The Association of Belgrade Architects (ABA*) Activity Report

Belgrade Association of Architects  is a voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit, professional, scientific, interest, professional, non-political organization of scientist  and experts in the fields of architecture, founded upon the freedom of association, open for cooperation with other professional, scientific, commercial and other organizations on grounds of mutual respect, recognition and independency of work, established for the purpose of achieving joint and common interests.

The Association of Belgrade Architects (ABA) was founded on June, 26th 1960, although its unofficial work dates from 1946, just after the World War II had ended. This initiative appeared as a necessity and enthusiasm of architecture community which wanted to participate in architectural renewal of devastated country. As the core organization for architects, ABA has been the leader organization in architectural community in the past 50 years. Numerous projects, architectural and urban design competitions performed and conducted by ABA justify its current position in the architectural community of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Throughout the years, prominent practicing architects and university professors were in charge of promoting and improving the work of ABA by actively participating in its activities, which earned its status in the architectural and engineering community, first in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, and today in Republic of Serbia. As today Serbia is leaning towards its membership in EU, ABA is supporting this goal with numerous initiatives of international cooperation with European architecture associations and many European architectural offices.

Belgrade Association of Architects  is constitutive member of The Union of Architects of Serbia which is a union of local and regional associations and organizations of architects operating on the territory of the Republic of Serbia.  The Union of Architects of Serbia is a member of  International Union of Architects (UIA) and observer member of Architects' Council of Europe (ACE).

Association of Belgrade Architects is constantly working on promotion of young architectural teams and individuals in order to renew and strengthen architectural community of Serbia for the future decades. These activities are recognized and supported by the City of Belgrade, University of Belgrade, various governmental institutions and embassies along with their cultural centres.

As from the very beginning of ABAs work, eminent academics and practicing architecture were involved in the managing of ABA. This unwritten rule gave ABA the possibility to be involved in current architectural practice with significant influence and also informed about the current curriculum and teaching methods at the Faculty of Architecture – University of Belgrade. This practice has been proved as fruitful, it made it possibile to map, mark and connect professional and academic architectural community into a network. It also gave Association of Belgrade Architects the status of trustworthiness and relevancy in international architectural community.

COOPERATION

Association of Belgrade Architects cooperates with numerous city institutions, such as: Belgrade Land Development Public Agency; Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade; Office of the Lead City Architect; Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade University; Institute for Protection of Cultural Heritage; Institute for Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Serbia; Ministry of Construction and Urban Planning of the Republic of Serbia; Belgrade Cultural Centre; Chamber of Engineering of Serbia; different embassies and cultural centres (Italy, Germany, France, Poland, Austria, Great Britain, Netherlands, Norway, USA, etc.); numerous architect associations, locally and abroad (Rome, Warsaw, Tokyo, Moscow, Budapest, Ljubljana, Skopje, Sofia, Vienna, Prague, etc.); business companies and project organizations. ABA members are expert advisors in many companies. ABA members also are sitting in different city committees: committees for elaboration, committees for plan design, etc.

PROGRAMS

Belgrade International Architecture Week - BINA
A multimedia cultural event involving exhibitions, lectures, workshops, forums, architecture walks, film screenings, specialist seminars and conferences, and project competitions for young architects; reflecting contemporary architecture trends in the local and international scene and establishing a dialogue between the guest and the host architects. The objective of this international multimedia event is to introduce architecture and bring it closer to the general public in the country, most specifically to the citizens of Belgrade. The event is co-organized by the Association of Belgrade Architects and  Belgrade Cultural Centre.
By this day, there have been eight BINA-s, every year from 2006 to 2013, held in few locations such: Belgrade Cultural Centre, Faculty of Architecture - University of Belgrade, galleries Progres and OZON, Austrian Cultural Forum Belgrade and other locations around the city. BINA was the laureate of the 2008 RANKO RADOVIĆ Award for multimedia approach and program organization. BINA had a tremendous echo in the public and the media, which added it to the list of most prominent cultural events of Belgrade such are Bitef, Bemus, Fest and Belgrade Design Week. After these seven years it enlisted a large faithful audience and a considerable reputation among architects. As a recent addition to the project, web site www.bina.rs serves as a media to quickly communicate with broader audience.

