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East by MADA_Belgrade | 3 books to read about the city

The Serbian capital through the adventures of an iconic skater; a novel infused with theories, researches and real stories about the city’s architecture; one of the greatest modernist developments of the 20th century or Belgrade without compromises, from a research and scientific angle. At our request, the founders of MADA studio, architects Nikola Andonov, Aleksandar Ristović and Stefan Stojanović collected the books, buildings, places and other creative content that inspire them the most, with each of them presenting Belgrade’s typical qualities. First we share their personal book recommendations with you.

In our newly launched East by series, we present Eastern European cities from the point of creatives. We gathered books, buildings, places and other creative content that offer a new perspective for exploring cities. In the series, we ask the architecture studios participating in Othernity, the exhibition of the Hungarian Pavilion of the 2021 Venice Biennale.

Written by: Nenad Racković

The book’s title means “The Fifth Season”. A legendary outcast from Belgrade and a champion of both day and nightlife takes us on a dangerous ride on his famous skateboard. This is a story about everything we want to do in Belgrade, but we don’t.

Written by: Roger Diener, Marcel Meili, Christian Mueller Inderbitzin, Milica Topalović
Edited by: ETH Studio Basel, Contemporary City Institute 

This book explains many things and answers many questions that will help us understand Belgrade’s beautiful ugliness. It can be seen as a novel on Belgrade’s hectic development in the last fifty years, but it can also be taken as a beautiful collage of intertwined theory, research and real life stories. 

Written by: Ljiljana Blagojević

This is a book about discontinuity—a term that can be used together with many social and cultural aspects of Yugoslav and Serbian society, mentality and architecture. One of the architecture students’ favorite (ex) professors has set the bar high when it comes to reading the intricate layers of one of the biggest modernist developments in the twentieth century (the municipality of New Belgrade—the Ed.).


The projects of the Belgrade-based MADA architecture studio are characterized by attention to detail and argumentative thought, from the conceptual stages to the project delivery. MADA has worked on an array of projects, ranging in scale from the Venice Biennale, the Serbian Pavilion designed for the Milan Expo in 2015 and a memorial park in Kuwait, to a mixed-use complex in Belgrade and a housing block in Užice. In honor of their experiments and ideas, MADA has received several national and international awards.

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Stay tuned for the next East by MADA episode—we’ll be back soon!

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