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Zora Palace

Belgrade, Serbia
1 of 5

Although Slavija Square is one of the oldest parts of the city, the area is disjointed by the many ad hoc architectural interventions of the twentieth century. In occupying a prominent corner site, Zora Palace plays a key role in re-establishing a cohesive city streetscape.

The six-storey edifice is scaled to respond to adjacent buildings. Originally commissioned by the bank BPS Beograd, which wanted a headquarters flexible enough to rent out, the corner location drives the plan for the building, which derives its unique shape from the convergence of two geometric forms at approximately 45 degrees. An 8 by 8 m (26.2 by 26.2 ft) structural concrete grid (with overhangs) provides an underlying rigour and the required flexibility. It facilitates the inclusion of a double-height banking hall on the ground floor and a triangular, open plan office space on all levels. Floors two to five provide cellular office accommodation. As with the floor plan, the dynamism of the facades belies a strict underlying order (seen in the size and rhythm of the windows).

With subtle differences in overhang from level to level, the elevations appear as sculptural, three-dimensional volumes rather than flat surfaces. The south facade is reminiscent of an ocean liner, largely comprising three curved tiers cantilevered over the main revolving door. Wrapping around the corner, they come into sharp juxtaposition with the hard, serrated edges of the east facade.

Interior design and brutal changes of the body of the building, as well as the alubond facade instead of the proposed facade of stone was carried out by company 'Koling' without the consent of the author.

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ibex73, May 7th, 2014
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