DOCOMOMO

Do.co.mo.mo. Serbia is the national chapter of international working party Do.co.mo.mo.  International (www.docomomo.com/index.htm), an organization working on protection and preservation of buildings and sites that belong to modern movement in architecture. Do.co.mo.mo. is an acronym derived from english words „DOcumentation andCOnservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the MOdern MOvement“. Do.co.mo.mo. International was initiated in 1988 in Netherlands, as a reaction of professionals provoked by rapid devastation and disappearance of many modern architecture masterpieces all over the world.  Today there are 55 national working parties all over the world, with more than 2000 members, and many regional chapters and comities.
Do.co.mo.mo. Serbia is from 2010 registered as a section of Association of Belgrade Architects (ABA), as a national working party assembling professionals – architects, conservators and art and architecture historians, working on matter of modern movement in architecture and urban design in Serbia. Do.co.mo.mo. Serbia is open to all forms of collaborations with individuals, groups and institutions, while working on projects and fulfilling the aims of the national chapter. Mission of Do.co.mo.mo. Serbia is to work on educating the general public and to popularize modern architecture in Serbia, as well as presentation of the national modern architecture to international public.
Do.co.mo.mo. Serbia is also working on the improvement and  active exchange of knowledge in the field of conservation, documentation and presentation of MoMo architecture.

ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN DESIGN COMPETITIONS

Organization, preparation, announcing and implementation of architecture and urban design competitions is one of the most important Association of Belgrade Architects activities. All competitions are accompanied by exhibitions, panel discussions and the printed catalogues. In the past few years, ABA has organized several important open competitions on an international level, for some of the most important city locations and neighbourhoods.

OPEN PROJECT COMPETITIONS

Affirming urban spaces and preparing documents for future investors. We submit our proposals annually to the Belgrade Land Development Public Agency, following with the formulated plans for cooperation in new locations.

SUMMER ARCHITECTURE WORKSHOPS

Topical city areas, field work, including involvement of professors such as at the Petnica** Summer School of Architecture, guided expert tours and workshops.

STUDENT EXCHANGE

Architectural praxis in the summer at architectural studios abroad aimed at obtaining more varied professional experience. 

OPINIONS

ABA is directly involved in the operation of the Planning Committee, and is submitting its expert opinions regarding town-planning concepts and elaborations. Written opinions are delivered to the Secretariat for Urbanism, and then discussed at the public viewings.
Committees for issuing expert opinions regarding copyright has processed over one hundred cases during the mandate of the last Management Board, including some which in fact constitute requests for arbitration opinion.

PROVIDING PEER ASSISTANCE

Responding to the letters that it received, ABA offers peer assistance to many of its members.

INITIATIVES

ABA initiated the motion to declare the Army General Staff a CULTURAL MONUMENT. Tanja Damljanović and her team, assisted by the Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Serbia Miladin Lukić implemented this initiative of the ABA Management Board. ABA launched initiative to place memorial plaques on walls of the works of the deceased architects, marking their works or their homes. The initiative was launched jointly with the Institute for Protection of Cultural Heritage Monuments of the City of Belgrade, specifically with Mrs. Vera Pavlović and Mrs. Ivanka Raspopović.

MARKETING

ABA organizes a great number of presentations of civil engineering and architectural portfolios of various local and foreign companies, products, equipment and furniture. ABA also cooperated with all daily papers and weekly papers, as well as the following architecture magazines: Enterijer, Ambijenti, AG Magazin, New Moment, Kvart. In last two years, ABA also redesigned its website and opened portals on Facebook, also established a quarterly newsletter that is distributed to the large architectural public.

COPY RIGHT AGENCY

ABA incorporates a copy right agency, offering services to ABA members, in reference to demanding payment of authors’ fees for elaboration of concepts and projects, as well as for supervisory architect role.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

ABA signed Protocols for Cooperation with Roma Association of Architects and the Moscow Association of Architects, and extended the standing Protocol for Cooperation with the Warsaw Association of Architects. BINA Project ensures vibrant international contacts and cooperation. Through this project, ABA cooperates with numerous foreign cultural centres, architectural studios and academic organisations all over the world. Numerous foreign architects used BINA to exchange their experiences, knowledge and points of view with the local architects.

Belgrade,
April 30, 2014

ABA MB Chairman,
Vesna Cagić Milošević

*Društvo arhitekata Beograda, DAB - the Association of Belgrade Architects, ABA.
**Petnica – International summer science camp, in Valjevo, Serbia.