Up and Down: Extra Spaces of Modernist Legacy in Montenegro

by

Slavica Stamatović Vučković

,

Jelena Bajić Šestović

&

Marija Ćaćić

Keywords

  • Yugoslavia
  • Montenegro
  • ground floors
  • flat roofs

With the advent of Modernism in the early 20th century a new type of spatial communication between the inside and the outside of a building was established. The changes regarded both the horizontal relation of buildings with their surroundings, and, vertically, their relation to the sky. Two types of outdoor spaces can be identified as resulting from these transformations: the private spaces of the roof, and the public spaces of the liberated, free ground floor.

The flat rooftops and open ground floors that have become specific characteristics of modernist architecture all over the world may also be recognized in the buildings that constituted the new, socialist city in Montenegro, then a part of the larger Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Like most late-modernist buildings of the socialist period (1945-1990), the case studies under scrutiny display the projecting canopies, the free ground floor on _pilotis _and the mandatory flat roofs. Of these, some were designed with an intended a collective or a public function in mind, while most of them remained only distinctive marks of modernist aesthetics.

After the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, these very particular outdoor spaces have been, in a large proportion, privatized and, many of them, were stripped of their fundamental value — openness. While these spaces have been undergoing constant changes that demonstrate their continuously evolving condition and daily usage, at the same time, many of these interventions completely contradict the original principles of Modernism.