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Milica Steric

Belgarde, Serbia
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Milica Steric (1914-1998) worked briefly at the Ministry of Construction and later went on to oversee the Department of Architecture and Urbanism at the state construction firm Energoprojekt, which was charged with many important infrastructure projects throughout Yugoslavia and abroad. Her adroit management steered the company's complex geopolitical relations across Africa, the Middle East, and domestically, enabling her ascent up the corporate hierarchy to occupy an executive seat on the Energoprojekt managing board. She eventually became the Assistant Director General of the entire company and designed the first Energoprojekt Headquarters (1956-60). The commanding presence of the complex's 13-story tower and advanced installation of curtain-wall systems announced the company's technological ambitions and served as a branding tool.

After II. WW

Steric was born in Smederevo, Serbia and studied architecture in Belgrade, graduating in 1937. Under the influence of professors Milan Zlokovic, Bogdan Nestorovic and Aleksandar Deroka, her work was primarily in a national style.

Her true and mature stamp to architecture started following the CIAM's ideas and the leftist spirit. Her role in the construction of a new, socialist society began in the first years of reconstruction on country-building projects. She was hired by Elektroistok in 1947 and then worked at Energoprojekt from 1951 until 1985, where she became a chief architect. She initially focused on constructing industrial and infrastructural buildings for both companies, designing several power plants throughout Yugoslavia. Her first thermal power plant was built in Kostolac in 1948. She construct in many of the republics of Yugoslavia, for example in Veliki Crljeni, Kakanj plant near Zenica and the Velenje plant in Slovenia.

She spent half a year in the Netherlands in 1957 working at the architectural firm Johannes Van den Broek and Bakeme where she was introduced to the Bauhaus style.

Building in Serbia

After returning to Serbia, she applied her new skills and built a commercial building on Carice Milice street in Belgrade. Constructed in 1957, the building's facade is a combination of steel and glass, underscored by horizontal bands of windows. Steric also built the headquarters of Energoprojekt in 1960, which later became the Beobank building.It was the first structure in Belgrade with free standing pillars and a transparent glass facade. She designed several housing projects in Bor, Bijeljina, Kladovo, Smederevo, and Herceg Novi in the 1960s, as well as a power station in New Belgrade. From the 1970s onwards, she was responsible for the construction of various public buildings in Smederevo, such as a department store, a children's institution, and cultural center.

International Career

Steric participated in international competitions, winning several contracts. During the 1970s, she co-designed the ministerial building in Kanou, Nigeria, along with fellow architect Zoran Bojovic. She also built the Cimpata military settlement in Zambia and co-designed a Bedouin settlement in Kuwait consisting of 5,000 houses.

Awards and Honours

In 1984, Steric received the "Grand prix d'architecture" from the "Union of Architects of Serbia". In 1994, she was a member of the committee that created the "Academy of Architecture of Serbia" the following year. In 2015, the "Belgrade International Architecture Week" festival organized a walking tour of Belgrade buildings that were constructed by women architects such as Steric. That same year, she was one of several female pioneers reviewed in the book "Women in Architecture - Contemporary architecture in Serbia since 1900".

Steric's Beobank building will be transformed into an eco-center sometime in 2018. Located in the Zeleni Venac neighbourhood, the structure won her the Sedmojulska nagrada (7th Prize award for architecture) when it was built. In 2018, Steric and other Yugoslav architects will be the focus of an exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) called "Towards Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980".

Works

  • Thermal Power Plant Mali Kostolac,
  • Power Plant in Lucani near Guca (1955),
  • Power Plant in Crnjani Kolubara, with restaurant and settlement (1957),
  • Power Plant on the New Belgrade (1965, damaged during bombing 1999),
  • Business multiplex "Energoprojekt" (Beobanka), Belgrade (1956-60),
  • Residential building in Nenadovic Street, Belgrade (1958-59),
  • Social insurance in Smederevo (with B. Petrovic, 1958),
  • Residential building in the October 17 street, Smederevo (1965),
  • Department store in Smederevo (with A. Kekovic, 1971),
  • Complex of residential buildings in Smederevo (1975-85),
  • Children's institution in Smederevo (1978-80),
  • Cultural Center in Smederevo (1978-1990),
  • The complex of ministerial buildings in Kanou, Nigeria (Z. Bojovic, 1970-72),
  • Bedouin settlement Kuwait (with D. Bakic and Z. Jovanovic, 1971-74),
  • Military settlement Cimpata in Zambia (1970).
Belgarde, Serbia