Master Diploma Project

University of Belgrade

Contradictory Nature Places That Are Not on the Map
Case Studies: Belgrade and Pantelleria

mentor: Prof Branislav Mitrović; arch. structure mentor: Prof dr Milica Jovanović; urbanism mentor: Prof dr Vladan Đokić;
guest critic: Prof Vladimir Nikolić form Aachen
assistant: mr Marija Milinković


The island and the city of Pantelleria were unnecessarily bombed by the allies at the end of WW II and turned to rubble. The city’s population of 20.000 shrank to present population of 2000. Due to inertia of state spatial planning administration and disappearance of many land owners – the Island is still interspersed with many sixty years old ruins and empty

Ruins of Pantelleria are not famous enough to be marked on the tourist map of the island, nor are they visible or important enough to be cleared or rebuilt, even tough the residents of the island are waiting for it to happen for more than sixty years. Paradoxical, temporary
situation in life of buildings that lasts as much as it is necessary for them to be (re)built, accepted and deployed by system of a government takes in Pantelleria so long that it has
become a form of life. Ruins – and the physical and political state of them is what I imagine to be a general tone that gives color to all that is happening in the city (that is, something that is a city) – are not on the map.

State of the Pantelleria city reminds me very much of the state of many places in Belgrade (in many ways of the whole city). These are places which, although living for years with the city, somehow manage to stay out of sight of the public and government that could make
them recognized, acknowledged by naming them and including them among the places that are on the map.

Properties of which I speak are mostly heterotopias described by Michel Foucault 1967. In contrast to utopias that are the inversion of the existing society but do not exist as such, heterotopias are related to a number of really existing inversions. These are the places that are obsessed with the contradictions inside of which are opposed to some of the
basic, a priori principles that are underlying the space and layout of modern society: “the relationship between public and private, between work and leisure, cultural and utilitarian,
family and society, reality and illusion , legal and illegal, … .

Heterotopias – the points at which the invisible conflicts that define the space in which we live are escalate – are the subject of my interest. Working on them, is an opportunity for me to review many of the unconsciously adopted (systemic) design patterns and to deal with
spatial problems “that exist for me personally” (Barth 1980). I wish to form my own description of the concept through a series of case studies and
through architectural designs. After that, I would like to compare the situation of selected Belgrade heterotopias and those from Pantelleria to prove similarity.

Temporary Screening Room and Theater
The selected site is privately owned parcel which contains the remains of an amphitheater from the thirties. Its activation involves an intervention that will not damage the archaeological site; which will be limited by the time frame duration of archaeological, legal, urban and other necessary analysis needed to make the conditions so that on this
plot could be built any kind of permanent structure.

The proposed solution is a temporary structure: the projection room as a box made out of polycarbonate panels, mounted on the dismantling steel structure that stands on the existing remains of the amphitheater. The extension that includes technical properties (wardrobe, room for chemical toilets, storage, tank for drinking water and bar) connects the screening room with the secondary object that comes out on the street and stands in the place of ruin of some residential building. Inside of the secondary object is store for selling
books and films on the ground floor and a multifunctional hall for fifty viewers on the first floor.

Temporary Tower of the Temporary Church
Over the past seven year’s duration of the reconstruction of the city’s cathedral, population of Pantelleria uses a temporary facility instead. Given that this is a sport balloon, the only way to recognize the function and nature of this place through signs on the door of the church and on the basis of sound that you hear when people are in it (preaching, spiritual music… )What in my opinion lacks a temporary church – as its temporary status lasts for an unusually long time – is a temporary tower.

Belgrade Bicycle Tourism Center
(in the garage for discarded police vehicles under Branko’s bridge in Belgrade)

This area is involved in the process of decomposition that lasts for more than twenty years. In addition to the physical deterioration of the material of which it is made, in the past period of time, the essence of the relationship between its name, function and location has largely collapsed as well. Uncertainties related to the history and meaning of this facility, tell more about its nature than the known facts, or its actual appearance.
My answer lies in the mobilization of the existing cycling culture of this area. The solution depends on the networking of this area with existing and potential bicycle paths and routes in the city and beyond.

The proposed Center of bicycle tourism is a flexible space that should function as a service for activities related to the sport: bike rental, bicycle hostel in Belgrade for guests that ended a long road stage, showers, massage, shop, café, a special kitchen for cyclist’s food, tourist agencies, mechanic and fitness.
Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade July 2008