Mass Heritage of New Belgrade: Housing Laboratory and So Much More
The central zone of New Belgrade has been under tentative protection by the law of the Republic of Serbia; it is slowly gaining the long-awaited canonical status of cultural property. However, this good news has often been overshadowed by the desperation among the professionals, the fear among flat owners and the fury among politicians: the first because they grasp the scale of the job-to-be-done, the last because it interferes with their hopes and wishes, and the second because they are stuck between the first and the third group. This whirlpool of interests shows many properties of New Belgrade, that stretch far beyond the oversimplified narratives of ‘the unbuilt capital of Yugoslavia’, ‘the largest dormitory of Belgrade’ and ‘the unrestrained modernist playground’.
This paper attempts to offer other points and value nods to those that are the most frequently used, from the complexity of the integrative efforts to the emergence of this new city, as well as the omitted and overlooked aspects of its reconstruction, deregulation and failure. The focus of the paper is the emergence, the use and the disappearance of the peculiar Yugoslav prefabricated housing, the path less travelled.