The third text in the series of posts on domotics, prepared by The Centre for Architecture Belgrade in cooperation with Cubo Control company from Belgrade, deals with air conditioning, heating and cooling with application of contemporary domotics systems. If you missed some of the previous posts, you may find them here. Air temperature, humidity and the velocity of air flow are the key parameters that define the level of comfort and the degree of pleasantness. The automatic systems that generate artificial climate conditions in our homes and offices have evolved immensely during the past decades forming two distinct groups. Building automation is a term that refers to a distributed system applied to the building as a whole. It is a well established field deeply rooted in the tradition of large building and hotel automation with robust solutions. On the other hand, home automation or domotic solution usually applies to a single appartment or house, but their flexible structure enables them to be applied to entire buildings. The field of HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) is responsible for generating the first impression that an individual makes when entering a condo, house or business space. The first thing that we are going to feel – whether it is hot or cold, if the air is stuffy or fresh, the level of humidity – that is exactly the output of the system that we are about to discuss. Waking up in a pleasantly heated apartment, with the bathroom temperature slightly higher than in the rest of the flat or coming home on a snowy day to find your driveway cleared and dry. Returning home after a hot summer day and the feeling of the cool, fresh air inside. Having the heating or air conditioning turned off automatically and letting the fresh air fill the space if the weather is nice. Instant malfunction warning if something is wrong with a radiator or the air conditioner, by email or a text message: These are just some of the possibilities of a well-designed HVAC system. Let us discuss the principal characteristics of the systems: HVAC systems can be divided into groups of parameters that can be controlled: Heating/Cooling – controls only the temperature; Thermal ventilation – controls the temperature and the flow (speed) of air; Air conditioning – controls and maintains certain values of three variables – temperature, air flow and humidity. It is clear that the efficiency of controlling each of the parameters depends mainly on the design of the system, but also on the quality and the type of the controller itself. Additionally, each HVAC solution entails certain issues that have to be addressed – how to visually fit the system into the interior and not disrupt the architect’s vision, how to make the investment pay off (which is much easier if it is part of a bigger automation system), with the maximum reduction of costs and respect of the designed solutions. Temperature monitoring has to be followed by the thermodynamic space modeling and has to take into account thermal inertia, to provide relatively simple algorithms of timed control in cases of longer absences from the space, as well as the possibility of remote control. Still, the main advantages of including the HVAC system into the home automation solutions, like the comfort, and can be fully appreciated only when the monitoring of the energy consumption is taken into account. Such systems provide constant cost control, enable significant savings and are the best and the most efficient way to prevent failures of the system. BUS technology systems (especially KNX systems) enable a very simple activation and monitoring of all the parameters and the application of different regulation algorithms – it is enough to install smart meters that are able to communicate with the KNX protocol and actuators that will perform the given commands sent to the HVAC system. Such intelligent systems can control the floor and wall heating, heat pumps, floor and ceiling fan coil systems and boilers, with optimal performances that meet different criteria – comfort, energy savings and reduced pollution. The authors of the text are Radiša Jovanović, PhD. and Marko Aleksendrić, PhD. They are experienced mechanical engineers, whose field of expertise covers programming and design work, through intertwining of various technologijes. Cubo Control is an engineering and programming studio that loves technology, automatics, Italian design, but also programming of computers and other devices: from window shades to mobile phones, from basement temperature to ship engines. It is founded with the idea to provide a unified offer of high-quality solutions at affordable prices in the field of contemporary automatics, especially domotics and industrial automatization, through careful selection of high-class equipment and affirmation of state-of-the-art concepts of comfort and energy efficiency.
In the second sequel of the series of posts on domotics, prepared by The Centre for Architecture Belgrade in cooperation with Cubo Control company from Belgrade, we further investigate the advantages of application of contemporary automated systems in your home. If you missed some of the previous posts, you may find them here.
Savings = MoneyThe essence of this concept is in the uniqueness of the ambience and its change, which only an automation system can continually provide. However, the story of the light does not end here. The amenities of domotics solutions are the various simulations of presence in those periods when the space is empty (according to the USA statistics, an extremely efficient burglary deterrent) - the periodical turning on of the (low consumption) lights and, if necessary, the sounds, proves to be an efficient and a very sophisticated anti-burglar system. The reassurance that the building, especially a business space, is additionally protected and that every unexpected movement is recorded and instantly forwarded at the desired phone numbers and emails is a definite advantage of such systems. Light control systems from different locations and devices give a totally new dimension to a home or business space, and combined with the regulation of natural light through automated blinds and the angle at which the natural light enters a space, you get an effective solution, impossible to obtain without a domotics system. Create you own system which will make your space unique and of superior quality at an affordable price.
Protect Yourself, Your Loved Ones, Your Home, Business Space or Holiday HomeI am sure you all know the situation- the plumbing bursts in a kitchen or a bathroom, either because of old installations or sudden temperature drops. A flood, irreversible damage to the floors, the walls, to the neighbors’ apartments, having to redo everything… The solution- install the flood sensors on the plumbing systems. Instant information will be sent to the user via email or a text message with the possibility to automatically shut down water supply. One less thing to worry about. Domotics gives you the best and the most beautiful alarm integration. Presence detectors, adequately and discreetly built into the interior have a double role- when the space is empty the sensors are burglar alarm systems and instantly send you the information about any unauthorized access. If somebody rings the intercom or at the door, you get the picture or a video to your phone, computer or a tablet. The next time you go on vacation, really leave all your troubles behind- everything will be all right- the plants will be watered according to the schedule, at night certain lights or TV simulators will be turned on, and just before you return the space will be ventilated and brought to optimal temperature with minimal energy consumption. Video cameras, motion detectors and alarms, adequately integrated and always available on a phone, a tablet or a computer give you the possibility to virtually monitor your holiday home or some other space during longer periods when you are not physically present. Stay calm and peaceful because the price of the whole system usually does not exceed the price of damage one unlucky incident can make!
