graduating from Belgrade Faculty of Architecture, at the age of 23, I
was assigned a task which is usually given to experienced architects.
In 1962 the task was extremely difficult: I had to design a twelve-floor
housing highrise in Tuzla, the second biggest fown in Bosnia. With
the help of only two engineers, civil and electrical, I had to complete
the working drawings in only two months. The house had to be completed
and moved into in only twelve months. At the time, the construction firm
in Tuzla did not have a single truck, let alone a crane. We built under
madieval conditions but nevertheless the house was finished in a year.
I applied some completely new construction methods and new materials.
most important thing was that the flats in this tower were quite different
from the ones currently designed on the Yugoslav market. The innovations
I introduced in the housing function drew the attention of the professional
then, as an architect, I have engaged in only big architectural themes
especially in the field of housing. I have not always waited to be given
a concrete task. I searched for completely new urban and architectural
systems, and was lucky in that all these innovations of mine were accepted
and published by editors of numerous professional journals.
have presented my avantguard housing projects,
about 50 in number, at representative exhibitions,
conferences and congresses in Yugoslavia and elsewere.
collective housing I am convinced that atrium housing with up to two-floor
buildings is the most acceptable solution. Big winter gardens on flat
roofs of the atrium houses can be the sources of supplying their inhabitants
with wheat, fruit, vegetables, meat, fish... In the stairway nuclei it
is possible to make room for multipurpose kiosks and halls as well as
for little silos, etc.
projects and my houses have never followed
fashionable trends.I have never given undue importance to detail meant
to mark the facade with an unclear message. From the sheer function of
the building and its interior I built a logical and dramatic volume. There
are no attachements and additions to my houses.
have followed the messages of the modern in my own way.
One part of the foreword taken from:
"The Monograph on the Three Belgrade Triennials of World Architecture"
(1985, 1988, 1991)
World Presentation: CAYC, Buenos Aires, October,1992
the request of a young admirer, Frank Lloyd Wright, on his death-bed,
defined the word ARCHITECT: ARCH = chief or highest (i.e. archbishop,
architype = Master) + TECT = technique, technology (i.e. the Know-how)
= ARCHITECT: Master of Know-how. Thirty years later, Paulo Mauro Giraudo
wrote: if we look carefully at the pictures of Wright's architecture,
Aalto's drawings or Mendelsohn's sketckhes or, in other words, the works
of the great masters of organic architecture, we shall see their attempt
to free a functional geometrical form from a figurative abstract idea
so as to comprehend the rational. At the age of sixthy-three, Wright renders
his concepts of an organic, rational simplicity in nine points:
First- To reduce the number of necessary parts of the house and
to separate rooms to a minimum, and make all come together as enclosed
space - so divided that light, air and vista permeated the whole with
a sense of unity.
Second- To associate the building as a whole with its site by extension
and emphasis of the planes parallel to the ground.
Third- To eliminate the room as a box and the house as another by making
all walls enclosing screens.
Fourth- To get the unwholesome basement up out of the ground, entirely
above it, as a low pedestal for the living portion of the home.
Fifth- To harmonize all necessary openings to "outside" or to "inside"
with good human proportions and make them occur naturally... there were
to be no holes cut in walls as holes are cut in a box, because this was
not in keeping with the ideal of "plastic".
Sixth- To eliminate combinations of different materials in favour
of mono-material so far as possible; to use no ornament that did not come
out of the nature of materials.
Seventh- To incorporate all heating, lighting, plumbing so that
these systems became constituent parts of the building itself.
Eighth- To incorporate as organic architecture- so far as possible-
furnishings, making them all one with the building.
Ninth- Eliminate the corator.
Le Corbusier suggests five points instead of nine to define new architecture:
1... Columns of pilots, to raise the building of the ground and
let the garden continue through and under the building.
