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The Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade

Belgrad, Serbia
1 of 22Muzej savremene umetnosti u Beogradu – razlozi i ciljevi – M. Protić

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade was founded in 1958 and its situated in New Belgrade, on the left bank of the river Sava. The edifice was erected between 1961 and 1965 after the design of Ivan Antić and Ivanka Raspopović, awarded the October Prize of the city of Belgrade in 1965. This building represents an original architectural concept linking its interior with the exterior and at the same time meeting all the principals of a museum, thus ranking it among the most significant examples of modern museum architecture.

The building itself differs slightly from proposal, as the constructive module was implemented through matrix of six structural fields, on contrary to originally planned five. Six equal cubes determine the function, the form and the walking paths through museum. An optimal square module, defined by 24 pillars (6 x 4) on axial distance of 9.5m, is superposed by diagonal matrix, consequently forming the “diagram” of the plan. This kind of almost Euclidean pure geometry classifies the architectonics of the building as the modernist. On the other hand, whole spatial experience is divided within three successive zones, which altogether make an impression of an organic urban structure. Architects Antić and Raspopović have visualized a museum experience as a composite movement defined by the field of the parterre area (used as a park of sculptures), the central building corpus and the separated volume for presentations and lectures. Moreover, due to the cascading design of the interior space, the logic of communications at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, in essence, is based on the principles of spiral motion. Interior spaces are filled with a natural zenith light that is leaked inside by the skylights on the beveled roof. This ingenious intervention solves the problem of lighting of the exhibition space and at the same time defines the form of the building as a crystal - the correct modular multiplied unit. White marble and glass as a facade clad create a neat final aesthetic expression.