Dynamic, Fast and EconomicalYou own a flat or a house where you can not spend as much time as you would like. The best and most efficient way to make the moments spent in your space better, nicer, more comfortable, but also more efficient is to install a home automation system. Change the scenery in a few seconds - at a push of a button change your work setting, dominated by your desk, into an inviting party space- the lights will momentarily go into the dimmed mode, some lamps will be turned on or off, perhaps a shade of light will additionally underline the music that will be played everywhere, except maybe in spaces you want to exclude. The ability of the house to instantly transform and suit different needs - from a modern office to a comfortable home and back- perfectly matches the fast and intensive pace of life of a modern professional. Without a home automation system a space is simply not complete. There is really no need to burden a curious homeowner with many laws and regulations, and some very interesting concepts, such as the green constructions, let us just say that in the nearest future the development of our space will, although not necessarily at the same pace, follow the constant improvements to your phone. By installing a home automation system you are buying a ticket to the future of living - it is to be expected that in the next years the integrated home control systems will catch on significantly. By connecting different technologies into a compact and reliable system you achieve not only a higher level of comfort, beauty, efficiency and simplicity of living - by connecting all components, the whole space becomes intelligent and enables different systems to communicate. The shades and windows will be synchronized with the HVAC systems, all in sync with the lights, big energy consumers will work during lower tariff hours, and certain events, such as walking into a room will trigger specified sequence of events. We finally come to the essence and the question we have been trying to formulate in this text - What are the main reasons to install a home automation / domotics system in your house, business space, apartment or a holiday home? Significant improvement of the quality of life and the feeling of comfort Enabling some new and unique aesthetic and dynamic space solutions Superior performance, energy efficiency, time-energy-money-saving solutions Safety, protection of our dearest, security, being informed at any given moment Control in the real sense of the word - creating an intelligent habitat at your own measure The authors of the text are Radiša Jovanović, PhD. and Marko Aleksendrić, PhD. They are experienced mechanical engineers, whose field of expertise covers programming and design work, through intertwining of various technologijes. Cubo Control is an engineering and programming studio that loves technology, automatics, Italian design, but also programming of computers and other devices: from window shades to mobile phones, from basement temperature to ship engines. It is founded with the idea to provide a unified offer of high-quality solutions at affordable prices in the field of contemporary automatics, especially domotics and industrial automatization, through careful selection of high-class equipment and affirmation of state-of-the-art concepts of comfort and energy efficiency.
This is the first text in the second series of posts on domotics, published by The Centre for Architecture Belgrade in cooperation with Cubo Control company from Belgrade. In the coming weeks, we will be dealing with topics such as heating and climatization, lighting and shading, audio systems, access control, energy savings. If you missed some of the previous posts, read them here. It’s a strange thing, that perspective. What may seem perfectly clear to someone standing at a certain point, becomes blurry or altogether hidden for someone observing it from just a few feet away. When we set out preparing the material for the Home Automation Manual the idea was simple- to make an overview of a field, which is, in all its complexity, an interesting mix of science and modern technologies, from the point of view of an architect, an interior designer or of the client. We have covered some of the basic points, such as protocol, design techniques, energy and time-saving methods, the optimal time to introduce home automation… In short, we have tried to answer the questions what, when, how, where, how much? The next few pages will try to answer some of these questions, but we will all change our point of view a bit- we will take a few steps backwards and try to see this interesting and dynamic construction, the field of domotics, from a different perspective.
Comfort and a (Much) Higher Quality of LivingThe first and foremost reason why one should consider introducing a domotics system into their space is the comfort. Simple as that. Comfort is not an easy thing to define - it is a personal and highly individual feeling of pleasantness brought about by internal and external stimuli. The Italians, probably the best known for giving this category more thought than some other nations, define comfort through the feeling of beauty (aesthetics), the minimizing or the absence of physical effort, feeling of pleasantness, acoustic or visual feeling of pleasure. The feeling you get when staying in a ventilated space, with no stuffy air, in the appropriate temperature, humidity and air flow- the base of any well-designed air conditioning system, is easiest and best controlled by a home automation system. Besides the evident energy savings, it is clear how pleasant it is to have an intelligent system, which, to make it more obvious, one morning says: Though it’s the end of October, it’s a nice and warm morning, so I’ll open the blinds, turn the heating off completely and let in a lot of fresh air. If it starts to rain and the skies go dark, I’ll just condition the humidity, draw blinds a bit and turn on some background light until the storm passes. There are so many similar scenarios, which to us humans seem very simple if-then sequences, which we perform as reflexes at regular intervals.
Bring Light to Your StageEvery true enthusiast or interior design professional will tell you, regardless of personal taste that the light is what gives the soul to a space, which makes it unique and special, which enables it to breathe. Adjusting the light to a situation, the weather conditions and the function of the space, and above all the possibility to change and adapt the light is something virtually impossible to achieve without the elegant domotics solutions. Turn all the lights on at a single switch! Turn them off before you leave the house and be sure that they will stay turned off until you or someone from your family comes back in. Set the stage for a working environment. Adjust the contrasts in the living room. Use light and shadow play to emphasize the parts of the space that you want. Make the light dynamic - let it follow you through the space. The authors of the text are Radiša Jovanović, PhD. and Marko Aleksendrić, PhD. They are experienced mechanical engineers, whose field of expertise covers programming and design work, through intertwining of various technologijes. Cubo Control is an engineering and programming studio that loves technology, automatics, Italian design, but also programming of computers and other devices: from window shades to mobile phones, from basement temperature to ship engines. It is founded with the idea to provide a unified offer of high-quality solutions at affordable prices in the field of contemporary automatics, especially domotics and industrial automatization, through careful selection of high-class equipment and affirmation of state-of-the-art concepts of comfort and energy efficiency.
Centre for Architecture Belgrade completed a series of articles with the topic Women in Architecture, which were published on our blog during September and October. Through 15 features published in this series we tried to start a conversation about the female authors in Serbian architecture and draw attention to the successful architects who worked and work in our country.
The article series received positive reactions from both the professional as well as the general public, and moved from virtual to real space thanks to the cooperation with Blok Conference, during which a discussion on Women in Architecture was held. The participants were some of the architects featured in the Centre for Architecture’s initiative, as well as special guests. Žaklina Gligorijević, Eva Vaništa Lazarević, Grozdana Šišović, Dubravka Đukanović, Bojana Ibrajter Gazibara, Zorica Savičić and Špela Leskovic spoke at the discussion, while the conversation was moderated by Milena Zindović.
