zorica Savicic and Zoran Dmitrovic, a team who won the first prize at the design competition for the regeneration of three central squares in Belgrade: Nikole Pasica, Terazije, and Republic Square.
Explaining their decision, the jury said that the winning entry is characterized by unpretentiousness, simplicity and the sense of proportion, adding that the design of each of the squares is unique and that no unified approach was used.
According to the winning design, the citizens of Belgrade could get a cultural center on the current site of Staklenac Shopping Center. The path to that cultural center would not be intersected by neighboring roads and visitors would be coming through the pedestrian zone stretching between Republic Square and the Army Club instead. Buses at the terminal would be replaced by walkers who would walk along a wooden pavement to get to the square - park in front of the Army Club.
This area would be open to vehicles, but only special ones.
- It would be open to tourist buses, that is, electrical vehicles that would transport passengers from Terazije to Kalemegdan or Nebojsa Tower, since there is currently no bus line connecting these sights, and it is definitely required - said the authors.
As Zorica Savicic explained after winning at the competition, their guiding idea was to regenerate squares to look like Republic Square in Paris, that is, to give priority to pedestrians and maximally reduce traffic in central city zones.
According to the winning design, a new garage should be built in Francuska Street in order to ensure drivers a suitable approach to Republic Square.
Nikole Pasica Square
In their designs for Nikole Pasica Square, this duo put a sumptuous fountain in front of the National Assembly and set for cars to be moved from the parking lot to an underground garage that should be built in Vlajkoviceva Street.
Existing fountain at Nikole Pasica Square will be replaced with a fountain with floor jets that will be smaller in size than the existing one. Decorative floor lighting at the entrance to Dom Sindikata will stress the importance of this cultural institution, whereas all benches will be redesigned, Savicic points out.
Thick lines of trees on both sides of Terazije would make this square more beautiful, while renovated undeground passages would become new info booths of the capital.
Dead letter or not
The design competition for the regeneration of central city squares was organized by the Building Land Directorate in cooperation with the Association of Architects of Belgrade. City architect Milutin Folic pointed out that "three winning entries will not become a dead letter," adding that their concrete implementation would be definitely negotiated.
– Money for preparation of designs and regeneration of three central squares will be provided from the city budget. Works should commence next year - said the city architect.
The five-member jury consisting of architects Eva Vanista Lazarevic, Boris Podrecca, Branislav Mitrovic and Nebojsa Minjevic, presided by city architect Milutin Folic, also presented the second and the third prize.