An Interim Architecture: Traces of Socialist Realism in New Belgrade, 1945-1961

Only pines and gray rocks are with me in Brač island desert. All alone in the hills, if only there was someone to walk with me. And while I was yearning for hoe’s cling or bird’s song, I read the letters “Tito-Stalin” on a roadside cliff. And instantly I became brighter and stronger; sad loneliness was gone. Two good, strong comrades were walking along with me.

Antonije Marinković , “Facing the Beauty of Our Construction Sites” (“Pred lepotom naših radilišta”), 1949[1]

On October 20, 1944 both the Soviet Red Army and the People’s Liberation Army of Yugoslavia liberated Yugoslavia from German occupation. The country had been under Axis rule since 1941 and German bombings had devastated the country. After the war ended and the native, communist People’s Liberation Army of Yugoslavia partnered with the Soviets, Yugoslavia looked to the USSR for guidance on how to rebuild.

Inheriting the Soviet model, the Yugoslavs espoused Socialist Realism as the program for cultural production. However, how Socialist Realism functioned and looked in Yugoslavia would not be identical to how it did in the Soviet Union. This is especially true in architecture. Few socialist-realist architectural plans developed during the Soviet era in Yugoslavia got further than pouring the foundation. And when buildings were finally built, they did not resemble the Soviet socialist-realist aesthetic. Though they did not look like their predecessors, the buildings did follow the socialist-realist credo, “socialist in content, national in form.”[2]

Marx and Engels Square, New Belgrade, c. 1950.

Socialist Realism then, does not refer to a specific style as such, but to a work’s capacity to concretize, in the clearest possible terms, the socialist-political ideals of a specific nation. The aesthetic terms of Socialist Realism are determined by the project’s ability to reflect some nation’s iteration of a socialist politics. That is, the artistic and architectural lexicons from which the artist can draw are not limited to that of any nation or time-period.

While much attention has been paid to the influence of the West—particularly of Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM)—on New Belgrade’s architectural landscape, relatively little attention has been given to the influence of the Soviets. Though close ties with the Soviet Union lasted only three years, from the Soviet intervention in 1945 to the Tito-Stalin break in 1948, the resonances of those years were felt well into the 1960s. The Soviet Union was communist Yugoslavia’s formative model and set the course for the country’s rapid industrialization, cultural reform, and building practices.

I will here expand on the work that has been done to situate New Belgrade’s architectural practices as between the communist-East and the capitalist-West.[3] My goal is to explain the sense in which these practices reflect this “in-between” status.[4] In focusing on the construction of New Belgrade, a veritable tabula rasa which promised Yugoslavia a new, more equitable kind of city, I will track the ways in which the city’s architects and planners continued a socialist-realist program that, even at the height of the Tito-Stalin conflict, retained the Soviet Union’s initial aesthetic-political influence. I will argue that works, previously considered wholly “Western,” tend toward Socialist Realism insofar as they have a didactic socialist-political message, albeit one packaged in a western-capitalist style, e.g., high modernism. Focusing on competition submissions for New Belgrade’s city plan and particularly on plans for important political sites such as the Federation Building and the Central Committee Building (CK), I will show how architectural propaganda, especially ephemeral architectural appendages such as flags, sculpture, and light, as well as the high-modernist architecture “style,” worked in concert to articulate Yugoslavia’s political sentiments at a monumental scale.[5]


Shortly following the Soviet intervention, the overthrow of the monarchy, and the ascendency of Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980), plans began to restructure Belgrade and to create a new city across the Sava river. But before they could start building the country needed to industrialize. Like post-revolutionary Russia, post-war Yugoslavia had a shortage of professionals. According to a 1921-1931 report, 80% of Yugoslavia’s workers were agricultural, with only 9% of the country’s workers employed by industry.[6] Thus the country’s leadership, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY), faced a task with which their Soviet allies were already familiar: quickly developing an industrial economy in an historically agrarian country (fig. 1). In adopting their predecessor’s lofty five-year plan, commonly known as “Petoljetka,” the country began its quick transition toward industrialization, which again, following the Soviet model, aimed to change more than just economics:[7] it would begin the process of creating a new kind of citizen—a socialist Yugoslav.[8]

Figure 1. Volunteer youth brigades at a construction site in New Belgrade, 1948.

