NIKOLA DOBROVIĆ, A CENTRAL EUROPEAN ARCHITECT?
Moderator: Tanja D. Conley, Boston
Participants: Tanja D. Conley, Boston, Ljiljana Blagojević, Belgrade and Peter Szalay, Bratislava
→ Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Art Gallery
SEMINAR: NIKOLA DOBROVIĆ – A CENTRAL EUROPEAN ARCHITECT?
Concept of the Seminar: Tanja D. Conley, Boston Participants: Ljiljana Blagojević, Belgrade, Peter Szalay, Bratislava and Tanja D. Conley, Boston
NIKOLA DOBROVIĆ’S CYCLE: THE TEACHERS AND THE PUPILS
Author: Tanja D.Conley, Boston
Regardless of current controversies about the place of Serbia on the map of Central Europe, the history of her modern-age academic, educational and cultural institutions has been grounded on Central European legacies. Since the institutionalization of architectural studies at Belgrade Great School in the late XIX century, its professors: Mihailo Valtrović, Dragutin Milutinović, Nikola Nestorović, Andra Stevanović, Dragutin Đorđević and BrankoTanazević, among the others, were all graduates from Central European Technical Universities in Berlin, Dresden, Karlsruhe and Munich. The architectural program at the Czech Technical University when Nikola Dobrović arrived in Prague in 1919 had just been adjusted to serving both Czech and Germen-speaking students. Until then the curriculum of studies was very similar to the earlier mentioned centers and had been operating only in German since the XVII century. It was during a decade-long stay in Prague when Dobrović turned into an explicit follower of the internationally-spread Modern Movement, remaining a passionate advocate of modernist doctrines though the rest of his life. Despite attempts to relate his thought to more Western sources of inﬂuence, Holland and the USA, Dobrović could not distance himself from the underlying architectural traditions of Central Europe to which he had been exposed during his formative years.
The aim of talk is to decipher the Central European sources of inﬂuence in both the practical and theoretical work of Nikola Dobrović and further follow those traces in works of the future generations of architects raised in the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade.
MODERN IN OR MODERN ABOUT THE MEDITERRANEAN?
ARCHITECTURE BY NIKOLA DOBROVIĆ IN DUBROVNIK AREA
Author: Ljiljana Blagojević, Belgrade
My contribution to the seminar discussion will explore the design method and architectural philosophy of Nikola Dobrović, as it changed with his moving from one of the centers of the modern movement, the Middle-European metropolitan city of Prague, to the peripheral and much smaller South-Adriatic city of Dubrovnik. In the seven years that he actively worked in Dubrovnik area, that is, between 1934 and 1941, his projects for the city itself and buildings in the wider area testify to this process of adjustment of universal modernto the Mediterranean contemporary architecture. My presentation will focus on analysis of details and materials used in the architect’s buildings in Dubrovnik area, with the aim to discern the provenance of Dobrović’s speciﬁc approach to the design of modern architecture in the Mediterranean. Connected directly to the aspects of materiality in Dobrović’s Mediterranean buildings, I would argue, is the issue of the architect’s relation to history and tradition of building in the region, that is to say, hisappreciation, research and writing, and interpretation of history of architecture and construction with regard to issues of contemporary design that he was concerned with at the time. These questions, I will aim to show, relate Dobrović’s design practice in the Dubrovnik area to his intellectual origins in Central European socio-cultural environment and, more to the point, his design standpoints to theoretical constructs of Gotfried Semper and what may be the Semperian tradition in
NEW WORLD – BRATISLAVA AND CZECH MODERNISM
Author: Peter Szalay, Bratislava
Ladislav Foltýn Slovak architect and theorist was one from the 20 Czechoslovak citizens graduated at German Bauhaus, nevertheless in his book titled Slovak architecture and Czech avant-garde Foltýn presented narrative on the domination of the Czech architects in emancipation of Slovak architecture during interwar period. In architecture and art historians writings, the First Czechoslovak Republics multiculturalism was long overlooked. In my paper I would like to focus to this narrative and it’s metamorphosis in the mirror of the development of the interwar architecture scene in Bratislava and discus the contradictions of national and liberal discourses in the first Czechoslovak democracy, surprisingly similar to our contemporary struggles and efforts in Central and Eastern Europe.