2... The roof garden, so that the land lost on the ground can be
replaced up above. The key to that is concrete. The roof is to be of sand
covered with thick cement slabs with staggered joints, seeded with grass,
terraces with flowers, shrubbery's and trees, grass.
3... The free plan, made possible by the use of a few columns supporting
4... The long window round the whole house and free from the columns
so that the house can be evenly lit.
5... The free facade.The exterior walls being no longer load bearing
can be open or closed to suit the facade. They are now only light membranes
composed of insulating or window elements.
Le Corbusier goes on immediately to insist on the inevitability of mass-production
of houses: We must create the mass production spirit- The spirit of constructing
mass-production houses, The spirit of living in mass-production houses,
The spirit of conceiving mass-production houses.
This text attempts to make a compromise between five and nine points,
between positive and negative opinions about architects and architecture.
At the beginning, I intended to follow the sophists, to employees a heuristic
method but, at the last moment, I realized that the flight from truth
would discredit everything I had defended so passionately in my books.
In attempt to define the poetic world ARCHITECTURE enigmatically, it seemed
to me that an acrostic would be the most appropriate. The letter A and
the first dilemma. The system of architecture is determined almost equally
by: Achievement, Activity, Ambiance, Ambition, Analysis, Authority. I
begin with: Aesthetics. The letter R and even more dilemmas: Rationalism,
Reaction, Reading, Realism, Reconstruction, Recovery, Reflection, Regulation,
Relation, Representation, Resistance, Respect, Responsibility, Restitution,
Revision, Revival, Risk, Re-creation, Re-formation. I adopted: Reason
and Revelation. The 'on' after the letter C is most often followed by:
Concept, Condition, Construction, Consultation, Contemplation, Context,
Continuance. The decision: Creation and Commutation...
Twelve different words, apostolic in number, whose first letters spell
out the world ARCHITECTURE, present to the the reader the world of architecture
I attempted to define in this book in my own way. I shall assure you that
dozens of other worlds, beyond the architectural plane, are concealed
in the selected words. While speaking about architecture, I shall not
forget that, according to Ivan Focht, the term "form", for the example,
can be defined in twenty or so ways from an aesthetic viewpoint. In architectural
form, Christian Norberg-Schulz observes the word "element" which he defines
as a characteristic unit and expounds on: mass-elements, space-element,
surface-element. Wright is clear: the sense of architectural form appears
for the first time in the past five hundred years in a new spiritual integrality.
I keep thinking: are we allowed to attribute meanings to words? Do some
meanings exist at all? In the word "il significato del significato", Ogden
and Richards point out that some words may obtain similar, different or
even contrary meanings. I conclude that Ferdinand de Saussure is right:
the value of the whole lies in its parts and the value of parts is derived
from their place within the whole.
The Megarians claimed that philosophy consists in dialectical skill. The
fact that you feel shocks of different dialectical currents after the
first word AESTHETICS is just an indicator of aesthetic architectural
scenes into which I have sent you quite intentionally. Only when aesthetics
was defined as the science of the beautiful in nature and art, was it
possible to perceive vagueness in this general concept, probably due to
the versatility of the subject in which the "aesthetic" is created or
found. Between perception and association, in the sphere of the aesthetic,
there lies the human instinct with all of its virtues. Hence the consultation
that the aesthetic value "kalokagathia" in the Socratic and Platonic circles,
is associated with ethical and some other values and meanings.
Focht gives an interesting example: as long as one store is missing in
a building, it will not have its artistic form because the stones that
have already been laid will point to the missing one. They are demanding
it! For living in a house it is irrelevant whether one stone or something
else is missing. However, this function of the house is immaterial from
an artistic viewpoint. The artistic content is a specific architectural
experience emanating from the artistic form for which even the last stone
in a building is necessary!
In his analyses of the structure of an aesthetic object, including a building,
Hartmann makes a distinction between the foreground and background of
a work of art. The foreground is tangible, visible, external-real, while
the spiritual background- transcendental and unreal- is behind it.