Yugoslavs were inundated with party propaganda. Public spaces were transformed into communist centers, as red flags and stars, hammer-and-sickles, portraits of communist leaders, and popular communist slogans were adhered to building facades (fig.2).[9] Tito’s name was routinely invoked alongside Stalin’s, reflecting the Yugoslavs’ desire to assert themselves as the USSR’s closest and most ardent followers. Equivalences were also made between Moscow and Belgrade. “Belgrade-Moscow” became a popular slogan that simultaneously reiterated the country’s faithfulness to the USSR and asserted itself as equal to the Eastern power (fig.3).

Figure 2. Terazije Square in Belgrade decorated to celebrate the Fifth Congress of the CPY, 1948.
Figure 3. Headline “Belgrade-Moscow,” implying the political and symbolic proximity of the two cities. Reproduced in: Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 363.

The transformative iconosphere promised a new way of life rooted in ethnic and social equality. To highlight its difference from the old, the new party was often referred to as the “new Yugoslavia.”[10] Therefore the identity of the party and the identity of the New Belgrade would become one in the same. In fact, the formal character of the city as it was being built helped in reifying the state’s political projects.

Fig. 4. Antun Augustinčić, Monument to the Red Army in Batina, 1945-47.
Figure 5. Vera Mukhina’s Worker and Kolkhoz Woman, 1937.

Throughout the five-year plan, most of the state-sanctioned cultural activity occurred in the disposable arts, such as in posters, in architectural ephemera, and in magazine or newspaper articles. But it could also be found in painting, literature, and state monuments. In these practices the principles of Socialist Realism were most clearly defined.

The 1946 monument celebrating the achievements of the Red Army by Antun Augustinčić, then president of the Union of Yugoslav Artists, encapsulates the principles of Socialist Realism (fig. 4). The sculpture borrows heavily from well-known soviet precedents, such as Vera Mukhina’s Worker and Kolkhoz Woman (1937)(fig. 5).[11] Like Mukhina’s sculpture, the message of Augustinčić’s monument is clear. The monument presents a woman striding forward holding a sword and a star. She holds the star above her head on the same side of her body which is stepping forward while her other hand holds a lowered sword tracking the leg that has yet to follow the forward striding one. She stands high above the viewer on a star-shaped pedestal that mirrors the one in her hand—furthering its symbolic importance. The sculpture requires little explanation. It is a woman personifying the triumphs of communism in war, who continues forward in her steadfast and progressive campaign to rid the country of inequality—the communist-signifying star in her hand is, of course, also her guiding light.

Though never explicitly codified, the principles of Socialist Realism—to straightforwardly represent communist values—are clearest in monuments like Augustinčić’s. However, it was unclear how non-mimetic arts like architecture ought to reflect socialist mores. Though Yugoslavia’s prominent architectural journal, Arhitektura, promised to explain how the new “epoch of Socialist Realism” in architecture would emerge, its examples were often contradictory, relying heavily on the prewar, modernist precedents that it sought to disavow.[12]

Developing a cogent and actionable Socialist-realist program in architecture was not going to follow from the pages of the journal. But neither would it come from the streets of Moscow. Like Arhitektura, the streets of Moscow featured experiments by the Soviet avant-garde, in American-style skyscrapers, and in various pre-Revolutionary buildings. It was not until the Yugoslavs began planning their own socialist city, well after the Tito-Stalin spit, that the Soviets began coalescing the Soviet architectural style that we now call “Socialist Realism:” buildings that convey a pointed historicism, laden with didactic, sculptural elements. This meant that in the years preceding the split, the Yugoslavs had to develop their own socialist architecture. For while adherence to Socialist Realism was compulsory, how to build it was still being figured out. It was not until an “urgent order” sent out in 1946, calling for the immediate construction of two governmental buildings in New Belgrade, that the Yugoslavs began experimenting with socialist architecture.[13]


New Belgrade is located across from the old city on the western banks of the Sava river. Until construction began in 1948, the only buildings in the area were fairgrounds from Belgrade’s first international exhibition in 1937 (fig. 6). During the war, the Nazis used the site as a concentration camp called “Sajmiste” (translated literally as “fairgrounds”).[14] While these buildings were never torn down, some were destroyed during the Axis bombing of Belgrade in 1941. The buildings that remained were acknowledged by some but more often excluded from depictions of the new city. Almost none of the master plans for New Belgrade included Sajmiste, regularly leaving the space vacant as if nothing were there at all.[15]

Fig. 6. Belgrade’s first international exhibition (Sajmiste) in 1937.