The discussion was organized by Centre for Architecture with the aim of establishing a relation between the global context where the female contribution to the architectural profession has been undergoing a revaluation for some time now, and the local context in which the same principles and questions can be identified. Considering this initiative by Centre for Architecture Belgrade is a pioneer attempt to explore the topic of female authorship in local architecture, the outcome was very uncertain.
Since the project arose great interest with the participants as well as the general public, Centre for Architecture wanted to deepen and additionally clarify some of the opinions related in the interviews and the various stands the participants took, in a form of an open debate. In positive atmosphere the guests talked about their experiences from the practice, answered questions and related conflicting opinions. Some of the topics of discussion were Jelisaveta Načić, Milica Šterić, having or lacking an ego, working in couples, working in smaller or larger teams, with male or female colleagues. At the end the audience interacted as well.
All participants emphasized the importance of good and quality architecture above all, as well as the pitfalls of generalization of certain principles as masculine or feminine. The question on whether we need a female gender for the professional title served as a conclusion that the words architecture and architect already are female – which certainly makes a good base for the continuation of the research.
We would like to thank all those who participated, contributed and followed our initiative. The importance of this topic certainly exceeds the limits of this first project and the Centre for Architecture Belgrade will continue to engage with, research and support women in architecture.
Photos: Vanja Petrović
Dubravka Đukanović, architect – conservator and the Director of the Novi Sad based architectural office Studio D'Art, as part of the current project by CAB: Women in Architecture, talks about her versatile career, the importance of architectural heritage and the influence of interpersonal relations on architecture.
On Beginnings, Experience and OpportunitiesAesthetics is, in its wide sense, in the base of all my interests and choices since early youth. In that light my decision to study architecture came naturally. I also seriously considered studying design, but in architecture I recognized the possibility to satisfy my curious, versatile spirit by trying out various spheres of this complex field. During my two decades long professional career I was lucky enough to have opportunities opening for a layered growth, by acquiring knowledge and skills in the fields of architectural design, interior design, urban renewal, historiography, teaching and building realizations in the widest possible sense, from construction to managing complex projects. Of course, endless hard work, perseverance, persistence, patience and composure in time of temptation, as well as faith in my own values and ideals, enabled me to satisfy an extremely personal need 'to throw the dice on.' Photo by N. Milićević
On Women in ArchitectureQuality is what sets you apart, regardless of gender. Clients recognize experts which are supreme in their profession and are happy to collaborate with them. What set female architects apart from their colleagues is a particular expressiveness, a controlled ego and a desire to treat equaly and synthesize all parts of the project and all participants in the project. An additional demand for professionally engaged women is the balance between professional and personal life. A dedication to family and a dedication to work are two equally valuable parts that make complete a successful women.
On Important ProjectsIn the field of architectural design those are various individual residences I've done by the principle of total design. In a programmatic sense those are not the most important or most demanding tasks I worked on, but those are the projects in which I consistently expressed my personal sensibility in transferring the psychological profile of the people I met into spatial relations and colors to create a backdrop to their lives.
Figure 2. Residence in Petrovaradin When you get to know the people you design for, in the base of the design brief is a particular link between architecture and psychology, and architecture outgrows the sphere of personal feeling of the designer towards the space and topic. This notion of architecture I first recognized during a visit a long time ago to the Villa Müller by Adolf Loos in Prague, in which this idea shines through its concept, spatial relations, textures, colors and every detail. The pursuit of total design, exclusivity and establishing a personal connection between architecture and its user certainly is what determines my projects, especially projects of individual houses, and that is probably where it’s visible the author of these buildings in a woman. I also consider as very important projects the historiography writings, created as result of research of cultural heritage of Vojvodina, which I have published, so far, in the shape of two books dealing with the study of the origin of form and shape of religious buildings built during the 18th, 19th and first decades of the 20th century.
On InfluencesI’ve adopted the spirit of Belle Époque and the ideas of the Modern movement during my studies. For years I've been following the work of various authors. I deeply believe that no presentation can replace the personal experience of architecture and space, and I often visit the work that I find intriguing. From early youth I love to travel, and most of my time during travels is dedicated to artistic and architectural work from all periods. All this significantly affects my work. Figure 3. Residence in Sremska Kamenica During my professional career I often changed the surroundings and the environment in which I grew as an architect. The focus of my interests was in the fields of architectural design, heritage renewal, project management, research and scientific work, teaching, and in shorter periods in engineering and urbanism. Each of the topics I dealt with brought new insights and special experience which gathers and inevitably influenced the evolution of my relationship to architecture and space. If I would have to single out one name, the cooperation with Professor Ivan Antić significantly marked my relationship to my profession.
On Interpersonal Relations and CooperationI think that a quality personal relationship between the designer and the client is a precondition to good work and I always try, regardless of our differences, to find and nurture a thread which will provide a base for good cooperation. I avoid conflict situations, and the fact that for years now I am in a position to select the work and clients I consider a great privilege. The difference in education, upbringing, personal and professional ethics in the relationship between the designer and client in not an impasse, but when such a split, in any sense, is prominent between you and any member of the team you are leading, it will eventually become a problem. I try to invest a lot into every associate and every work participant and positioned so they reach their maximum potential. When I have to make a decision to remove someone from the team, from any reason, for me it is a challenging struggle with my own emotions. Figure 4. Interior of Vojvođanska bank branch office in Subotica
On AdviceI rarely give advice. I rather point to possible solutions and paths leading to best possible results. However, I enjoy exchanging ideas with young people and in these conversations I try to pass on to them some of my life and professional experiences. Love towards the profession and an unconditional commitment to work and permanent growth, essentially determine the path of professional progress, but to a large extent determine also our life path. When you love what you do, everyday challenges outgrow the level of work obligations and become a game you enjoy. That is the only way a logn professional career can become an endless source of pleasure, a field of achievements and an important part of a good life. Figure 5. Residence and kindergarten Wonderland in Novi Sad The best advice is sublimated in a old Chinese saying, whose message is that only a small percent of people understand what their life is about. I try to to look at myself and the world around me from that perspective. With knowledge and experience, acquired with continuous work throughout many year and investing in yourself, comes a clearer outlook on various influential aspects and a better understanding of events and people around you. That is, with ethics, lack of vanity and power to calmly weather through foreseen and unforeseen storms, a condition of success, regardless whether it’s reached through status, glory, power, money or all of the above. Maybe it’s useful to transfer to young people the knowledge that life and career are long events and the line can be drawn only at their end. Figure 6. Competition entry for municipal library in Novi Sad
On Cultural HeritageThe evaluation of cultural and in that context architectural heritage is of essential value to the establishing of our identity – personal, family, local, national, European. Through a deep and honest commitment to research and promotion of cultural heritage I want to contribute to its interpretation and evaluation, as well as the establishing of an expert and general responsible relationship to the existing built structure and historical buildings. In that light, I find design in context to be the most demanding and most subtle expression of work for a contemporary architect. Dubravka Đukanović, PhD, is an architect and assistant at the Department of Architecture and Urbanism at the Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, where she teaches on architectural heritage, conservation and protection. She finished her graduate, post-graduate and PhD studies at the Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade University, and acquired a rich professional experience on various aspects of architecture while working in Novi Sad. Since 2005, she leads her own Studio for architecture and design STUDIO D’ART. Besides the Novi Sad architecture department, Dubravka was also guest lecturer at the Miklos Ybl Faculty of Architecture, Szent István University in Budapest. She received several professional awards and honors.
