A New Old Community

Development of 'local community' centers with new culinary-related functions to address current needs of the Belgrade's population

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As a result of urbanization and modernization processes, a significant component of Balkan culture relating to culinary habits and traditions is slowly being lost in urban areas, despite being highly valued by city dwellers. In the specific context of Belgrade, this graduation project investigates how the existing typology of 'local community' centers can be re-imagined with new food-related functions that would not only revitalize the existing modernist structures of these buildings (currently in disrepair), but also introduce new cultural value to their surrounding neighborhoods.

The principal method used in the design process is a two-step typological transference. The first step showcases the revitalization of an existing 'local community' center in the area of New Belgrade. The second step uses the lessons learned in the previous phase for the design of a new community center in the area of Old Belgrade, which is currently lacking such facilities. Both these steps are meant to act as examples and guidelines for the revitalization of the existing centers and the design of new ones, respectively. The potential end result would be a new re-imagined network of 'local community' centers for the city of Belgrade, focused on culinary-related and social activities, which would create a new image for the cultural and architectural character of the city's neighborhoods.