Part of Yugoslav Socialist Realism would be the rejection of the German occupation.  New Belgrade would represent the ideal future of the new regime, expressing, in built form, an era of prosperity under socialism. Jovan Popovic wrote of the city:

The city of our socialism, […] New Belgrade, rises from the desolate riverbanks, at the spot where the fascist enemies kept one of their death camps, embodying the significance of new Yugoslavia in that part of Europe in which people’s democracy has been achieved. New Belgrade should be an example of what independent and free peoples can achieve…peoples guided by the Communist Party and Tito.[16]

New Belgrade became a city about forgetting: forgetting the foreign occupation, forgetting the inequalities of the old bourgeois city, and forgetting the Serbian monarchy. This meant that politically and culturally New Belgrade was built to reform. While the tenets of Socialist Realism in architecture remained opaque, the possibility of a specifically socialist, Yugoslavian style offered a hopeful alternative to artists and architects eager to represent the new era as different and distinct from its prewar past.

While Belgrade desperately needed housing, the Yugoslav government opted instead to begin with the construction of two governmental sites: The Federation Building, which would be used for state business, and the CK, which would be used for party business. In November 1946, a national competition entitled “The Renewal and Reconstruction of Belgrade” (Obnova i izgradnje Beograda) called on architects to design proposals for the Federation Building, the CK, and the city’s master plan.

Figure 7. Nikola Dobrović, Sketch of the regulation of Belgrade on the eft bank of the Sava, 1946. Reproduced in: Grigor Doytchinov, Planning Capital Cities: Belgrade, Bucharest, Sofia, 2015, 162.

Nikola Dobrović, a preeminent modernist architect, led the charge.[17] Participants interested in the competition received Dobrović’s preliminary studies, including a “sketch of the regulation of Belgrade on the left bank of the Sava,” but were not required to adhere to it (fig. 7). Dobrović’s early plan of the city highlighted the two important governmental buildings, which punctuated two of the six radial nodes emanating out from the city’s central rail station. Dobrović’s studies and sketches, which comprised most of the brief, focused on the development of important the governmental sites, creating sweeping vistas, and positioning the city’s rail-based transportation system.

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 5.0
Figures 8A and 8B. Vladimir Potočnjak, Federation Building, competition entry, first prize, New Belgrade, 1947. As reproduced in: Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 374.

Of the twenty-six competition entries that were submitted for the master plan, none reproduced Dobrović’s radial plan.[18] However, many did imagine the city as the new governmental center and were similarly concerned with regulating transportation to and from New Belgrade. Likely due to the vague guidelines of the brief, none of the master plans were awarded first place. Similarly, no one was awarded first place for their design of the CK building, which received a staggering seventy entries. The only design to be awarded first was architect Vladimir Potočnjak’s design for the Federation Building (figs.8a and 8b). Potočnjak had an impressive modernist education, having worked for Adolf Loos in Paris and Ernst May in Frankfurt. Therefore, it is unsurprising that his designs for the Federation Building drew heavily from modernist precedents.

The success of Potočnjak’s design reflected the current state of Socialist Realism in Yugoslavia. Columns, monumental sculptures, and symmetry act as counterweights to the thin modernist buildings covered in a skin of fenestration. The competition’s jury celebrated Potočnjak and his team’s proposal, noting that it projected a “serious, harmonious and unpretentious monumentality” that achieved a “calm beauty.”[19]

Figure. 9. Stari dvor (Old Palace), Belgrade, 1882-1884.

The Federation Building’s “calm beauty,” brought about by its symmetry and rhythmic façade prompt a comparison to Belgrade’s Stari dvor (Old Palace), which served as the 19th home of the recently overthrown monarchy (fig. 9). Though unlikely his explicit aim, if the Stari dvor functioned as comparanda for Potočnjak, it could explain why the jury chose his design as the winning entry. Given that Stari dvor was home to the monarchy, the Federation Building’s resemblance to the palacemakes sense; the architect is signaling a shift from the “Old Belgrade” to the New, assuring the Federation Building’s recognition as the country’s new ideological center.

