Text topic: Architect Nikola Dobrović (1897–1967) – Fifty Years Later
Text author: Бојан Ковачевић
The opus of Nikola Dobrović may seem equally actual today as it used to be over the past few decades. However, if the phenomenon is considered in detail, this impression does not really correspond to the realities of 2017. By compartmentalizing his opus into construction works, architectural, urbanistic, written, historiographic, pedagogical or theoretical work, and by taking into consideration the current situations in the newly formed countries which nominally claim his heritage, we find a much more sceptical image than the one which has prevailed in the Serbian public until recently. The fate of his main architecture project – the former complex of the General Headquarters and the Ministry of Defence in Belgrade, is a paradigm of the fate of his entire production today. In this sense, it is necessary to reconsider the idea of “active heritage” as an antinomy of what we would consider to be a virtual “memory of heritage”. The twilight of urbanism in Serbia is another negative phenomenon which has indirectly influenced the heritage of Dobrović, as well as his personality as a pioneer of modern urbanistic thought in Serbia. The third segment of this study is consideration of how the structure of his entire opus has been valued so far in Serbia and if such values have been objectively juxtaposed, with a special regard to the period after the war, his project realized in Montenegro and the projects unrealized in Belgrade.