Docomomo International is now voting for your attention considering the chances Ikarus Building may hold.
“Docomomo Serbia is asking for your support in another flagrant case of endangering cultural property in the capital town of Serbia, Belgrade. This time our efforts are pointed towards one of the earliest buildings at the New Belgrade municipality, generally seen as a renowned global masterpiece of the modern urbanism and architecture after Second World War. However, the object itself – Headquarters of the plane and later bus factory “Ikarus” – was built in the dawn of marking New Belgrade a modern pearl. Designed by the architect Franjo Jenc a year before Second War burst all over Europe, Ikarus building is now lonely, solemn witness of the industrial development of our country between two world wars, which never, even during the war and under communist regime afterwards, stopped its production, until the final dissolution of the Yugoslav state, late in the 20th century.
New Belgrade before Second World War only existed in the minds and plans of then visionary architects.
As largely influenced by the flows of two huge, overwhelming rivers surrounding it (Danube and Sava), the soil of New Belgrade was largely filled and levelled after 1945, marking existing Ikarus’ ground level actually the only surviving represent of the original state, around three to four meters lower than today.
Its architectural design was conceived with a clear concept of being a building with industrial purpose and value, adorned with art deco elements and remarkable relief of first human flyer in the history – Icarus, as a clear symbol of its representation and meaning. Icarus is still suspended in the air behind the elegant entrance into the building. For how long – we can’t be certain.”
By Dobrivoje Lale Eric, President of Docomomo Serbia
Even though the Ikarus Building has been through several preservation initiatives since 2015, all efforts have been so far in vain. Today the biggest concern lies on the plan the new owners/developpers may have for the first Yugoslav plane factory, and how such suggested intervention might affect this significant modernist building and authentic cultural and historical property. As the plan was recently announced and presented, Dobrivoje Lale Eric, the President of Docomomo Serbia fears that the mentioned significant change and ‘upgrade’ of existing building, may be “an euphemism for complete destruction and eventual redesign of the main facade”. The property is now completely fenced and few heavy machines appeared in the yard, which inspired in January 2018, a new campaign against the demolition.
Docomomo International would like to express its full respect and concern on this case, supporting all energies in protecting the Ikarus Building. It is believed this example should certainly be preserved in memory of Belgrade inhabitants and its History.
Docomomo International Letter to the Mayor of Belgrade City Council, Mr. Sinisa Mali: Pdf below