off architecture: block 39
off architecture: block 39 off architecture: block 39
jan 24, 2011

off architecture: block 39

‘block 39’ by off architecture in belgrade, serbia all images courtesy off architecture

paris-based off architecture has designed a new science centre for belgrade in block 39, a highly dense and urban residential area of the serbian capital. featuring a flat futuristic volume balanced on top of a mountain mass, the project aims to create a new territorial and landscape typology while working within the existing urban framework.

overall view

using serbia’s natural traits as a point of departure–floating horizons, rocks, broadleaved trees, the danube river–the new science center serves as a bridge between the country’s historical context to the region’s future. the depth of the landscape is expanded to partially isolate the block from its immediate surroundings, closing off the noise of cars with trees and artificial waterfalls. visitors are made to feel as if they are entering a completely different environment from the city, where architecture becomes landscape and landscape becomes architecture.

street view

housed in the ‘body of the building, a planetarium and a conference room are accommodated on two different levels. superimposed into the mass of the mountain, each space will overlook the town with very specific framing of views. a museum and laboratories make up the single object balanced on top of the mountain with an observatory terrace leading visitors from the ‘rooftop’ restaurant.

interior view

museum space

cafe and observatory terrace at night

3D model perspective

3D model perspective

framed views

schematic diagrams (top left) building facade (bottom left) programs (top right) access (bottom right) garden programs

urban site map

overall plan

floor plan / planetarium level

floor plan / conference hall level

floor plan / museum level



section through restaurant and observatory deck


  • Now, I wonder if the proposed mountains is naturally part of the site or man made. I find it confusing seeing the plans then perspectives. If it is entirely man made, then it can be Disneyesque. Just think how they’re going to create that cave. The idea of bringing nature back to the city is great, but just be careful not to fall in the kitsch!

    I do see a design like this as being something positive however…. this project would definitely be a hot spot for the urban outdoor lover! That roof tip looks oh so tempting to base jump from or mountain climbing during sunset must be beautiful.

    mel says:
  • lots of big blank areas in the section–what the heck is in there?

    effing sweet renders

    LML says:
  • There is no hill around, this part of the New Belgrade in Serbia is a flat plate. The river banks are about 5-6km from that location, you can see it on orto-photo plan. The isolation of existing left building is a big question, so the rest of that part of the city. In this part of the city buildings are 6-10 floors high, around 30-35m high. This enormous structure is more than that point high…plus it is wide in the base and then again at the top!

    Renders are ok, but I don`t like the proposal.It looks like a volcano that has just erupted!

    MUF says:
  • mistake in writing> INSOLATION

    MUF says:
  • Thank you MLJF for describing the direct context and I agree that it does look like a volcano..just perfect to put a roller coaster in it!

    It is a project that doesn’t care or think about it’s context…it sits there…just sits. This doesn’t speak to me as being a Sci Centre.

    mel says:
  • The metaphor of science emerging and expanding rationally from a geological mound, from earth and rock, is powerful. Off Architecture bears watching. Its school in Revin, France — Lycee Jean Moulin — is breathtakingly smart.

    Tom P says:
  • Great project. I love seeing such great inspiration. Great post.

    Tyson says:


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