Villa Valentina | transformation into a collective housing

|| Villa Valentina transformation | Stairs | project year 2016

site | Prilepska 2, 11000 Belgrade

client | private

design and architecture | URED architecture studio Beograd

structural engineering | Arena projekt doo Kragujevac

photography | Relja Ivanic arhitektonska fotografija 

status | completed 2017

| original project from 1931. by architects Mihailo Radovanović and Branislav Marinković

Project description

Villa Valentina (former Katarina) was built in the early 1930s, following the design by two Serbian architects, Mihailo Radovanović and Branislav Marinković. Built in the suburban part of Belgrade, and today located in Prilepska Street, in the urban neighborhood, named Autokomanda. The house occupies 60 sqm, approximately one fifth of the total plot area, and has almost 200 sqm of living area. It is accessed through the courtyard by an outdoor concrete staircase leading to the first floor. The front elevation, 19 meters away from the street, forms a distinctive and the only visual identity of the building.

New staircase design is a response to 2015 transition of the ownership of the house and a single-to-multi-family house change. In the beginning, the house was in the ownership of one family. Dividing the property into three (one family per floor) arose a problem of using a common entrance to the building. Transformation, in this sense, refers to the change of the ownership structure and the revitalization of the house elevation by adding a new architectural element – the white steel staircase. In order to provide new users with a direct access to the private units, a spiral staircase is designed as an addition to the existing one, creating a connection between the courtyard and the second floor.

The steel metal structure is used not to compromise the existing structure of the building, to provide a sense of visual lightness and transparency and finally, to single out the new design from the existing one, simultaneously giving the impression of a unified whole. Therefore, the staircase has a double value. It is the answer to the owner’s requirements, providing a new entrance to the building as a vertical communication, while its incidence talks about the changes coming from the inside. The project of the staircase is a necessary solution but it also becomes an instrument for prolonging life, making the house habitable for present and future generations.