A multi-level or light water fountain, water mirror, aquarium in pedestrian underpasses, hiking trail in downtown Belgrade – are ideas suggested for the regeneration of Slavija Square. How this famous square in the capital city will definitely look like in the future is going to be decided during this year.
What is almost for certain is that there will be a water fountain in its center, which is something that has been talked about for a long time now, whereas pedestrian underpasses are most likely to be built as a solution for pedestrian traffic. Dimitrije Tucovic's remains will be moved to the Alley of the Greats, while his monument will remain at Slavija, but it will probably be relocated next to the building of the National Bank of Serbia.
On the last day of 2012, an expert jury of a competition for the urban and architectural design of Slavija Square awarded four equally valuable second prizes (RSD 250,000 each) and purchased two solutions (RSD 50,000 each). One of the suggested designs was complimented, but it won no prize because it failed to meet competition requirements. No solution won the first prize.
Slavija Square will thus get a new look based on not one preliminary design but a combination of six prize-winning entries. The first prize was not awarded because, as City Architect and Jury President Dejan Vasovic explained, none of the designs "was so much better than the others to represent something that would be called - the solution for Slavija."
How this square will definitely look like will be known after a procedure that will be conducted by the Investment and Housing Agency of the City of Belgrade as the financier of the reconstruction, whereas a final design is planned to be completed in 2013. According to the city architect, the aim of this competition was not to get a single solution but to attract ideas.
- All four prize-winning and two purchased designs contain elements that can be used, but we are yet to see what the budget allows to be done and what is technically and technologically applicable - Vasovic stressed.
Prizes were awarded to the following teams: 1) Grozdana Sisovic, Dejan Milanovic, Aleksandra Bogdanovic, Luka Jovicevic (Re:act studio); 2) Drecun Vladica, Milivojevic Milos, Mitrovic Jovan, Folic Milena, Hadziahmetovic Aida (with associates Ljubic Slavoljub and Zeljko Petkovski); 3) Nikola Stevanovic, Vladimir Radulovic, Vanja Enbulajev and Vojislav Stevanovic (Metar studio) with associates, and 4) Djordje Stojanovic, Milutin Cerovic, Andjela Karabasevic, Milica Tasic, Bogdan Obradovic, (4od7 arhitektura) with associates.
A design by Vladan Drndarevic and the one submitted by 1x2 studio (Zoran Abadic, Dusan Milovanovic, Jelena Bogosavljevic, Jelena Zagorac and Milan Karaklic) are the two purchased solutions.
As the city architect explained, traffic experts will be consulted during the preparation of a final design for Slavija Square because the aim is to allow better traffic flow in addition to creating a new look.
Traffic improvement and the regeneration of Slavija Square are part of the Belgrade urban renovation project. A contractor is expected to be selected by the year's end, after which the works should commence. How long it will take to finish them depends on their type and volume, as well as on the applied technology. In the most optimistic scenario, it could take six months to complete them, but the crucial question is - what kind of underpasses will be built?
There is no doubt that the regeneration of this square, along with the separation of tram and trolleybus traffic, elimination of bus stops and the construction of underpasses, would raise the safety of all road users to a higher level.