U12 building – a complex solution of modern housing

The architecture of this residential mega-structure of 30,000 square meters in Ustanička 12 is adorned with a combination of an accentuated angle and a massive longitudinal cube of both lamellae.

The large supply on the real estate market survived despite the corona pandemic. Many had hoped that the economic downturn would lower housing prices, but as real estate investment analysts have suggested; if apartment prices do not fall by November 2020, the supply-demand relationship will continue as it did before the pandemic.

30,000 square feet

The biggest offer is for new construction, where they are the most sought-after apartments of small and medium size (from 30 to 80 square meters), of course in certain prestigious locations in the old center or New Belgrade, with a view of one of the rivers or one of the panoramas of the city. This does not mean that these are the only parameters that determine the quality of an apartment, nor that these are the only locations that are successfully sold, which is confirmed by the project we are now presenting. It’s about building U 12, a solution designed by Bureau Cube Partners, and characterized by incredible 189 housing units!

We offer 189 apartments

Building U 12 is a double-sided building, organized through two lamellae.

The U 12 building was named after the location where it will be built, Ustanička Street no. 12, and is a bilaterally built building, organized through two lamellas, with three underground floors, basement, ground floor, seven floors and one withdrawn floor. In addition to housing, which is emphasized, the building has six commercial spaces on the ground floor and nineteen business apartments on the first floor, while the mentioned apartments are positioned on the other floors.

Smaller apartments dominate

The total area of ​​the building (underground and aboveground floors) is over 30,000 square feet and taking into account all the above numbers, we can conclude that we have before us a project of a very complex structure. It was very difficult to satisfy the wishes of the investor, who, following the above trends in the real estate world, estimated that a large facility in which he would be most suitable would suit him. dominated by smaller apartments (studios / one bedroom), in a very frequent location (5 to 10 minutes from the center or New Belgrade), suitable for use by students, young couples, ie. a person just starting a family. Of course, the number of housing units had to follow the number of parking spaces, which in this case was very effectively solved by a garage on several underground floors.

Smaller apartments dominate

Domination of the corner lamella

The structure of the foundation of the U 12 building is atypical, created as a product of the best possible solution of the configuration of housing units, and on the other hand the maximum utilization of the entire plot. With this approach they are obtained two lamellae – the larger one, which stretches along Ustanička Street, and the smaller one, which is connected to the larger one at the corner of the plot. In order for the vertical communication to be better realized, the larger lamella was designed with two step-elevator cores and one auxiliary (fire) core, while in the smaller lamella the vertical connection was achieved with one core.

On first sight, the larger lamella has a very elongated corridor structure of horizontal communications (hallway), which is typical for today’s residential buildings and is not the most favorable for the organization of housing units, but when we consider that the larger lamella is mostly filled with smaller apartments, and that all larger apartments are mostly two-sided, we can conclude that this solution is very solidly “packaged”. On the other hand, smaller, the corner lamella left much more room for the author’s thinking and virtuosity, which is also reflected on the facades of the building.

The project was done by Bureau Cube Partners

The style of intertwining apartments and terraces is most reminiscent of the playful brutalist skyscraper of the Japanese architect Kurokawa.

When we look at the facade, ie. architecture of this residential mega-structure, we will notice that the authors made great use of it a combination of an accentuated angle and a massive longitudinal cube of both lamellae. On the project, we can see more than an interesting “event on the corner”, where they take turns intertwine cubic glazed forms of apartments and their terraces, which are most reminiscent of the playful brutalist skyscraper of the Japanese architect Kurokawa. This intertwining of façade masses indicates that even a conditionally speaking ordinary residential and business building can get an interesting, authorial line, which the investor is ready to perform, in order to raise the aesthetic value of his building.

Monotony erupted

The massive façade canvas of the larger lamella is designed in a similar spirit rhythmic shifts of full and empty fields, ie. by emphasizing certain terraces by their partial release into the space and applying a different, darker color in the finishing. In that way, monotony is avoided, typical for most of New Belgrade ‘s longitudinal residential lamellas, and the building received much – needed façade art. The architecture follows the principles of post-war modernity, where there are no superfluous details or tedious decoration, but everything is solved by a harmonious fit of proportionally harmonized cubic masses, which in turn follow the internal structure of the space.

Night view of the facade

Investor: architect

We can conclude that the architects from Bureau Cube Partners had a simple task ahead of them, which they solved in a very effective way and offered the investor a functional, yet architecturally attractive project. The post-war Belgrade School of Housing, which is one of the main topics of this year’s BINA exhibition, has left an indelible mark on the space of our city, but also on the work of younger generations.

The residential buildings of the architects Lojanica, Čanko, Stjepanović, Janković, Marušić, Mitrović and others have set a qualitative level, both the structure of the housing units and the architecture that emerged from them, which will not be easily overcome for many years to come. However, it is not so much the knowledge of new generations of architects that is in question, but much more to the investor, to whose demands the modern architect must give the best possible answer. A real example of this relationship is the building U 12, where the authors tackled the extremely demanding spatial issues and offered one a completely unexpected, yet very original solution, following the lessons of the Belgrade School of Housing, drawn through the prism of modern investor-architectural relations.

When you are already here…


Source: Gradnja by www.gradnja.rs.

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