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Dušica Gaković, Project Lead, Deka Inženjering

Concept Of Quality, Elegance And Luxury

Novi Dorćol is a unique project in Belgrade’s inner-city zone that preserves within it the priceless architectural heritage of the Platnara building, dating back to the late 19th century. This building will be transformed into an exclusive restaurant that will stand at the heart of this most modern residential and business complex

Company Deka inženjering’s business policy is for the buyer to be able to take possession of their real estate as soon as possible after making their initial down payment on a property. The company thus shows its respect for those who have placed their greatest trust in Deka inženjering – in purchasing a property where their family will spend their life.

You’ve just completed the first phase in the construction of this modern residential and business complex that’s being developed with a view to examples that can be found in world capitals like New York and London. Could you present the Novi Dorćol project to us?

It was in July 2021 that construction of the first phase of the project was completed, which includes approximately 45,000m2 of residential and business space in one of Belgrade’s most beautiful neighbourhoods, Dorćol.

It required 18 months to complete the construction of 225 apartments, 15 retail units, an underground garage with 450 parking spaces, a restaurant and a wellness centre, with all works completed within the planned deadline, despite the situation with the coronavirus pandemic and the many challenges confronting us in the construction industry today.

Just like our previous ‘A Block’ project, with which we brought new materials to the market and raised housing construction standards, Novi Dorćol goes a step further in terms of the comfort and quality that it provides for its tenants.

The complex is secured with 24/7 video surveillance, while every apartment is equipped with a video intercom. Ample parking spaces are provided in the underground garage, a section of which is equipped with electric vehicle charging stations with their own meters. In addition to a closed yard for tenants, a swimming pool, gym and spa centre, the complex’s ground floor also boasts a supermarket, cafés and other facilities providing the services that are required for a comfortable daily life.

We are particularly proud of the conceptual solution architecture, with which we’ve ensured that open views of the surroundings are provided from the apartments, while the upper floors provide fantastic panoramic views over the city.

The complex itself exudes monumentality and elegance, while the first noticeable elements are the high-quality materials and precisely executed details. I can state unreservedly that this project could hold a prime position in any world metropolis, and that – with the construction of the Novi Dorćol complex – we’ve taken a great step in advancing the construction industry in Serbia.

Open views of the surroundings are provided from the apartments, while the upper floors provide fantastic panoramic views over the city

The first phase of the complex took 18 months to construct. When do you expect to be able to complete the even bigger second phase, which will include 347 apartments and nine retail units?

Despite all the difficulties – labour force shortages, rising prices of materials and shortages of certain materials on the market – we completed the construction of 45,000m2 in 18 months, which would be a serious success even under normal circumstances. That was just one of the challenges that we’ve being facing in this industry – works at our construction site were executed over three shifts per day during the general pandemic and the declared state of emergency in the country.

Your aim was to preserve that which is most valuable in the complex, while you didn’t want “new architecture to imitate the past”. Are you satisfied with the way your vision has been realised?

Novi Dorcol is a unique project in Belgrade’s inner-city zone that preserves within it the architectural heritage of the industrial era of the late 19th century, which is a rare occurrence in Belgrade. The Platnara building, which stood at the centre of the textile industry of the then Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, occupies the frontal position towards Venizelosova Street, with the residential complex developing around it. This building has been fully preserved and reconstructed and will be transformed into the authentic space of an exclusive restaurant.

Segments of the wall of the old warehouse have been extracted and incorporated into the ground floor of the restaurant, thereby forming – together with the Platnar building – a unified architectural unit. The pillars of the former factory have also found their place in the complex, as freestanding columns in the area of the green plateau intended for tenants.

The bust of David Pajić Daka, the national hero who gave his name to the lift factory that was located on this site after World War II, will have its place at the entrance to the complex.

The combination of tradition and antiquated industrial architecture, old bricks and new materials, is what makes Novi Dorćol an authentic and unique project. We are very proud to have created a modern residential and business complex around the old Platnara building and that we’ve found a new function for this peculiar monument of architecture that’s complementary to contemporary residential construction.

Your buyers don’t settle for anything less than top quality, comfort and security. Does this mean that you’ll continue raising the bar?

The buyers of apartments in new buildings are seeking top quality. They’re entering a new apartment and that’s a new beginning. Our mission, as an investor, is to offer our customers state-of-the-art materials – from façades to the finishing touches within apartments. We select the best and always upgrade the final product.

In our Novi Dorćol apartments, façade openings at a height of 240 cm create an apartment that’s filled with light. A ventilated façade covered with large format ceramo-granite tiles, air conditioning units hidden above suspended ceilings, blinds that can be adjusted to either create shade or darken the apartment completely – these are just some of the elements that exude elegance and luxury, while also contributing to quality of life here is the close proximity of the complex to schools, colleges, museums, theatres etc.

Although I couldn’t make an assessment over whether women or man are more demanding when it comes to buying a property, because that depends on the person and not their gender, I do know that, in the case that the apartment is intended for a family, it is mostly the women who decide on the choice of living space.

To what extent do Novi Dorcol’s apartments and retail units correspond to the needs of the contemporary family?

In addition to the retail units on the ground floor, which will house a supermarket, café, pharmacy, cosmetics studio and beauty salon, we’ve also built a wellness centre that boasts a swimming pool, gym, saunas, a salt room and massage rooms. The aim was to enable tenants to return home to the complex after a hard day’s work and relax in the wellness centre. Another novel introduction with this project is the smart apartment, which enables remote control of basic apartment functions, such as heating, large energy consuming devices, the central water valve, window blinds and similar functions. The smart apartment is already a standard around the world and, alongside comfort, it also provides savings in terms of energy use.

Organised complex management and maintenance, reception, video intercoms, lifts that are connected to a diesel generator, electric parking spaces in the underground garage – these all represent features of a complex that follows and corresponds to the needs of the modern lifestyle, while providing maximum comfort.

Demand is currently exceeding supply when it comes to high-quality construction, which is why prices have been on the rise for years. Do you think this trend will continue or are we awaited by the stabilisation of the market?

There is an extensive but very diverse offer of newly constructed apartments. The final price per square metre is determined by elements that include location, additional contents/facilities, management and maintenance, project quality, modern materials and other parameters. What is certain is that buyers recognise quality and that there is constant growth in the value of modern-designed apartments in good locations, provided top quality materials are used.

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