Ana Šuman, Architect, Head Of The Department For Urban and Spatial Planning,
Nadica Davidović, Architect, Head Of The Department For Architectural Design,
Saša Kostić, Architect, Head Of The Department For Project Management At The Architectural Studio Bureau Cube Partners

No Limits For A Professional and Dedicated Team

Besides expertise and professionalism, architectural studio Bureau Cube Partners bases its work and enviable results on commitment to the interests and needs of the client, knowledge of local opportunities and global trends and a willingness to see perspectives and create new opportunities

Dach year, the team of this respectable Belgrade architectural studio is expanding their portfolio and list of locations where they have been hired as designer, especially with their important participation in drafting the project documentation for the reconstruction and extension of the pearl of the Serbian architectural scene, the SANU Palace.

How tcan we establish a balance between a modern way of life in the city and the rich heritage without which Belgrade would not be Belgrade? Can history, tradition and the demands of modern man be successfully combined?

A.Š. During the planning elaboration of the defined scope, which consists of the city or certain parts of it, a studious analysis and confirmation of the existing cultural, historical and natural values is the initial procedure by which a sufficient perception and a detailed familiarity is formed in various aspects with the space that is the subject of the planning document.

As the city is a living organism that changes and develops every day, one should be very careful about the existing values, the potential values that cry out to be iluminated, and not by just any criteria, and the conditions and needs for development, so as to create a high quality planning solution as a basis for the area covered by the planning document to be developed in the coming years. Retaining valuable buildings and environments is very important, but it is also very important to respond to modern requirements for the development and improvement of the city from architectural and urbanistic viewpoints.

Ana Šuman

The integration of new, modern buildings with modern city areas with a rich heritage is both a challenge and a responsibility. In numerous examples in global metropolises, we notice that one of their qualities is the successful realisation of the intertwining of historical heritage and applied modern tendencies in architecture and urbanism.

Can the existing infrastructure withstand this pace of construction of new facilities and what does Belgrade need most at the moment?

A.Š. For the development of the city or some part of it, the condition is the preparation of a planning document which will, among other things, define other and public purposes, capacities and conditions for future construction, infrastructure capacities and conditions for improving and building infrastructure. For the unhindered functioning of the city, it is necessary to implement planning solutions, primarily in those areas related to the construction of roads, public utility infrastructure, edifices intended for education and facilities intended for social and health care. Most of the current problems in the functioning of the city are the result of unrealised planning solutions, illegal construction, unbuilt buildings or parts of buildings intended for stationary traffic.

The integration of new, modern buildings and modern areas of the city with a rich heritage is both a challenge and a responsibility

It is thought that in ten years, many parts of the capital, even New Belgrade, will be left without sites for new facilities. Where and how will the city expand then?

A. Š. The development of the city is a specific process that happens before us every day. In relation to the actual increase in demand for new sites and the present demographic expansion in the city of Belgrade, a more balanced development of the city is occurring with the activation of some, almost unjustly, neglected parts of Belgrade. In recent years, the expansion of the city has been noticeable in all directions. Locations that were completely unattractive ten years ago are crying out to become important points in the city. For an appropriate expansion of the city, the most important thing is to fulfill the basic condition, which is the preparation of planning documentation and the subsequent realisation of the planning solutions.

How much do new materials and the most modern technologies make it easier for you and your colleagues to realise all your visions, to give the project a unique, author’s stamp, to express all your creativity …?

N. D. Technological development accompanied by innovative processes has definitely contributed to a clearly visible transformation in the realisation of works of modern architecture, in such a way that the concept, which we primarily transfer to paper through sketches, later without major difficulties, precisely with these same or almost the same formal, functional and aesthetic characteristics, in each of the following phases may be examined in a focused manner, recognising the referential value and effectiveness of the final product. In consequence, we also often provide through the design process appropriate professional, technical and technological support to fellow engineers in various reference disciplines, all in order to become acquainted with new materials, their characteristics and ways in which they can be utilised.

Nadica Davidović

In upgrading the knowledge that is primarily associated with the application of modern technological solutions, both in the field of architectural design and in the subsequent technological process of executing works, our team has, on almost every one of the many projects in which we are currently engaged, precisely an immediate opportunity, through its follow-up, to dedicate itself to it.