Figure 10. Palace of the Soviets, Limited Competition for Five Collectives, 1933. Winning design by Yofan, Moscow—perspective. As reproduced and cited in: Peter Lizon, “Quest for an Image to Serve a Revolution: Design Competitions for the Palace of the Soviets,” JAE 35, no. 4 (1982): 15.

That the design for the Yugoslav’s chief governmental building was developed for a competition is unsurprising. It is generally agreed that Socialist Realism in the USSR advanced over the course of the numerous competitions for the design of the Palace of the Soviets (fig. 10). Until these competitions, the USSR’s architectural practices had been marked by modernist experimentation, as architects attempted to develop an architectural language suitable for novi byt (new Soviet man). Socialist Realism as a distinctive style grew out of competitions for the Palace of the Soviets because, as Peter Lizon writes, “the Soviet people [envisioned the Palace of the Soviets] as the representational architectural image embodying the artistic aspirations of the new social and political order.”[20] Soviet Socialist Realism was not immediately codified, but grew out of a conglomeration of elements that became codified after a long period of paper experimentation, eventually becoming a single, representative style whose “Sovietness” was discernably its own.

Figures 11a and 11b. A. Raymond Hood, Rockefeller Center, New York, on the cover of Architektura (Feb. 1935). B. Iofan and Gelfreich, Palace of the Soviets, final design, 1937, detail of model showing vertical slabs that resemble miniature Rockefeller Centers.  As reproduced and cited in: Udovički-Self, “Between Modernism and Socialist Realism: Soviet Architectural Culture under Stalin’s Revolution from Above, 1938-1938.” 482.

Throughout the competition for the Palace of the Soviets much of what constituted the “representational architectural image” remained obscure. What would become “Socialist Realism” ex post facto drew from several different sources: Russian supremacism, modernist and constructivist design, American skyscrapers, and western monuments such as the Statue of Liberty. Even the heavy masonry synonymous with the program had precedents in American modernism (figs. 11a and 11b) and Russian supremacism.[21]

The heterogeneous origins of Socialist Realism are important in understanding why the Federation Building could be praised in Yugoslavia in near identical terms as a socialist-realist work would be in the USSR and yet look so different. Like the Soviets before them, the competitions for New Belgrade’s governmental buildings and city plan would serve as the arena wherein Yugoslavs determined the norms of their socialist architecture. It is because they shared an architectural heritage with varied influences that both the Federation Building’s modern elements and its abstract historicism are locatable in competition entries for the Palace of the Soviets.

Third-Way Socialist Realism

The construction of New Belgrade began in 1948. A plaque acknowledging the occasion reads:

On 11 April 1948, three years after the end of the people’s liberation war, preparations for the beginning of a new battle for happiness and well-being of the people were complete. On that day, working people and youth of all of Yugoslavia tried to erect New Belgrade, to expand the beloved capital of the state of coequal nationalities on this side of the Sava, to enlarge and beatify the city from which the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, headed by comrade Tito, led the uprising… and to create another eternal symbol of the victorious liberation struggle of our peoples, whom Marshall Tito leads to socialism in a state built by the people itself.[22]

New Belgrade is imagined becoming an “eternal symbol” of a “victorious liberation.”  To this end, architects and planners were tasked with creating that symbol. They were tasked with forming the model that all other communist Yugoslavian cities. That is, they were asked to build a city in accordance to the socialist-realist dictate, “socialist in form and national in content.”

The active construction of the city did not last long. In June of that same year, Comintern (Communist International) severed all connections with the CPY, leaving Yugoslavia without its primary creditors and trading partners. During this period, also known as the Tito-Stalin Split, little progress was made on the city. Only the foundations and some skeletal work were laid for the Federation Building. The project of creating the first completely socialist city had come to a sudden and complete halt. Nevertheless, what progress had been made on the Federation Building set a “classically modernist tone” that left a lasting impression on the city and its future development.[23]

Figure 12. Vladimir Potočnjak, Federation Building, construction drawings, New Belgrade, 1948. As reproduced in: Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 375.

