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Church consecrated to the birth of the Holly Mother

Štipina, Serbia
1 of 14Architect's document

The Serbian Orthodox Church is dominated by a conservative attitude toward the construction of new temples. Prevailing is attitude that temples should be built after the model of historical Serbian- Byzantine-Moravian traditional objects, in accordance with the strict canons of the past.

Designing and building the church in the village of Stipina near Knjazevac is a dialogue with such attitude. It represents a series of arguments elaborated in the process of shaping an object in order to create a different ambient, which would favor development of solutions and spatial forms, and will not only read or copy the old Serbian temples. We believe that the representational result achieved in this example, is only step (half-step) in order not to make a drastic cut between the previous design practice and what we think that can, should and must happen in the design of these facilities in the future. Proportion and scale of the temple interior are dimensioned relying on the historical construction rules.

The idea of the object is identified with the monastic and spiritual purity and simplicity that characterized the Orthodox church. The contours are adapted from the archetype form of the house and the first Christian places of worship. Therefore it creates visual and mental connection to the past, recognizable and familiar. Applied materials are plaster, wood and tin, which are recognized in the traditional buildings of the past. Having strict liturgical canons of the internal structure and organization of the church, the author tried to achieve artifact that is on the border between the past and possible other.

Author: "A special experience I gained during the realization of two sacral objects. The first is church The Birth of the Holly Mother in a village Stipina, near Knjazevac. The locals very well accepted it, because we achieved the necessary sacral atmosphere inside the church. Believers feel comfortable in that space, which has excellent acoustics. The temple has a regional note. I tried to create a sacral archetype, which resembles the first Christian places of worship, and in which the sacral spirit is sensed. Not Moravian, not the Byzantine, or any other heritage, because I believe that the diversity is wealth that Serbian Orthodox Church should express. This church made one small step to show that such objects can be sacred, sacral and quite logical in another architectural framework and gown.”

Orthodox temple of the birth of the Holly mother in the village Stipina near Knjazevac, is awarded by 28th Salon of Architecture in Belgrade, for the contribution to the interpretation of the architecture of the Orthodox temple.