Keywords Change this

Modernism, Stone, Concrete, Yugoslavian Modernism

Project timeline

1967 – 1967


Hotel & Restaurant

Location Change this

Ulica Svetlane Kane Radević
81000 Podgorica

Current state


Architect Change this

Hotel Podgorica Change this

Podgorica, Montenegro
by Svetlana Kana Radević Change this
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Description Change this

Hotel Podgorica has a construction controversy as located on the coast of Moraca and whose facade provides a captivating view of the river. The building stands out for interesting solution fitting of a hotel in the quite inaccessible terrain. Kana Radević has been playing a particular game of chess with nature; therefore adaption of the building site and not vice versa. She established a special atmosphere of the hotel visitors and those who watch him from the other side. On the facade Radević has used a specific stone to create sort of traditional material ambient. Although this material is characteristic of the old Montenegrin houses and buildings for various purposes. Svetlana Kana Radević got a Borba award for architecture for Hotel Podgorica in 1967.

Hotel Podgorica is an authentic piece of architecture with embedded genius loci, that prove that urban tissue always corresponding with environmental conditions in which it develops. The subject location is very sensitive site in terms of natural factors and historical heritage. On the one hand, there is a pristine landscape of the Moraca river and its specific, steep riverbed, and on the other – the remnants of oldest settlement of Podgorica – the Nemanja’s Town. Hotel Podgorica itself adapts remarkably to the river coast and the terrain morphology. Calm form of hotel wing follows the contour lines and eventually it ends up building a “tower”, namely a very distinctive set of walls, which tend to flow across the steep terrain. Moreover, the two components of the form reflect the inner, functional zones – calm, intimate room units and more dramatic public spaces like restaurants and bars. Brutalist expression of the form is again a clear reminiscence to Old Town, historical remnant, which is located on the opposite shore of the Moraca. Two-storey building consists of two important levels –upper and lower ground floor, and below – bold cantilever terraces, hovering above the emerald water of the Moraca. The specific feature is usage of authentic local material - pebble stone excavated directly from the riverbed. Unfortunately, the original interior spaces underwent restoration in 2000s, which lead to covering of pebble stone walls with marble.

The talent of first lady of Montenegrin architecture Svetlana Kana Radevic is beyond questionable. At a time when the communist urban planning moves forward in establishing the capital Podgorica, this liberal, open-minded project had provided hope for the future generations. What kind of hope? The same one that we need today – a belief that progressive idea will make a breakthrough and go beyond the standards of everyday culture. Unfortunately, so far, Hotel Podgorica remains one of very few buildings that has showed respect towards the mighty river, natural landscape and historical remnants.


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