Community engagement key to Belgrade’s green future, says firm that is converting the old Beobanka building into the city’s first sustainable eco-hub.
“Our mission is to revitalise old buildings that are empty and give them a new life in the way of sustainable architecture and green architecture. We care about the environment in the context of urban cities,” says Sara Petrovic, an architect working with Statt Werk Beograd.
Petrovic is one of a team of architects at the Serbian sister company of Statt Werk, a German firm that bought Belgrade’s BeoBanka building for 4.25 million euros (500 million dinars) in 2016.
The 13-storey Beobanka building is on the corner of Zeleni Venac and Carice Milice streets in central Belgrade. In 2002, the bank filed for bankruptcy and a decade later it was handed over to the state. By that time, the building had been stripped of its facades and looked like a skeleton towering over the Zeleni Venac farmers market.
They aim to turn the much-neglected building into Serbia’s first sustainable and environmentally-friendly eco-hub, complete with vertical garden facades, offices, exhibition spaces, an apartment hotel, observation deck, organic restaurant and lounge bar.
Statt Werk Beograd believe the green facade alone will reduce pollution significantly in the immediate environment.
“The whole neighbourhood will benefit from the green facade because it will reduce air temperature during summers and traffic noise because it is really loud by the bus station. The green façade absorbs the noise, temperature and air pollution,” Miljan Spasic, digital communications manager, told BIRN.
The company estimates the green facade will cut nitrogen dioxide levels by up to 40 per cent, traffic noise by up to 18 decibels and the air temperature by between seven and 15 degrees Celsius.
Statt Werk will also use modern and energy efficient building techniques and renewable energy sources to power the building including solar, wind, kinetic, and geothermal energy. They will also recycle rain and waste water.