Bogdanović’s picturesque architecture

author: Aleksa Korolija, Politecnico di Milano
published: Dec. 1, 2015,   recorded: November 2015,   views: 1214


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Memorial architecture assumed, in the post WWII Yugoslavia, the features of a complex process that can really be considered a ‘memorialization’. The particular socio–political conditions of Yugoslavia struggled in creating a new form of society firmly opposed to the legacy of local identities , which saw in the architectural and urban field the prevalence of a language that had to be ‘modern in form and socialist in content’ thus creating a hybrid creature. The theme of the picturesque applied to urban design came into debate in post-war Europe, especially in British circles; yet it was never explicitly denounced or formally applied in Yugoslavian architecture or in the theoretical debate. Nevertheless, its presence is perceptible particularly in the struggle for a symbolic quest within Memorial architecture and in the attempts made to find a conciliatory expression between vernacular and aulic traditions. The core of the research focuses on protomajstor Bogdan Bogdanović (1922–2010) and on WWII memorials he designed, which can be read as a unique reinterpretation of the picturesque and as a tool for re-shaping a heterogeneous and complex urban, territorial and cultural context (Yugoslavia was made out of six Republics, many different ethnic groups and an incredibly varied landscape). The research focuses on picturesque as a design process based on phenomenology, perception and the senses, not as a style or a formal set of rules. The importance of such an approach has been examined and applied by Bogdanović both in his memorials and in his texts.

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