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East by MADA_Belgrade | 5 places worth exploring

One of Belgrade’s most characteristic islands, the atmosphere of the city’s port on the Danube, a mysterious underground city, a museum that has never been built and the best view onto Belgrade’s old town: find out about all of them in today’s article. 

This time Nikola Andonov, Aleksandar Ristović, and Stefan Stojanović, the founders of architecture studio MADA, present places that carry a symbolic meaning for them.


Belgrade has several islands, but Ada Međica is the most Belgradian one: it is wild, yet urban. It constantly reminds us of what Le Corbusier once said about Belgrade: that it “is the ugliest city in the most beautiful place in the world”.


This is probably the most public private place in the entire country. The best thing about it is the persistent smell of a better future.


Throughout the centuries, Belgrade has been destroyed more than forty times. The best way for everyone to survive all that chaos was to invent a city beneath the city: a huge web of underground tunnels. One of the spots where one can enter this “world of Hades” is in the biggest central park in Belgrade: before getting lost, you can have a drink in a coffee place with a promising name.


The museum was never built, yet its foundations are still laying there, abandoned. It now stands as a ruin of the past that never happened, or maybe even of the future that was left on hold forever.


Even though the city is laid on more than twenty hills, this is one of the few places from where you can have a panoramic view of the old part of the city. The fact that Tito’s (Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslav revolutionary and president—the Ed.) tomb is in its vicinity gives this place an even more exotic feeling.


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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Make sure you also check out the previous episodes of our East by MADA  series, presenting the personal book recommendations and the favorite buildings of MADA’s members.

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.

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