Dubravka Sekulić

Glotzt nicht so romantisch! (Russian Pavilions)

Russian Pavilions is a research project investigating the informal urban developments taking place in Karaburma, a workers’ district in Belgrade. After the collapse of Socialism—during a transitional phase between communal and private property ownership, between a lawless state and a newfound regulation of the construction and real estate sectors—strategies for expanding housing space were established in Belgrade, with a particular focus on the expansion of rooftop areas. These plans were usually carried out by the residents themselves without blueprints, architects, or legal grounds. Starting in 2001, real-estate brokers, on the lookout for lucrative investment opportunities, likewise adopted this strategy. The so-called “Russian Pavilions” in Karaburma offered particularly optimal conditions for this undertaking and were thus augmented, by the developers, to up to two and a half times their original size through rooftop expansions.

A 60-page booklet charts in detail the transformation of “Russian Pavilions” from an overlooked peaceful neighborhood to an El Dorado of roof extensions, explaining the connection between a spatial and legislative transformation.

[download PDF, 452 kb]

Russian Pavilions, video, 2009

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