As part of the current project by CAB: Women in architecture, Ljiljana Bakić, architect and the female half of the famous architectural duo Bakić & Bakić, talks on architecture, women and Belgrade with Milena Zindović.
On women in architecture in Serbia, we certainly cannot talk without mentioning Ljiljana Bakić, an author who, both individually and in cooperation with her husband Dragoljub Bakić, designed and built a large number of buildings in Belgrade and other cities in Serbia, as well as abroad. Today, the couple lives in their house in Višnjička Banja, which they designed, and looks forward first and foremost to the successes of their grandchildren in USA and Poland.
Last year, Ljiljana Bakić published the book The Anatomy of B&B Architecture - a comprehensive publication which refers to hers and Dragoljub’s fruitful careers. Unlike other architectural editions, this book is not only a monograph of the work of authors Bakić & Bakić, but a detailed review and analysis of all the elements that influenced their careers and their architecture. The social and economic conditions in the former Yugoslavia, tumuluous breakup of the country, but also personal experiences, contacts and travels - all influenced the architecture and the specific artistic expression of Ljiljana and Dragoljub Bakić.
The rich archive presented in this publication includes photographs and drawings of buildings, with detailed explanations of not only the concepts and ideas, but of all the aspects of the building realization, the problems and difficulties, as well as the successes experienced by designers. In addition, the book contains published professional papers and articles, personal and professional correspondence, family photographs, testimonies and memories of colleagues, teachers, mentors, clients.
Figure 2: Ljiljana and Dragoljub Bakić at the opening of the Pionir sports hall
In her book, Ljiljana also looks back at the years of pausing from her work as an architect. After returning from Kuwait, where Dragoljub worked for Energoprojekt and she for a local architectural firm Said Breik & Marwan Kalo Consulting Engineers, Ljiljana gave birth to two daughters. The pace of work at Energoprojekt was such that it required great sacrifice and long hours, even entire nights in the office. There were also often trips to the construction sites overseas. I realized that our family life was impossible to organize if I were also absent from home with my architecture, you never know for how long. I decided to return to the profession once our daughters get old enough for kindergarten.
Ljiljana Bakić returned to architecture, working side by side with her husband in Energoprojekt – Architecture and Urbanism. Milica Šterić hired me because she liked me. Otherwise, she was not fond of hiring women into Energoprojekt. Bakić (Dragoljub) worked on a competition and they were lacking help, so she invited me. She liked how I worked and gave me a job in Energoprojekt. For many years she was our beloved director.
Figure 3: Pionir sports hall in Belgrade
Certainly their most famous work is the Pionir sports hall in Belgrade, and the adjoining ice hall. These two buildings are not just favorite Belgrade destinations, but architectural icons of the post-modernist Belgrade of the 70s and 80s. Competition for the design of the complex and the sports hall Pionir was announced in 1972, with a deadline of only 9 days. In Energoprojekt, this task was entrusted to Ljiljana and Dragoljub Bakić. They drafted a complex that consisted of a multifunctional sports hall, a swimming pool and a velodrome. The first phase - a multifunctional hall, had to be completed and opened by June 1973 for the European boxing championships. The detailed design was developed in parallel with the construction of the building in, what Ljiljana called, "hurricane" pace.
We did not have time to wander in the labyrinth of our own brains. What was at work was our dissident instinct against any form of dictatorship, ruling clichés, petrified in the inviolable principles of modern architecture. The well-known rule of modernism, that the form should be the expression of the volume and contents of the interior, which in sports facilities is always the volume of the hall, Pionir did not follow. We wanted it to be the apotheosis of the spirit of sports and games, a dynamic protagonist of the urban scene.
Figure 4: Pionir ice hall
Although Pionir sports hall was designed for hockey as well, with time it was never used for this purpose, and in 1977 it was decided to build a separate ice hall in the complex. Compared to the multifunction sports hall, the ice hall has a simpler and cleaner form, which establishes an interesting relationship with both the site slope and the existing hall. Just like the sports hall Pionir, the ice hall’s success is primarily measured by the satisfaction of its users. Both buildings were awarded the Grand Prix of the Belgrade Architecture Salon, in 1974 and in 1978.
Figure 5: Institute for Rehabilitation from Non-specific Lung Diseases in Soko Banja
Ljiljana Bakić individually designed the Institute for Rehabilitation from Non-specific Lung Diseases in Soko Banja, 1974-1975. Working on this facility, she implemented her own particular ideas about the psychological and social impact of architecture. Taking into account the needs of the patients of the Institute, as well as affecting their behavior during their stay in the facility, she shaped the inside and the outside of an appropriate and successful building. About her approach to architecture, Ljiljana says: Architecture is a sociological phenomenon. No fooling around with various details, but thinking of those who will use it. Without this aspect, sociological and anthropological, you cannot be an architect at all. If you do not set your task in a certain place, with certain population, or the character of the population. If you do not understand what you need to achieve with this building – it’s a lost cause.
Figure 6: Housing estate Nova Galenika in Zemun, Belgrade
The creative team Bakić&Bakić is also famous for two large housing estates in Belgrade: Nova Galenika in Zemun and Višnjička Banja. Inspired by the sloped location, but also by their stay in Finland, in Višnjička Banja they created a residential complex with an almost “mountain” character, in warm colors and materials and with expressive sloped roofs. First they designed the urban layout of the project, which consisted of collective and individual housing units, central facilities, a school, two kindergartens and the entire necessary infrastructure. The estate was realized in two stages, and the second stage buildings where designed by Ljiljana herself.
