Savski Square

Project info


Competition | Competition Entry


Savski Square area, Belgrade | Serbia


City Administration | Belgrade


30 481 m2 gross


19.000.000 $


Schematic Design




Ilja Mikitišin, Igor Mikitišin, Nemanja Dačić, Rajko Anđelić, Miloš Pašić

…‘’so my dear child, you build for today, you build for tomorrow, but you also build for eternity. When it is built for the people, then what is being built must be enduring and as great as the people itself’’… a sentence taken from the remark of Stevan Nemanja (Father Simeon 1166-1196) spoken on the death bed, written by his youngest son Rastko, Saint Sava...

The idea of the project is to connect the Savski amphitheater and the old core of Belgrade by reaffirmation of the already existing square, giving it a new identity and character through the contents and activities adapted to today's modern society ...

The location where the interventions are planned is located in the central part of the city, in the immediate vicinity of the right bank of the Sava Rive. This area belongs to the Belgrade Center ( Old Belgrade ), the oldest preserved part of the capital that reflects the historical development and growth of the city from the city nucleus - Belgrade Fortress, towards the banks of the Sava and Danube. The existing wider situation with two bridges over Sava - (Brankov bridge and Old Sava bridge), until recently active Main Railway and Bus Station, and Karađorđeva Street as the main transit route, faces traffic congestion caused by freight transport due to the lack of an adequate traffic ring. All these facts lead to large traffic jams in this part of the city, which is one of the main problems to be solved!

Today's appearance, function and traffic situation of the square, despite its clear form, makes the Savski Square not a square in its essence, but a plateau in front of the old building of the Main Railway Station. By itself, it is just a transit station where people do not linger. Given all the odds, destructive processes, contradictions and urban dichotomies, THIS SPACE SURVIVED, and its circular matrix remained respected. Our intention is to reaffirm the already established urban concept of the square through the reorganization of its existing structure, at a time when Belgrade clearly craves a place for gathering and other events. Belgrade requires a SQUARE, and a SQUARE IS A PRODUCT OF THE CITY, STATE AND ITS SOCIETY. Therefore, the Savski Square in an urbanistic perspective has a dual role. The first is to unite and connect the Old part of Belgrade and the complex of Belgrade Waterfront at the Sava Amphitheater where the square would represent the portal of Belgrade to the rivers, and vice versa. This could result in Savski Square taking over the role of central city square. By this fact, we come to another important role of the square as an archetype of a public space designed and formed in order to attract and concentrate people.

The traffic solution of the future square can be reflected upon so with a dual positive impact, which results in an even distribution of traffic outside the square, better flow and the existence of a square as pedestrian public space connecting the Sava amphitheater with the old city core. The functional scheme of the square proposes a traffic solution that was guided by: • the modern principle of non-breaking of pedestrian paths • increasing the pedestrian zones • hierarchical relocation of road traffic to lower tier, with the improvement of its efficiency, capacity and flow.

These benefits become possible in a way that most of the traffic drops below the ground. Tram traffic on the square will be preserved at the place where it used to be and will not interfere with pedestrian ways. Tram stops are located on both sides at the square edges. Bicycle path is situated behind the monument of Stefan Nemanja as a fast connection (two-way lane) between Savska and Karadjordjeva streets, although the whole area of the square can be used by cyclists. Square is designed as people friendly in terms of traffic so pedestrians along with disabled persons can reach every corner of the square.

The answer to this conceptual setting "lies" in the square formed through an architectural urbanistic concept based on several different aspects - above mentioned traffic, social spatial, functional, symbolic - historical, aspect of spatial sequences and an ecological aspect. Socio Spatial - Square as a city reflection. Functional - The square, as a place of gathering and hanging out as well as a new city central ambient which affirms the connection of the Sava amphitheater with the old core of Belgrade. Symbolic - historical aspect - Represents the idea of transferring the symbolism of the monument of Stefan Nemanja to the area of the whole square. This intention, observed from the point of the monument itself, was achieved through a clear spatial division of the square into two parts. They indicate the two basic identities of his personality during his earthly life - STATESMANLIKE AND SPIRITUAL.

Aspect of Spatial Sequences – In process of design, the focus was at the scale and relations in the space, as well as moving through the space in the spatial chronological sequences divided into 5 phases:

• Square Plateau - the gathering of users in the central position of the square in front of the museum, or monument as a reference in space.

• Park Zone - the zone of relaxing and pleasant stay in a natural environment implemented in the city core

• Chillout Relax Area - cafe and commercial facilities

• Open Space Memorial - memorial educational contents

• Commercial Promenade - moving through urban city landscape enriched by diverse content (amenities)

• Museum Piazza - a small pizzetta in front of the entrance to the museum, with a spacious visual installation.

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