Client: Bart & Co
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Surface: 4000 sqm
Category: architecture; hospitality
Year: 2008-2013

Nobel House, a reconstructed and extended former Japanese Embassy, is a hotel offering its Belgrade visitors a modern oasis of elegance, greenery and tranquility in the city centre. It is located at what is probably the most desirable location at the very heart of the city carrying the name of the celebrated Nobel Laureate. With its rooftop (the highest in central Belgrade), unobstructed views across the whole city and its landmarks, this hotel provides its guests the prime environment to relax and enjoy. The site where Nobel House was built is a true witness of Belgrade’s urban and cultural development. Being right next to Belgrade City Hall and the presidential building of the Republic Serbia, which once were main parts of the Serbian kings Palace complex and overlooking the beautifully landscaped Pionirski Park and the Serbian National Assembly built in 1932, the project inherently deals with the questions of old vs. new; old vs. old-looking; automated vs. handmade etc. Therefore, the dialogue between the existing architecture, and Art Nouveau style with the contemporary architecture which will be implemented was the paramount driver of the project. Functional, structural and formal solutions, with implementation of high quality materials provided this harmony and dialogue of contemporary architecture with elements of the old Art Nouveau style building from 1924. In this way, the Hotel declares it’s belongings to the 21st century keeping strong connections with original building as a bridge. This eclectically-inspired design combiningBelgrade-style elements with Russian secession style along with contemporary architecture is unique in Belgrade and is very much in harmony with the city’s resolute cultural progress towards the future. The existing facade remains fixed, stable and eternal. The new layer of glass runs down through the openings, permeating with the previous old facade. The existing old 3 storey building will interlock with a contemporary bent steel and glass structure elevating the building up to 8 stories. With this way, old and new blends and integrates each other becoming a parts of a whole. The layer of glass in the facade is set back from the old facade in the top floors, creating terraces and open areas. With this way a formal continuity is achieved throughout the facades of the buildings. Also, on the interior, ceiling moulds and Art Nouveau detailing were important to carry onto the new design. Hence, each ceiling mould was drawn to vector shape and edited, reduced to 6 different final patterns which were then superimposed with Ivo Andrić, Serbian Nobel Laureate. Application of these new designs onto ceilings and furnitures achieved a highly textured surface and an homage to architecture of this building and to our Nobel prize Winner Ivo Andrić.

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