Construction on the Federation Building did not start again until 1955, nine years after Potocnjak received the commission. In the interim, Potocnjak passed away, leaving Mihailo Janković to take over as head architect. Because only the exterior skeleton and foundation were fixed, Janković took the opportunity to redesign the building according to the current political climate.[24] Early construction drawings show that Potocnjak intended to give the otherwise modern building weight by affixing large, three-feet-wide pilasters to the its façade. He would also add decorative keystones to some windows and outfit the reinforced concrete skeleton in seven-inch-thick white marble blocks (fig.12).[25] Each of these heavy and traditional features would too closely associated with the building with Soviets. As a central governmental building, the Federation needed to represent Tito’s “third-way” socialism without acknowledging the city’s earlier ties to the Soviet Union.  

Fig. 13. Mihailo Janković: Federation Building, New Belgrade, 1954-62. As reproduced in: Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 420.
Figure 14. Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye, Poissy, France, 1928-1931.

Working around the building’s established footprint, Janković inverted the building’s original relationship to its site. He added piloti where there was once a thick-masonry skirt (fig. 13) and he replaced the large portico with a single-story strip building reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye (fig. 14). Janković also removed the monumental sculptures from the exterior, allowing the building’s strong symmetry and expansive horizontality to assert its function as an important government site.

Le Corbusier’s influence on the Eastern bloc was not limited to Yugoslavia. His Tsentrosoyuz Building (1933) stood just outside Moscow’s city center. Though once celebrated, the foreign modernist building quickly fell out of favor. Just as Yugoslavia began constructing their Corbusier-inspired governmental site, fences were erected to enclose the once open-air breezeways beneath the Tsentrosoyuz.[26] According to Vladimir Paperny, “what frightens the [Stalinist] culture most,” about the Tsentrosoyuz building is that it “seems to have come from afar on its own, strange legs.”[27] While the USSR attempted to purge western influence in order to build a more Soviet architecture, Yugoslavia was simultaneously looking to the West as a model for how to build their own, specifically Yugoslavian one. Yugoslavian architects, however, would never completely eschew Soviet precedent. The Federation Building, for instance, remained symmetrical, and the piloti functioned doubly as, for one, Soviet-style columns that associated the building with state power and, for another, western-modernist piers that unmoored the building from its stable ground.

Though the Federation Building’s heavy masonry was discarded, the interior emphasized the building’s didactic program. The 65,000-squaremeter plan was regularly punctuated by richly decorated mosaics, sculptures, wall-frescos, and paintings, each with a straightforwardly state-socialist message. By adding materials like marble to the interior, Janković again inverted his Soviet predecessor’s design—moving the sculptural program and rich materials from the exterior to the interior.

Unlike for the Federation Building, no one was commissioned to design the CK, the future home to the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. A passage from the original brief broadly outlines the jury’s expectations:

In the volumetric urban composition of New Belgrade, the building of the Central Committee of the CPY is the dominant object. It will achieve this effect: through its height (which should reach the height of 120m above the sea level), through the relations between its masses, and through its monumental treatment. The building should be an expression of creative power, a potent symbol of the Communist party…The building is located on the axis of a boulevard that leads from the new main railway station and represents an architectural centerpiece framed by the buildings of federal ministries. When viewed from the Kalemegdan fortress, from the Sava bridge, from the banks of the Danube and the Sava, it is the main element in the composition. That is why the appearance of the building has to be treated in a fully monumental manner, on all sides and from above. Great attention should be paid to harmonizing its architectural and sculptural treatments.[28]

In the brief for this early competition, little specification is given to the expected style or material of the building. What is explicit is that the building ought to be monumental. The size alone, it seems, would connect Old and New Belgrade. By the time the government was ready construct the CK, the brief’s relevance had long passed. So, in 1959, the state held a new competition for the CK’s design, wherein the building’s name would be officially changed from the CK to the “Building of Social and Political Organization.”[29] Colloquially, however, the building remained known as the “CK.”

Documentation surrounding the second competition for the CKs design has been lost. Yet urban plans from the time show its site was moved. New plans placed the building further inland, closer to the Federation. This meant that the CK was to be the first building one saw when entering the city. It is quite possible that the new 1959 brief kept some language from the earlier one. This is especially plausible given that the final building strongly resembles numerous entries from the first competition.[30]

Fig. 15. Mihailo Janković and Dušan Milenković: CK, New Belgrade, 1960. As reproduced in: Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 422.