Figure 7: Row houses in the Višnjička banja housing estate in Belgrade
Unfortunately, the planned programs where never completely built – neither housing units, nor the central and auxiliary facilities. Ljiljana Bakić‘s design for one of the proposed kindergartens was built in 1986, and the estate only got a school last year. The commercial functions were taken over by illegally built buildings which do not fit into the particular aesthetics and form of the buildings and the entire project. There was never funding for such things, not even in during socialism. All estates always stayed unfinished, half-made. You just arrange 500, 600, 700, 800 residences and that was it. And where you will buy bread and milk, where your kids will go to school, that was left undone. – Ljiljana comments today.
Figure 8: Congress centre and hotel Sheraton in Harrare, Zimbabwe
The architecture and experience of the couple Bakić was significantly marked by travels and work abroad, in Finland, in Kuwait, in Zimbabwe. Both in Serbia and overseas, they won numerous awards and honors. Although their best work was a result of their teamwork, the Serbian Association of Architects (SAS) decided to award the 1994 Grand Prix for Architecture only to Dragoljub, completely ignoring Ljiljana’s work. Dragoljub refused the awards and just did not take it, which is something any normal person with character would do. This year was subsequently completed with both our names.
Figure 9: Congress centre in Harrare, Zimbabwe
On women in architecture, Ljiljana Bakić says: When I started working in 1962, it was a difficult time for women. There was a lot of depreciation. In my opinion, the women in big offices have always been the ones who developed the ideas, even if they were not theirs to start with. Even if the initial idea was not much, they would work to develop it into a successful project.
Ljiljana emphasizes Ivanka Raspopović as an example of a neglected female author, commenting on her cooperation with Ivan Antić: - Those two museums – the one at the confluence of Sava and Danube and the one in Kragujevac – that is the best work they created. The whole set up of the museum – that was all Ivanka’s work.
For herself she says : My story is different, because I always worked with Dragoljub. He was more active in acquiring work, and I was drawing more. I didn’t have to make my way through the architecture world on my own.
Figure 10. Competition entry for the New Acropolis Museum in Athens
Today, Ljiljana is not actively designing, but she is still dealing with architecture and the city. Through her book, she reveals the possibilities of an idealistic approach to architecture, with the belief that the society can be changed with architecture. That’s why today she is most concerned by the lack of vision and ideas, and the neglect of our built environment. In fact, my only issue today is how Belgrade is a terrible city, terribly neglected. It’s unforgivable. That is something our architects are not dealing with at all. They only care about how to get a job somewhere, build something, but what the whole image of Belgrade looks like nobody cares - and that is a tragedy.
The author of the article is Milena Zindović.
Illustrations are taken from the book Anatomy of B&B Architecture by Ljiljana Bakić.
Ivana Anja Milić, technical director and co-founder of one of the biggest privately owned construction companies in Serbia– Arhi.pro, as part of the current project CAB: Women in architecture, talks about her professional development, the state of architecture in Serbia and the position of women in architecture, and gives advice to young colleagues.
On Approach to WorkI like doing interiors. I believe all my clients for whom I did residential interiors are really happy and say they recognize the female capability of “packing” an apartment and furniture. Since the nineties I’m also designing furniture, which led me to open Arhi.pro carpentry production in 2002. For me, it’s like a hobby I really enjoy. The circumstances in practice have led me since 2000 down the path of corporate architecture, architecture conditioned by brand standards. I seized the opportunity and learned to handle design according to the book of standards and budget, leaving room also for creativity. This is why my list of references includes a large number of renowned international corporations. Figure 1. Residence in Zvezdara, Belgrade In these projects you cannot identify a particular feminine style, but I did win all these clients with a feminine approach: carefully listening to their needs because large corporations expect your absolute commitment to creating their work place. This means a lot of patience and drafting of millions of options while listening to millions of client’s wishes. Women are made for this. Otherwise, I also like designing restaurants, I realized several interiors of restaurants and cafes, and I’m currently working on one new restaurant. Additionally, architectural competitions are like an obligatory workout, we must always practice to stay in shape. I always work on them in a team, with a good friend, or with a group of colleagues from Arhi.pro. Figure 2. Restaurant Le Moliere in Belgrade
On SuccessI don’t see that as a woman I’ve done anything different than if I was a man. I just had more difficulties rising from the architectural crowd in an environment where there is not enough work for even a tenth of students which enroll in architecture yearly. Clients, when they picture hiring an architect, more often think of a man, and that is another dogma I had to overcome at the beginning of my career. Professional success is actually the result of a good idea, resourcefulness and tenacity in life, and the use of real once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. It’s the universal rule, regardless of gender. Figure 3. Interior of a branch office of Societe Generale Bank
On The Female PrincipleIs there a female principle in architecture? Is the Second Girls High School by Milica Krstić really a female building? Would a lay person say: This must have been drawn by a woman? Or could it be said for the Elementary school King Peter First by Jelisaveta Načić? Certainly, something like that cannot be claimed for the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, by architect Kazuyo Sejima. When it comes to creativity, the world is divided into talented and less talented, not into men and women. Otherwise, there is a running joke among engineers on the sensibility of men that enroll in architecture school, so I would gladly and jokingly conclude that working in architecture is already an affinity for female principles: neatness, harmony, aesthetics, proportion, decoration, functionality. Figure 4. Design of corporate furniture
