BIGZ building

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BIGZ building
BIGZ building

The BIGZ building is one of the most famous architectural landmarks and works of Yugoslavian modern architecture, and in recent times, it presents a significant cultural, artistic and social spot. It was designed by Dragiša Brašovan, and it was constructed between 1934. and 1941. as the headquarters of the National Printing Institution of Yugoslavia.

Location[edit]

The BIGZ (on lowercase letters: bigz) building is located in Belgrade's neighborhood of Senjak, just near the Mostar interchange and stari Mlin. With its height and monumentality, it dominates the skyline and presents a reference point not only for the neighbourhood, but for the whole east Sava bank. It is also clearly visible from the Belgrade highway and is a welcoming message for tourists and commuters entering Old Belgrade.

History[edit]

After the second world war, with founding of BIGZ (Publishing and Graphics Institution of Belgrade), the building switched ownership and has since widely become known by its occupant's name. During the late 40s to 80s the building employed more than 3000 workers. After the social and economic crisis of the early 90s, lack of funding left the building mostly unused and neglected. By the turn of the millennium it has slowly began to get occupied by few small businesses. Its brutal industrial design, big rooms and hallways, its isolation and relative distance from residential buildings has greatly attracted many young artists, designers, architects, musicians and DJs.

Current State[edit]

BIGZ is still the building's majority owner, renting out its 25,000 square meters of usable space. Its units currently house printing offices, warehouses, music and art studios, night clubs, a capoeira school, radio-stations, a cultural center, a circus, etc. Among its more famous tenants is Čekaonica BIGZ, a jazz club. Since it contains such cultural, social and artistic diversity and richness, it somewhat unofficially became a centre of Belgrade's art life.

The BIGZ building is a very significant place for New Serbian Scene. Many bands practice in the building such as: The Schtrebers, DžDž, Metak Za Zlikovca, Stuttgart Online, Autopark, Petrol, Repetitor, Sinestezija, Tobija, The Branka, Damjan od Resnika, Bolesna Štenad, Figlio Di Puttana, Vox Populi, Dažd, S.A.R.S., Very Heavy Sars, Pozdravi Kevu, White City Massive, and many others. Musicians of the BIGZ building have founded an organization called "Manekeni bigza" (fashion models of BIGZ), and they organize several festivals like "Festivalito" and "Bigz na Povetarcu" (BIGZ on a breeze).

Most recently the BIGZ building is in the process of inclusion to Docomomo International project's list for protection and preservation as a cultural monument of modernist architecture.

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Coordinates: 44°47′49″N 20°26′47″E / 44.796911°N 20.446263°E / 44.796911; 20.446263