Following his successful completion of the Federation Building, Janković along with his partner Milenković, were chosen to design and construct this important government site. Their proposed design resembled an American-style skyscraper, with a nearby saucer-like structure floating atop two strip-buildings near its base (fig.15). The skyscraper would be encased in a curtain wall and constructed using ultramodern materials and methods, including a steel skeleton. Due to insufficient funds, limited know-how, and a tight timeline, the designers’ original proposal was deemed untenable. The ancillary saucer and strip buildings were removed as were the plans for a steel skeleton. New plans called for a concrete skeleton and to replace pre-fab spandrel glass with traditional masonry walls. [31]

Fig. 16. Mihailo Janković and Dušan Milenković: The CK building, facade, New Belgrade, 1959-64. As reproduced in: Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 425.

This did not deter Janković and Milenković from creating a building that looked like an American skyscraper. To recreate the curtain wall, the architects placed the glass windows at the farthest possible edges of the structure and covered the masonry walls with green-tinted glass (fig. 16). More, Janković and Milenković wrapped the concrete skeletal columns in aluminum and the masonry walls in glass.[32] All-together their ersatz curtain wall proved effective.  

Fig. 17. Mihailo Janković and Dušan Milenković: The CK building, lobby, New Belgrade, 1959-64. As reproduced in: Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 426.
Fig. 18. Mihailo Janković and Dušan Milenković: The CK building, facade lit at night, around 1966. As reproduced in: Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 427.

While its exterior simulated American-style modernity, the interior evoked the Soviet socialist-realist paradigm. In this way, both the CK and the Federation Building contained similar interior programs. The CKs interior was bursting with sumptuous materials, like marble and glass. And, like the Federation Building, the CK featured straightforwardly socialist and nationally relevant imagery, such as a bust of Lenin that dominated visitors’ sight-lines as they entered the lobby (fig. 17). The program was carried out onto the building’s façade, where at night the CKs lights would illuminate political slogans such as “Long Live Tito” (fig. 18).

Yugoslavian Socialist Realism’s “socialist content” and “national form” are here collapsed. The clarity of purpose at a monumental scale begs comparison to the Soviets, such as their Worker and Kolkhoz Woman or Palace. At the same time the propaganda’s ephemerality— lights with changing messages—reflect the Yugoslav’s bifurcated political identity, it is neither fully a sculptural monument nor an anonymous skyscraper. While borrowing from Western building practices, the CK remained a “potent symbol of the Communist party.”

New Belgrade’s veritable tabula rasa, offered Yugoslavia the chance to experiment with what their “third way” socialist city could look like, and, as many scholars have already noted, they often took precedents from western modernists. But, as I hope to have shown, they were also influenced by the Soviet East, especially in their development of a uniquely Yugoslavian Socialist Realism.  

            While the allegiance between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union only lasted three years, the Soviets introduction of Socialist Realism, as a yet-to-be-concretized mode of communicating propagandistic messages, spurred the development of New Belgrade. Both the Federation Building and the CK were initially conceived in the socialist-realist style, built to be representative of the Yugoslav government. While much of the features associated with Soviet-style Socialist Realism were never realized, the buildings functioned as monumental representations of the regime, adhering to the socialist-realist dictum: “socialist in form and national in content.”

Courtney Rawlings is a PhD candidate in Art History at Emory University. Her studies are largely concerned with art, architecture, and design in Europe and America from the interwar to the mid-century. Currently, her research is focused on the rise of public and low-cost housing in the United States, especially in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @__acadame. 


[1] As reproduced in: Branislav Jakovljević, “Bodywriting” in Alienation Effects: Performance and Self-Management in Yugoslavia, 1945-91 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2016),52.

[2] Vladimir Kulić, “Land of the In-Between: Modern architecture and the State in Socialist Yugoslavia, 1945-65” (PhD diss., The University of Texas at Austin, 2009), 166-167.

[3] This is notable considering the Yugoslav’s political affiliations. The Yugoslavs were affiliated with the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which was founded in Belgrade in 1961 in response to Cold War politics that aimed to classify countries as either Eastern and communist or Western and capitalist.