On InfluencesWhen you are young, you can easily answer this question, because the beginning is always inspired by admiration for famous architects, and memory of your mentor and a few great professors which have led you toward the practice. But when you are already in the third decade of your career, you cannot answer by simply citing a few names. Looking back, I see that it’s the symbiosis of questions of Who and What influenced me: teachers, role models, team members, but also changes brought by social and economic conditions (from early nineties until today), literature, travels, a variety of clients, international corporations which have been the majority of my clientele and which have particularly influenced my direction primarily toward corporate architecture. Figure 5. Interior of the Iraqi residence in Belgrade A creative professional (artist, writer, architect...) grows with time and experience, passes many creative phases and keeps learning until the end of his working life. If I would name only the key points in time of my development on the path of becoming an architect, it would present the following chronology: - Architect mother, growing up in a house always full of architects; drawing as the basic mode of expression,; two drafting tables with rulers as necessary furniture of a two room apartment; Rotring rulers my mother used even when she was cutting up cakes. - My studies and the luck my generation had when freshmen where accepted by doyens in teaching; the priceless value to have my first consciousness about architecture built by Brana Milenković, Darko Marušić, Milan Lojanica, Ranko Radović, Borko Novaković, Zoran Petrović, Đorđe Zloković. - Teaching at the Faculty of Architecture from 1996 – 1999 with professor Dimitrije Mladenović ; working in offices from second year of studies until the opening of my own office. - Moving into private practice; partners and team members in each business until today are what finely shapes us and creates our final expression. The inevitable mutual influence and symbiosis of ideas in co-authored work is a bigger treasure in practice than being exclusively a “lone rider”. All these years an unaltered feeling of excitement at seeing Le Corbusier’s projects and buildings. Every time I think: that’s it, there’s nothing else. Female role models? Zaha Hadid, Kazuyo Sejima, Maya Lin... I could not call them role models, but they are certainly an inspiration, an incentive for women to become more and more visible and present in the future of global architecture. Figure 6. Apartments at Zlatibor
On AdviceArchitecture is learned until the end of your working years. There isn’t one moment where you don’t have to keep learning, exploring and looking for examples: trends, technology, materials are all changing. Don’t decide what you will do in architecture before you pass through everything in your professional practice. Set aside first two years of professional practice as a continuation of your studies. You should go through all stages of work until the realization of the building. Even folding drawings has a lot of essence and science for further progress. A good concept is not worth anything if you haven’t developed it in drawings, dimensioned, detailed, folded it into binders and taken it to a construction site, then answered all question there until the construction end and seen the concept 1:1 realized. It is great luck to have where to keep learning, so fight for such opportunities. In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later. (Harold Geneen) And of course, because you’re young, don’t be afraid to bring out your own ideas, because they are fresh and progressive. Figure 7. IT park Inđija in construction
On Architecture in SerbiaArchitecture in Serbia has had a major professional crisis at the beginning of the nineties, which is still going on. Primarily, the clients have beaten architects in the knowledge of drawing a project, where the fight for square meters turned into the demise of urban development. Characteristically economical in paying “paper”, local clients have at their disposal a wide offer of cheap drawing everywhere. The price of our work has been brought down to a minimum, and the results of cheap projects are actually bad projects, because money is the measure of time: if you charged little you must quickly finish the work and submit just about anything. There is no time to develop the project stages, question the concept, solutions, and options, and analyze the house in all criteria. In the developed world project are done much longer, everyone understands the design process takes time. However, here even the foreign clients quickly adapt and learn to force short deadlines for already established low prices. The buildings that have appeared in our streets have sealed the urban image of the city for the next hundred years. There are boulevards, streets and squares ruined by real-estate entrepreneurship. Building permits actually approve zoning parameters of construction, energy capacities, but no one has yet introduced an architectural permit! I would gladly fight for architectural approval as part of the construction procedure. We require the largest number of approvals in the procedure of obtaining the permit, and have a large number of architecturally unacceptable buildings. It is necessary to raise awareness that for the same price, and even small construction budgets, you can make a building where the aesthetics is not overlooked, as well as the awareness that the growth of tourism is connected to the attractive development of the city. Small investments could bring appropriate economic benefits from tourism. Finally, it is necessary to raise awareness that in this way we are not leaving to the next generations a quality city image. The psychology of the people is connected to the condition is which it grows up and the surroundings in physical and aesthetic sense. The improvement of the city image is at the same time care for the psychological development of our children, their future relation to cultural values, relation to pretty and ordered. Figure 8. First award, competition entry for Banca Intesa HQ
On Women in ArchitectureEssentially women are prone to aesthetics and it is natural architecture is an attractive choice of studies for them. Architecture is beautiful studies, but physically hard work. This is why many women give up such strain. No defined working hours, projects are always done overtime. If you are drawing a house until late at night, you cannot stop designing even in your dreams; you keep drawing and travelling through your spaces while sleeping. When a project or competition in being finalized, we are not there for our families for days, lunch has to be made by someone else. Very few families will accept and support this, so, when we talk about women who are accomplished architects, they are often married to an architect, or single, devoted to the profession. It is hard to live with an architect husband, let alone a wife, because of a great absence from family life. I believe that until recently this was the only reason women after Faculty diminish in their visibility in architectural authorship, but I also believe that in the future this will be overcome, in accordance with the contemporary European initiative for gender equality that advocates stronger presence of women in all spheres of society. Architecture is considered a male profession because women give up before they even begin, and not because drawing a good house is really a “male thing”. Women, if they don’t give up on the true face of the profession and embark on the adventure of author architecture, besides design briefs, authorities, the office, clients and family, also have to fight against a large amount of male vanity and chauvinism which are synonymous to the architectural profession. I am very happy that Serbia already has Zoca (Savičić), Nina (Gligorijević), Jelena (Vojvodić), Eva (Vaništa Lazarević), Grozdana (Šišović), Biljana (Gligorić), Vesna (Cagić), Ksenija (Bulatović), Dragana (Vasiljević), Milena (Kordić)... Together we are stronger. Anja Ivana Milić is the founder, co-owner and technical director of the company Arhi.pro which has been working successfully for more than 10 years in Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, in the fields of architectural design and engineering construction and furniture design and production. Famous for her work with the biggest world companies present in Serbia on design and branding of their offices, as well as for the cooperation with big world architectural offices from London, Washington, Tokyo, Melbourne, on projects in Serbia and Montenegro. She received several awards and prizes and is an active member of professional associations, as well as associations dealing with female entrepreneurship. Since 2011 Anja is the ambassador of female entrepreneurship in Serbia, as part of the WENS project of the European Union.
