Wool Mill

Client: Luka Beograd
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Surface: 1200 sqm
Category: architecture; residential
Year: 2011-2012
Design: Sinestezia
Principal in charge: Ana Zatezalo Schenk
Project Team: Mateja Živadinović, Ivana Nenković
3D visualisation: Milan Grubanov

In the historical centre of the Karaburma municipality lays one of the most significant marks of the Industrial Revolution on early XX century Serbia, the Belgrade Wool Mile (BWM). Mixed-use development and growth of new inner-city centres in Belgrade has been noted as one of the successful steps local government is taking in order to attract new investors and create more liveable neighbourhoods. Initial steps in development of a new BWM were entrusted to the partnership of Sinestezia Studio and Beovest Capital as the main buildings of the industrial area are protected as cultural heritage of great significance. It is planned to be the new commercial centre of the city.Therefore, the first step was to think about rules which will drive future development of the area and will have repercussions on protected buildings. Through a six months period we facilitated interaction between stakeholders and passed through more than 5 concepts which finally ended with one which is seen as win-win solution. Also, we have provided set of guidelines which established a path for detailed design in the future. The project was running on two tracks. The first was to define possible interventions on the protected buildings and the second was to connect them with surrounding public space. As a difference in ground level of about 10 meters exists between future square and plateau, looking North and South of BWM, it was a challenge to connect them and make vibrant liveable spaces. Therefore, the inner square was elevated and became closer to the rest of the city by 7 meters. Further, pedestrian axis was established, starting with the square in front of the historical buildings of this part of the city, which leads to the river of Danube. Protected buildings, on the ground floor level, are occupied by public amenities, while additional floors are planned for offices. It was important to preserve the old look of the historical buildings, as well as to separate and highlight them over the new additional parts. Finally, a balance between old and new has been established as commercial needs are not in collision with public demands to protect what is the identity of this part of Belgrade.