This applies to all phases of project implementation in which our team, following the architectural detail from its genesis to its implementation, is also dedicated to creating a realistic picture of the rational development of conceptual guidelines active in the emergence of new ideas, which are essentially a strong support for a legible and recognisable authorial approach, but also as such, critically exposed, both to the professional public and to the end users.

We solve challenging situations with an analytical approach, persistent elaboration and presentation of variant solutions in relation to the client’s requirements

All major cities in Serbia, not only Belgrade, have become huge building sites, which unfortunately in many cases has a negative impact on aesthetics, functionality, quality …? How do you fight that?

N. D. As the requirements of potential users, primarily in the field of residential construction, are now at the highest of levels, so the market itself requires diversity in selection, resulting in the participation of both consultants in sales procedures and of cost management consultants and experts in the field of marketing, at practically all stages of the design process. In connection with this, inconsistent attitudes of participants in the design process often manifest themselves, sometimes even in diametrical opposition to each other, and all in relation to views, interpretations and glorification of expectations.

At such times we solve circumstances and challenging situations with an analytical approach, persistent and almost constant elaboration and presentation of variant solutions in relation to the requirements emphasised by the clients. We do all this in order to be able to successfully incorporate common objectives in the most efficient way into an architectural solution that will not have shortcomings in terms of design, form, art, functional organisation and overall quality that a building must simply possess, at least in its outlines.

Among other things, your bureau is entrusted with drafting a project for the reconstruction and extension of the SANU Palace. How are preparations going for the works that are planned to be completed for the centenary of SANU 2024?

N. D. The reconstruction and extension of the SANU palace really is one of the most demanding and complex projects in which we are engaged, and where in addition to the process of reconstruction, adaptation and rehabilitation of the existing building, a very complex and authorially challenging intervention is designed in the atrium area of the palace, within which the future central motif of this representative building, embodied in a multifunctional concert hall, is functionally and formally incorporated. The investment-technical documentation intended for the entire intervention is in its final phase, which means that the conceptual design has been completed, that the conceptual project has been completed and confirmed by the revising committee of the competent ministry, that the construction permit project has been completed and that the construction permit for reconstruction and extension is imminently expected. This creates conditions for the preparation of the beginning of the execution of works, whose completion is planned in the year in which the centenary of the construction of the SANU palace is to be celebrated.

Does the fact that your architectural bureau, in addition to architects, is accompanied by experts in various professions and specialties, enable you to effectively manage projects, regardless of the scope and type of work?

S. K. Bureau Cube Partners primarily consists of a team of experts in the home discipline, architecture, including colleagues with enviable biographies, former professors, doctoral students and, I would say without false modesty, current and future important names in Serbian architecture with whom it is a great honour and pleasure to collaborate.

Saša Kostić

Expertise, working efficiency, a team and collegial relationship unequivocally enables project management in our office to be successful, regardless of the type and scope of work and the deadlines defined.

In addition to a high quality approach in solving architectural challenges, knowledge of local opportunities and processes and global trends has brought you a large number of clients. How did you keep them and motivate them to embark on new projects with you?

S. K. Our company is characterised by exceptional commitment, understanding of the market and the expressed needs of investors, and an understanding of the need to face and follow global architectural trends. I observe that the readiness for complex, often provocative, and at the same time challenging perceptions and the creation of new possibilities are almost always predetermined qualitative conditions that investors naturally expect from the architectural team that accompanies them, which in our case they probably recognise.

Expertise, efficiency, a team and collegial relationship enable project management in our office to be successful, regardless of the type and scope of work and the deadlines

In addition, I would like to emphasise the expertise and dedication of each individual in our team who is engaged in the design process, starting from understanding the idea, through recognising key points in the investment development cycle and synthesising elements that participate in creating a complete product, until its final realisation.

By participating in all phases of the project, your experts provide clients with additional security and guarantees that the work will be done flawlessly. Do you save them time?

S. K. Competence, rationality, creativity, sustainability, certainly synchronicity and cooperation in all disciplines, starting with architecture, are a prerequisite for design, and then all the following processes take place according to the given dynamics. But that is also equally a reason to consider all potential obstacles in the realisation in a timely manner, and to make savings in the estimated time of realisation of the entire cycle by timely resolution and prevent further extension of the planned deadlines.

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