The Centre for Architecture Belgrade, in cooperation with BLOK Conference, invites you to attend and participate in the discussion on women in architecture, which will be held on the first day of the fifth BLOK Conference, on October 10th 2013, around 4 PM, as part of the main programme of the Conference. At the height of the initiative on our website , and in cooperation with BLOK Conference, Centre for Architecture Belgrade organizes the discussion on women in Architecture. We would like to continue and expand the conversation started with a series of articles and interviews in which we presented some of the ladies from our architectural history and contemporary practice, as well as raise additional interest in the professional and wider public for the issues of architectural profession. The participants of the discussion will share with the audience their professional experiences, thoughts on architecture and advices for young colleagues. We invite you to join the conversation! The discussion participants will be some of the ladies that took part in the initiative of Centre for Architecture and special guests. These are, among others: Eva Vaništa Lazarević, architect and professor at the Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade University; Žaklina Gligorijević from the Urban Planning Institute in Belgrade, architect-planner and member of numerous professional forums; Zorica Savičić, architect and professor at the Faculty for art and design, Megatrend University; Grozdana Šišović, architect and co-founder of Belgrade architecture studio Re:Act ; Bojana Ibrajter Gazibara, art historian at the Cultural Heritage Preservation Institute of Belgrade; Dubravka Djukanović, architect, conservator and lecturer at Faculty of technical sciences in Novi Sad and Špela Leskovic, architect and co-founder of studio AKSL arhitekti from Ljubljana. Moderators of the discussion will be Milena Zindović, architect, programme director at the Centre for Architecture Belgrade and Marija Maša Pavlović, architect, PhD candidate at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade. BLOK is held every year at the ZIRA Congress Centre. The main part of the conference consists of lectures ex cathedra, and accompanying exhibitions, forums, workshops, competitions and a movie marathon dedicated to the genre of architectural films. Detailed programme of the conference and a list of guest lecturers are available at the Conference Web site. Admission to the discussion Women in architecture is free for registered visitors.
Snežana Vesnić, founding partner of the architectural studio Neoarhitekti from Belgrade and an award-winning author, as part of the project by CAB: Women in architecture, speaks about her most important projects, the complexity of architecture, stereotypes and the importance of making the right decision in architecture.
On Important ProjectsThe building for company Textil from Užice was created following a large number of awarded and unbuilt competition entries. Still, today it seems to me that to design such a building would be even harder. It was the time right after many problematic years, in every sense and for all, so I think that the will to create something particular, big, was determining that period of mid twothousands. I don’t think there is anything especially feminine in this project. It was designed as a statement and I believe it shows as its integrity. All related to this building was designed without compromises and as such realized. Figures 1. and 2. Building for company Textil in Užice, Serbia
On Approach to ArchitectureFor me, architecture is something in between two conditions, the condition before and the condition after architecture, when it comes to architects. It’s complicated to explain what happens and what is and for whom the beginning of something, when does the end begin and when does it really end and how, as well as what is and for whom interesting in the process. I would mention talent and intuition. Talent is related to conceptualization, and intuition to the concept. The rest is character. Things are not universal. Ideas are universal, even ideas about architecture, and everyone should decide for themselves what, how and why. Figure 3. Competition entry for blocks 25 and 26, New Belgrade
On The Female PrincipleIt is possible to define everything as a position from which certain things are observed and certain decisions are made. If it’s about a principle, then it’s not important who demonstrates that priniciple. I think architecture itself does not differentiate a male and female priniciple, and that everything else is a stereotype of appearance and can be regarded as a question of sensibility or methodology. However, I think in this regard the final product is much more determined by circumstances and the manner in which you place yourself in relation to context. When I take a look back to the situations I found myself in, I don’t think anything was a result of being a woman, but I do think that was the result of my attitude and relationship to architecture. Generally, architecture is not a feminine profession and I don’t expect a demonstration of a female principle, so in that sense I don’t think it necessary to point out any differences. It is what it is and if it wasn’t so it would not be architecture but something else. In architectural education, maybe there is room for such differentiations: women are forgiven their approach to form, and men are forgiven their (in)completness. The concept remains as a question of decision. Figure 4. Archeological Heritage Park, Mnajar Qim, Malta
On Career TrapsAll traps are to be avoided. Since this is impossible, they should be translated into something else and make a quality out of such situations. Most often traps translate into problems, but the problem of problems should be looked at as potential. They are results of circumstances, and it’s up to the architect to use it all in favor of architecture. I’m not sure there are traps for architecture, and if they don’t exist for architecture they don’t exist for architects. There are opportunities and there is an individual relation to a certain situation, which brings us back to the issue of decision-making.
On InfluencesAmong a number of important authors, who have had a strong influence on me, I would mention Le Corbuiser and Jean Nouvel. And excellent architects are Lina Bo Bardi, Eileen Gray, Ivanka Raspopović, Kazuyo Sejima, Manuelle Gautrand. Figure 5. Competition entry for the Nation Museum in Belgrade
On Women in ArchitectureTo the question of what is the reason that the number of known female authors is not larger, there are two possible ways to answer: mythological and existential. I mean - the division of roles in architecture or in life. The architectural profession covers a wide field, and so I believe the architectural education to be wide and disperse. I am more interested in what is in the competence of the architectural profession and what could create an ambience in which “real” architecture could appear. The question of authorship in architecture, like in other professions or arts, is much more a question of authenticity. Snežana Vesnić, architect, PhD candidate, works as a designer at Neoarhitekti and in construction with Terra Engineering. Her field of research covers the studies of the theory of form, intuition and supersymmetry, and her projects can be described as poetic brutalism od new modernity. She is the co-author of the building for Textil Užice and a laureate of a large number of awards and honors, such as the oldest architecture award in Serbia (by Novosti company), that she received in 2008.
Jelica Jovanović writes about Ivanka Raspopović, one of the most enigmatic figures of our modern architecture, known above all by great projects done in cooperation with prof. Ivan Antić, as part of the current project by CAB: Women in Architecture.
Exactly two and a half years ago I visited Ivanka Raspopović in order to fond out more information on two topics I was at the time researching. The first topic was Ivanka’s professional resume, which I obtained in its version published in 1972 in the book Yugoslav Art of the 20th Century: Serbian Architecture 1900-1970. I was enthralled by the idea of writing an article about women in architecture in Serbia, which I quickly abandoned. So, indirectly, we get to the second topic for which I hoped to gain more data from Ivanka – and that was the archives of Srbijaprojekt. To start, I brought her a copy of her resume, which needed to be filled in and, as it turned out, amended.
