SAEE Congress

This weekend I had the opportunity to be part of the SAEE Architectural Congress, the first international congress on sustainable architecture in Belgrade. What attracted me most about this congress were interactive workshops, led by architects Kristoffer Taylgaard and Alessio Battistella. Based on some initial impression, I checked out the first workshop. Sustainable architecture was a particularly interesting topic for me, since I came across it’s principles (barely) during my studies in Nis. On the other hand, I love workshops and similar get-togethers, especially work in mixed groups with joint discussions.

I’m not sure how I managed to get to Belgrade that morning. I picked up some ready-made crunch breakfast and the sat for 15 minutes in the Student Park to gather my thoughts. Okay, I’m tired, but I’m here to learn something new and pick up a nice dose of inspiration. By the way, I love deadlines and working under pressure, I think that I give out my max potential when I find myself in those situations.

The workshop program lasted from Saturday to Sunday, each day from 10-17h and from the perspective of the participants, the congress is very well organized. In my group there were 23 participants, mostly students. Kristoffer and his colleague told us a story about their beginnings and extraordinary experiments. Here are some of their works, so can understand my surprise and excitement. That was a great wake-up.

After the lecture, we got a task – find a pair, create a sustainable building with depth of 12m, height of 6 floors, as narrow as possible, 100% recyclability, as many disposable parts as possible, with some greenery, a mix of housing and public functions. Interesting? Yup. It seems that the concrete, which was part of every student work, is not in circulation. We startet googling and a concept followed. My couple was Jovana, an architect from AF in Belgrade, and it seems that we managed to harmonize and create something that we were, in the end, both were satisfied with.
By the way, I was impressed with the space of “Jugoslovenska kinoteka” in which the congress was held, our working space was a huge attic, an ideal place to work.

Anyway, after 24h, our concept looked like this:
– Free plan, disassembled formations
– Modular wooden units
– Balconies, interspaces and gaps with greenery and plants
– Public common space: green tower as vertical communication + glass roof (gallery and restaurant)
– Interlacing stairs to apartments

Drawings are as we presented them, and there is a lot of room for refinement.
In the end, I would like to thank the organizers, it was a great opportunity to learn new things and I would like to thank thank Kristoffer for an interesting task and more than useful ideas and suggestions.

Photos by Jovana Tošić

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