|Location||New Belgrade, Serbia|
|Design and construction|
Sava Centar (Serbian Cyrillic: Сава центар) is an international congress, cultural and business centre of various multi-functional activities located in New Belgrade, Serbia. It is the largest audience hall in the country and entire former Yugoslavia and one of the biggest in Europe. It has been host to numerous large scale events and performances.
The construction of the biggest performance and convention centre in what was then Yugoslavia (at present in Republic of Serbia) started in 1976. The centre would be located in the new construction area of the city of Belgrade, New Belgrade. In those years the capital of Belgrade spread and grew across the rivers of the Sava and Danube to offer a modern alternative to this historical city. The completing of the project took three years, until 1979, and was headed by chief designer and team manager Stojan Maksimović. Supporting architecture such as roads and highway conjunctions were also built during this period around the Sava Centar complex.
Works on the first stage of the building had to be rushed due to the scheduled Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, which took place in Sava Centar in 1977. The second phase, a large performance and conference hall, opened the following year on the occasion of the 11th Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. The planned stage at the main hall, which had been fancied as revolving, was scrapped and a fixed large stage was placed instead. By 1979, Hotel Beograd InterContinental was added to the complex to host the annual meeting of the World Bank.
On August 17, 2006, the parking lot at Sava Centar was renovated to capacitate 410 cars. As a result of the renovation parking fees were introduced for the first time at Sava Centar but are as of 2016/2017 lifted.
In its jubilee year of 2007, when Sava Centar marked its 30th anniversary, a substantial financing was utilized on the reconstruction of the glass façade. Also, the city authorities funded the reconstruction of broken glass on the sideways-facing façade, acquisition of the stage audio equipment for concert appearances and replacement of the main hall seats.
Sava Centar has hosted among others Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Eiji Oue, Mstislav Rostropovich, Henryk Szeryng, Ivo Pogorelić, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Plácido Domingo, Montserrat Caballé, Johan Strauss Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, The USSR Ministry Of Culture Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra(NSO), Okazu Philharmonic Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Julio Iglesias, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Suzanne Vega, Nigel Kennedy, B.B. King, Lou Reed, Roxy Music, Jethro Tull, Sting, David Byrne, Simple Minds, Laurie Anderson, Samantha Fox, Jason Donovan, Slobodan Trkulja, Bilja Krstić, Gotan Project and Madredeus.
Sava Centar has 69,720 m2 of useful and 100,000 m2 overall area, including a theatre hall with 4,000 seats, 15 conference halls, an exhibition area and a number of other facilities. It annually hosts more than half million visitors. Sava Centar is connected to Crowne Plaza Belgrade via an underground hallway. The complex includes restaurants, bars, offices and shops.
The great hall, nicknamed the blue hall due to its blue seats is the largest audience hall in the country with the above-mentioned 4,000 seats, both ground and upper level included. The hall has the ability to completely change its look depending on the stage set-up. As a result, the seats can be taken out. It is also the place major cinema premiers are hosted.
Sava Centar has been the host of significant congress gatherings and artistic programs: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Annual General Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, 55th Annual General Meeting of Interpol, 6th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, General Meeting of UNESCO, FOREX, FISIT and 9th Summit of the non-aligned countries.
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