First, I should clarify which companies she worked for. Chronologically, it went like this: From 1945-55. Ivanka worked in the construction company Rad. Afterwords, in 1955 she moves to Srbijaprojekt (previously The Design Institute of Serbia), where she stays until 1960. From 1961 until 1964 she works in the company Zlatibor, and then again in Srbijaprojekt from 1965 to 1980, when she retired.
In Rad she was employed in the technical studio with her husband, at the time of the construction of the viscose factory in Loznica. The construction site had five sectors: the management building was done by Ivan Antić and that is how their cooperation began. According to her own words, she worked with the best civil engineers of the time: Milan Krstić, for example, who was then using the unique opportunity to test the behavior of prestressed concrete shells, which housed the water coagulators of 25 m radius. Later he applied this experience during construction of Hall 3 at the Belgrade Fair. But Ivanka was often required to control the documentation and calculations, send projects to auditors, so she didn't enjoy working at the construction site.
Figure 1. Cables factory in Jagodina
"Cables factory in Jagodina... I wouldn't even remember that if it wasn't written here..." I was stunned – how can someone forget what turned out to be an important part of their built opus? Ivanka replied she never liked industrial architecture, and always did these project under obligation. Actually, Ivanka was the lead designer of the entire complex of the cable factories in Svetozarevo (today Jagodina) while she worked in Srbijaprojekt. Together with the team of ten colleagues she worked for three months overtime, from dawn til dusk, without any overtime compensation. They delivered two cars full of documentation just before the 1st May holidays.
Figure 2. Department store in Bečej
For Srbijaprojekt she designed the workers dining facility in Obrenovac, a tuberculosis hospital in Prizren, cold storage for fruit in the vicinity of Tetovo, department store in Bečej and the industrial zone in Priboj, as coauthor with Slobodan Mihajlović. Maybe one of the more interesting projects was the design for the second phase of Belgrade Airport, by invited competition where four teams for major design offices took part. During her work at the company Zlatibor, she designed two transmitter stations at Zlatibor, the building for the Electric distribution company in Užice and a residential building in Užice, at the Partisans Square, where her Client was the General hospital Užice. Ivanka was also often a collaborator on projects by Stanko Mandić, both built and unbuilt.
Figure 3. Residential building in Užice
On Museums and Working With Ivan Antić
"It’s simple. Ivan came to our house and said he wanted to do the competition for the Modern gallery (already in 1965. renamed Museum of contemporary art). From our house came out two awarded competition proposals: my husband (Dragan Raspopović) and Bane (Slobodan Mihajlović) got the first mention."
Figure 4. Museum of Contemporary Art in L’Architecture d'aujourd'hui, Vol. 129, January-February 1967, p. 102.
Even today, she can not believe that she and Ivan got the first prize, because they put together the drawings in one week. During the project development there were also two major changes. First the front facade, which in the competition proposal had one flat wall, after consultations was designed and built in today’s distinctive crystal form. Already experienced architects, with an adopted feeling for savings, they proposed the facade finish in exposed brick – which was applied later on the design for the Museum 21. October in Šumarice. Miodrag Protić, however, managed to acquire white Venčac marble for the facade of such an important building, and the authors instantly agreed. The Museum of Contemporary art was opened in 1965, and the same year Ivanka Raspopović and Ivan Antić were awarded the October award for this architectural masterpiece.
Figure 5. Interior of the Museum of Contemporary Art
Very quickly after the Museum of Contemporary Art opened, Ivanka and Ivan were given the task from the management of the memorial park October of Kragujevac to design the Museum 21. October. Ivana doesn't talk about the symbolics of the project, just says how much she is fond of the building, inspite its' very modest dimensions. She adds that the roman bricks, specially made for the Museum by Rad company, have deteriorated and the facade needs reconstruction. However, after the experience she had then (which is still the same) with the renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art, she was not sure if it’s a good idea to enter such an undertake.
Figure 6. Museum 21st October in Šumarice
Of course, I couldn't resist asking what many researchers ask when it comes to the Antić – Raspopović partnership: How did they share the work on these two buildings? Where does Ivanka’s museum stop and Ivan’s begin? And why such a fruitful cooperation was not continued? Again, I got very simple answers. Absolutely everything was done as a team. They agreed on who and when each of them took over the workload – and it was similar with the reconstruction of the Museum of contemporary art, where they were both consulted during the development of design documentation. Ivanka points out that architecture of museums is very inspiring, so it wasn't neither hard nor painstaking working on these projects. Their cooperation was not continued because Ivanka had too much work in Srbijaprojekt, and Ivan at the Faculty.
Figure 7. Museum 21st October, Architecture and Urbanism, Vol. 33-34, 1965, p. 39.
To return to the topic of Srbijaprojekt’s archives: It is - very simply - gone. Just as the destroyed archives of Projektbiro is gone – so it is far more difficult to reconstruct the career of Jovanka Jeftanović, or for example Ljupka Andonova, who worked in Architecture and Urbanism. Thanks only to her own commitment and sense for documentation, Ljiljana Bakić published The Anatomy of B&B architecture, so we can learn about the ups and downs that she endured in her professional life. We can also read how Ljiljana Bakić remembers Milica Šterić, Madame Energoprojekt.
Actually, most women in architecture in Serbia, especially in the period between 1945 and 1990, designed within big state-owned offices and companies, or within specific self-management ateliers, such as Projektbiro. Proverbially unorderly and during all sorts of privatizations lost (or "lost") archives and unreconstructed references of these companies become a chronic issue of our architectural scene.
And women architects were the majority in Srbijaprojekt, says Ivanka Raspopović. And we believe her.
The author of this text, Jelica Jovanović, is a PhD student of University of Technology Vienna, Institute of Art History, Archaeology and Restoration - Department of Conservation and Refurbishment. Graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, Elective Course 2 - History and Theory of Art and Architecture. Founder and member of professional NGO Group of Architects from Belgrade. Co-author of Summer School of Architecture in Bač. Coordinator of the regional project Unfinished Modernizations on behalf of the Association of Belgrade Architects. Former Secretary-General of Do.co.mo.mo. Serbia. Former member of Club of Young Architects - KMA (2006-2010). Former teaching assistant at the master course on architectural and urban design in protected areas and various workshops. Within Do.co.mo.mo. Serbia national working party currently working on proposals for the policies for protection of the architecture of modern movement in Serbia, based on experiences of Do.co.mo.mo. International.