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UDBA Building | Architectuul


Keywords Change this

Yugoslavian Modernism

Project timeline

1948 – 1949



Location Change this

Bulevar Vojvode Mišića
11000 Belgrade

Current state


Architect Change this


Article last edited by Bostjan on
August 01st, 2020

UDBA Building Change this

Belgrade, Serbia
by Ludvik Tomori Change this
1 of 2

Description Change this

With the reorganization of the Department for the Protection of the People (OZNA) in 1946, the Directorate of State Security (UDBA) at the Ministry of the Interior of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was formed, as a strictly centralized intelligence and security organization. The headquarters of UDBA was at the federal level and directed the work in the republican ministries of internal affairs. In the first post-war years, UDBA dealt with the elimination of the enemies of the new government, most often from the ranks of parties and political options defeated in the Second World War. Since 1948, one of UDBA's main tasks has been to eliminate the "internal enemy", which included even members of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia who were suspected of supporting the Inform Bureau Resolution and maintaining secret ties with the Soviet Union. At that time, the authoritarianism of UDBA as a state institution was reflected at all levels of social, cultural, political and public life of the state.

Ludvik Tomori was invited to respond to the demands of the then most powerful state institution. Residential building of the State Security Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia. The building was erected on a plot next to "Jugoštampa" building designed by Dragiša Brašovan.

The plots on which the construction of the new building was planned were in private ownership, therefore, therefore the Government of the People's Republic of Serbia, referring to the Basic Law on Expropriation, made a decision to expropriate almost 10,000 square meters of land on April 2, 1948. The land was allocated to the Ministry of the Interior of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia - State Security Administration. Based on the request of the Urban Service of the Chief Architect of Belgrade Nikola Dobrović, it was determined that the building must be situated longitudinally in relation to Bulevar Vojvode Mišića, in a height corresponding to the height of the first terrace on the building "Jugoštampa". Construction began in 1948, although the main project was approved only on May 25, 1949, and the building permit was issued on June 1, 1949. The great economic crisis caused by the Resolution of the Inform Bureau led to the suspension of the construction of state facilities in New Belgrade, but not to the interruption of works on the residential building of the State Security Administration. By the end of 1948, the rough works were completed, while the entire building was completed by the end of the following year. The works were performed by the City Construction Company "Neimar".

As part of the conceptual design of the architect Tomori, the pillars in front of the entrance to the building can be seen on the appearance of the main street facade, as well as the central pillar with a sculpture - a representation of the family. The man with the ax and the woman holding the baby were certainly related to the idea of a young, healthy and energetic individual and family in the same state. The fence on the balconies is designed with a fish scale motif. However, the Architectural Council of the City People's Committee of the City of Belgrade - Construction Service, at its session on July 17, 1948, passed the opinion that it was necessary to omit the pillars in front of the entrance to the building and to harmonize the fence on the balconies with the architecture. In the realization, the terrace fences were finally perforated with circular openings, while in the central entrance of monumental dimensions, three high pillars of circular cross-section were left to support the massive upper parts of the building. Strict principle of symmetry, strong horizontal division, rustification of the ground floor, emphasis on the main entrance as the central motif of the composition are elements of academic architecture that have remained very applicable in the architecture of totalitarian regimes.



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