Borisavljevic perceives the beautiful as the phenomenon of sight and not
of space and lines. He rejects psychological and mathematical definitions
of the beautiful, arguing that the aesthetic is primarily a time-related
phenomenon which is not based on a geometrical perspective but on an optical
and psychological one.
Pier Luigi Nervi emphasizes that the fusion of three factors- aesthetics,
static's and building- produced great architecture in the past. It is
the subject that has been brought into play regardless of its background:
it is more important what an author has written than the circumstances
in which his work has been written: for its quality it is irrelevant who
will read it. It is certain, however, that the concept of aesthetics,
in architecture in particular, underlies the patterns of motives, sings,
The golden section (sectio aurea) has survived since the classical period
as a correlation between two unequal sections of a line, so that the shorter
section is to the longer as the longer to the whole. The beautiful based
on the golden section. The beautiful as a measure for value. And value?
In a work of art it is not identical with any attribute or distinctive
feature of its content. It is a specific pre-quality, freed from such
attributes and arising from emotion. For Richard Meier, value lies in
space, form and light. This is sufficient for the framework of an architecture
which, according to the author, does not intend to create an illusion.
Meier says: My aim is to be present and I try to achieve this aim an irresistible
force... Presence as the aesthetics on its highest' level.
docet qui bene distinguit.
The poetess Ebner-Eschenbach does not speak about teachers who do not
differentiate the problems well; she does not dream about the expanses
full of wonders like L.I.Kahn, yet he writes that those who understand
only what is explicable understand just a little. The author Kessel would
add: One must have the capacity for reason in order to comprehend that
some things cannot be perceived by reasoning... From the word "bene" to
the word REASON.
part of the introduction taken from
"11 Outstanding Yugoslav Architects-Book 2"
Belgrade Presentation: March 1989
To paraphrase Giulio Carlo Argan: Modern man tries desperately to hold
on to the present in which he seeks his realization but which is constantly
passing. The present is nothing, indeed, but the feature moving into the
past. The desire is to belong to the present-day, but it becomes evident
immediately that this is impossible because the present-past is deprived
of the meaning without which a sense of the present cannot be had. An
uncritical attitude then takes over, in which protest and utopia are typical
and interchangeable forms. The forms meld, since protests are always in
the name of the past or future (it used to be better - it's sure to be
better). The truth is we are afraid or don't want the past to return,
nor for the future to show up in the present. The attraction of the past
and the future is precisely that they are not taking place in the present!
This is the introduction to my Introduction where I want to set out my
purpose in preparing this book, what actually took place and what I may
expect. I have had to go into the past because it was the only way to
chose the architects for a book intended as a statement about the present.
The future of the book interests me, above all because with this, Book
2 and Book 3, already in preparation, I wind up a distinct cycle of my
secret of self-knowledge
In his Maxima, Goethe sets
out to us his thoughts on truth. I start these pages with maxim "truth
belongs to man error to time" so as to be able to ask: what do you think
of Goethe's idea of placing man and time at opposite poles? I suggest
the following meaning or explanation my be given Goethe's maxim: man and
time add up to "continuity in change". If error, by belonging to time,
is only a secondary determinant or property, then this negation of the
actual, empirical determinant of truth- the momentary being equated with
never having been- leads us quite simply to conclude: truth and error
have the same source! My endeavors to discover, to reveal, my quest for
what is or should be, for the hidden which needs to be revealed and when
revealed set out as new, should be viewed through the entirely personal
secret of self-knowledge. Let me recall: the secret of self-knowledge,
according to Socrates, is the foundation of virtue and is known as personal
truth. It is born one's view of self and of the outer world. Each man
builds his truth from inside, from self-knowledge. Because "man exists
in truth", Nietzsche says, self-knowledge is opposed by illusion and deceit.
He presents illusion and deceit working together against truth!
part of the introduction taken from
11 Outstanding Yugoslav Architects-Book3
Belgrade Presentation: June 1989