Avala house, Belgrade

The Avala House is a residence situated in a pastural landscape on Avala mountain near Belgrade. The house is a case study on how design effort can turn sufficiency into a desirable form for living. The making of Avala House in the form of the ideal contemporary home uses everyday materials, formed personally by the skills of local makers to create a product of regional significance.
The owner – a local craftsman working on interior refurbishments – invited TEN to design, develop and build the house. The central premise of the project was to include the future owner in the process of making by specifying only available local material and construction knowledge, with design decisions on durable structures and surfaces to be repaired. The conversation identified material resources, workshop skill and capacities within the range of the immediate region. It also brought about novel solutions like the in-situ casting of the exposed concrete foundations with recycled steel sheets; the accuracy of the formwork was determined by interior joiners; the casting with a self-compacting concrete mixture developed in dialogue with local subsidiaries and contractors. This contributed to the local economy and through experimentation in the construction, offered new applications for local construction skills.

What makes this project one-of-a-kind?
The design, development and construction of the Avala House resulted from including the client, a craftsman, in the process. This challenged the norm of architecture being a complete conceptual product, delivered to the site via the client, but instead opened the process as a genuine conversation on the process of construction, the future use and practical and necessary maintenance.


TEN Studio; Nemanja Zimonjić, Ognjen Krašna, Jana Kulić, Miodrag Grbić,


Year of completion

Belgrade, Serbia

Total area
156 m2

Site area
2.050 m2

Maxime Delvaux

Project Partners

Spasojević Enterijeri

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