Guide: Snežana Ristić
→ In front of the main entrance, Hilandarska 2
Since 1947, Radio Belgrade has been housed in the edifice on the corner of Svetogorska and Hilandarska streets. The edifice is known as the Artisans’ Club building, which purpose it actually served until the Second World War. The edifice is a cultural monument.
In the mid-19 century, the position was occupied by an inn, entitled Kod dva bela goluba (At Two White Pigeons’). In 1911, the Artisans’ Association founded the Artisans’ Club Fund, and as early as in the following year, a plot was purchased for the building of an edifice intended to house all the craftsman institutions. However, the First World War and the unfavourable financial conditions interfered with such plans. The inn was torn down after the adoption of the Artisans’ Club preliminary design, which was the work of the then young architect Bogdan Nestorović (1901-1975), who won the first prize at a competition in 1931. The construction of a six-storey Modernist building was finished in two years only, as early as on May 1, 1933.
The building has two wings, in Svetogorska and in Hilandarska Street respectively, and the architect Nestorović had joined them by means of a two-storey tower, which consists entirely of windows and colonnades, on the ground floor and on the topmost floor respectively, thus softening the sharpness of the marked horizontal wings.
The building formerly housed the “Avala” cinema, with the entrance from Hilandarska street. The building had multiple purposes. It was used as business premises and it also had trade shops, a restaurant, a hotel, as well as single rooms. At the time, the Grand Hotel was a first-class hotel in all respects. The rooms had hot and cold water, telephone and bathrooms, as well as central heating.
After the Second World War, in 1947, the Artisan Club building was given to Radio Belgrade and was adapted for the purposes of a radio station. To that end, the ground floor restaurant was transformed into a music and drama studio, while former hotel rooms were turned into editorial boards. As Radio Belgrade expanded, together with technology improvements, new studios for broadcasting and editing were added. The area previously occupied by the “Avala” cinema is now a large music studio used for public recordings. In that interior time capsule, one can still recognize the original features of the interior and the lamps and chandeliers from the 1930s.
Snežana Ristić graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade. She is engaged in architectural criticism, publicist writing and photography. Her texts have been published in national and foreign journals. She is the author of radio shows on contemporary architecture and of interviews with architects and architectural theorists. With Radonja Leposavić, she co-authored the radio show Grad (City) on Radio Belgrade 2, and also documentary programmes winning prizes at European festivals. In 2015, she won the Golden Microphone award for her exceptional efforts in the field of radio and radiophonic work. She is an editor in the Culture Editorial Board at Radio Belgrade 2.