[4] Kulić’s 2009 dissertation acts as the scaffold for this paper—especially for translations, images, and the broad historical facts of the matter. Moreover, Kulić similarly reads many of the works included here as representative of Belgrade’s dual-influences from both the East and the West. My aim is to add to Kulic’s formative work by imagining the post-Soviet era’s architectural projects in Yugoslavia to be a continuation of the Soviet’s Socialist Realist precedent. For more on the West’s influence and particularly CIAMs influence on post-war Belgrade see: Kulić’s dissertation “Land of the In-Between” (2009) or Le Normand’s book Designing Tito’s Capital (2014).

[5] Both the CK and the Federation Building have several names mirroring their changing use throughout Belgrade’s History. The ‘CK’ building, which is short for Centralni Komitet (Central Committee) is also known as: The Building of Social and Political Organization and Ušće Tower. The Federation Building is also known as: The Palace the Serbia, Savezno izvršno veće 1 (SIV 1), and Palata Federacije (Palace of the Federation).

[6] Jakovljević, 40.

[7] Consider for instance, that the formula for the five-year plan in Yugoslavia was “Industrialization plus electrification.” This formula is almost identical to Vladimir Lenin’s: “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.”

[8] Comparable to the Soviet’s goal to develop a novi byt.

[9] Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 76.

[10] Lidija Merenik, Ideološki modeli, 25. As cited and reproduced in: Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 74.

[11] Zimmerman, 476.

[12] See: Editorial, Arhitektura (Zagreb) I, vol. 1 (August 1947): 3. As reproduced in: Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 19.

[13] See: Memo to the Federal government from Živa Đorđević, the aide to the Federal Minister of Construction, 25 December, 1946; ASCG, Fond 50 Pretsedništvo Vlade FNRJ, Fascikla 78 Građevinarstvo, no. 78-343.

[14] For more information on the Sajmiste’s building’s building style, history, and current uses see:

[15] Milica Topalovic, “New Belgrade: The Modern City’s Unstable Paradigms,” in Belgrade Formal Informal: A Research on Urban Transformation (Zürich: Scheidegger & Spiess, 2012), 135.

[16] Jovan Popovic, 1948, “Fpafl Hame CBecHe Bojte,” Jugoslavija-SSSR 32 (June),6-7. As reproduced and cited in: Vladimir Kulić, “National, supranational, international: New Belgrade and the symbolic construction of a socialist capital,” Nationalities Papers vol. 41 no. 1 (2013): 40.

[17] Maja Babic, “Modernism and Politics in the Architecture of Socialist Yugoslavia, 1945-1965” (MA Thesis, University of Washington, 2013) 63.

[18] Dobrović also entered the competition and did reproduce his radial plan.

[19] Tomislav: nova tradicija (Zagreb: Nakladni zavod Matice hrvatske, 1990), 55-56. As cited in Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 161.

[20] Peter Lizon, “Quest for an Image to Serve a Revolution: Design Competitions for the Palace of the Soviets,” JAE 35, no. 4 (1982):10.

[21] Danilo Udovički-Selb, “Between Modernism and Socialist Realism: Soviet Architectural

Culture under Stalin’s Revolution from Above, 1928–1938,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 68, no. 4 (2009): 480-83.

[22] The plaque is reproduced in Beograd-Novi Beograd (Belgrade: Direkcija za izgradnju Novog Beograda, 1967), 17. As cited in: Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 171-72.

[23] Milica Topalovic, 146.

[24] Ljubica Gajevic, “New Belgrade urban fortunes ideology and practice under the patronage of state and market,” (PhD diss., Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona, 2011): 60-61.

[25] Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,”162.

[26] Paperny, Architecture in the Age of Stalin: Culture Two (Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 2002), 39.

[27] Ibid.

[28] “Uslovi konkursa za zgradu Centralnog komiteta Komunističke partije Jugoslavije i za zgradu Pretsedništva Vlade Federativne Narodne Republike Jugoslavije,” Tehnika I, no. 11-12 (November,1946): 339. As Cited in: Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,”147-148.

[29] It is likely that the competition was held in either 1959 or 1960. The official documentation has been lost.

[30] The building was also the tallest in Yugoslavia for years after its completion.

[31] Kulić, “Land of the In-Between,” 285-286.

[32] ibid.