The Old Belgrade Fairground, a great example of the Early Modernism in Belgrade, underlined the modernization and Europeanization of the capital city of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The Fairground's construction in 1937 on the bare terrain of today's New Belgrade was the first step of urbanisation of Belgrade on the left bank of the Sava river and was followed by the construction of the modern city after WWII. During the 80 years long history, the purpose of the Old Belgrade Fairground has been changed several times creating multilayered identity of the urban complex. The Modern exhibition space of the inter-war period was transformed into the infamous concentration camp during WWII. Structures that survived the bombings were re-used as a habitat for youth brigades that participated in the construction of New Belgrade, while its previous purposes were suppressed. During the rebuilding of the city in the post-war period, the Old Belgrade Fairground was ignored. As forgotten place of memory it was partly adapted by artists into ateliers and partly became shelter for poor people. Despite its multileveled historical, cultural and architectural significance, the Old Belgrade Fairground today is neglected. Although a pioneer of Modern Movement in Belgrade, and at the same time an important memorial place, it is today a ruined structure that is decaying. Its multiple histories and "too much identity" created absence of any planned activity in order not to make a wrong one. After its ability to absorb different functions and adapt to huge transformations, its resilience is being contested by disability to balance the complex history. The paper investigates on the transformations and presents a concept of "dissonant heritage" as an instrument for renewal of the Old Belgrade Fairground that needs to use all of its complexity in order to truly recover from the past.
RMB Conference 2017, facade2017, ConstructionLab // Annual Report 2015-17
2017-11-23 – 2017-11-24