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Residential Complex on Džidžikovac

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 of 8Lejla Odobasic Novo

The Communist party took control of Yugoslavia following the end of WWII in 1945. Like the majority of European cities, a considerable damage was suffered by the urban fabric in Yugoslavia as well. As such, one of the major tasks of the new socialist system was to rebuild as fast and as efficiently as possible. However, both the amount of resources and the number of available architects was limited and as such the initial wave of reconstruction was very utilitarian.

Systemization of the Construction

In order to systemize the construction process, the government established organizations such as the Urban Institute of BiH, the Regional Design Bureau in Sarajevo and other construction enterprises in major BiH towns. Under these organizations they employed the limited available number of architects. As part of this systemization, from 1946-1948 young architects educated outside of the country started coming to Sarajevo who brought with them the prevailing modernist architectural ideals of the cities where they studied. Among these modernist advocates were also two local architects, Muhamed and Reuf Kadić, who were very prolific between WWI and WWI and continued to play a significant role in the shaping of Sarajevo’s city fabric after WWII.

Djidjikovac Complex

One of the most notable residential projects that dates back to the post-war period is the Residential Complex on Džidžikovac that resulted from a design competition set forth in 1947 and won by the above-mentioned Kadić brothers. The project was completed in just over a year which resulted in relatively poor construction quality which was the case with many residential buildings constructed around this timeframe. Despite this fact, the design and the modernist spirit of the project render it as one of the most notable residential complexes in Sarajevo.

The complex contains three linear residential blocks each consisting of a number of three-storey interconnecting buildings that cascade along the existing topography. In addition, the three blocks are surrounded by open green space that integrates the building into the existing site forming a sense of a unified complex. At the end of each block is a set of semi-circular terraces suspended by receded columns that become the signature feature of this project.

Although the project has been declared as a protected national monument in 2008, the reconstruction done since the end of the siege in the 1995, has been to a large extent insensitive to the initial design principles of the Kadić brothers.

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