The Central Institute for Conservation, Belgrade
ZABORAVLJENI ČUVAR BENTA: crpna stanica „Plavna“ na Dunavu
A FORGOTTEN GUARDIAN OF THE BANK:
Pumping Station “Plavna” on Danube
Journal 10/2014 (Museum of Applied Art), pages 28-36
Abstract (original language):
Krajem XIX i početkom XX veka industrijska arhitektura u Vojvodini doživljava brzi napredak, što je odraz regionalnog razvoja Austrougarske, u čijem se sastavu Vojvodina nalazila. Pored prehrambene proizvodnje i proizvodnje građevinskog materijala, poseban vid privrednog razvoja predstavljala je izg
Key words: (original language)
industrijsko nasleđe, crpna stanica, secesija, ruralna arhitektura
With the first organized works on the regulation of watergangs in Vojvodina, came the construction and building of accompanying establishments such as bridges, sluices, locks, pumping stations. Although they were built as utilitarian structures, many of these objects are characterized by harmonious proportions, as well as by construction and decorative details crafted with great artifice.
The first buildings were of architecturally modest dimensions, following the shapes of standard family houses of the period. As typical industrial buildings, pumping stations included a number of other objects necessary for their successful functioning: beside machine house, there were also quarters for superintendent, machinists, guardian houses, workshops, and storehouses for wood and coal.
Pumping stations and plants represented, at the time, some of the most modern and the most specialized architectural problems and subjects for their builders, regardless of their sizes and locations, and auxiliary buildings were supposed to have architectural qualities, too. The architects were required to conceal the strictly utilitarian content, and to make an impact on existing surroundings with the aesthetic forms of their architectural projects. Their interiors were to be as functional and as practical as possible, accessible, clear and organized with utmost precision. Channels with locks, embankments, bridges and other objects, apart from draining and cultivating the once swampy ground, introduced new elements of beauty into village landscapes.
The pumping station in Plavna, as one of the most representative examples of hydrotechnic buildings from the beginning of the 20th century, is veritable rarity from the aspect of the protection of industrial heritage, owing to high level of preservation of its building complex and machines. With obvious elements of Secession combined with traditional building techniques, and with its original pumps, engines and reservoirs, this pumping station is true witnesses of the time in which it was created. Bearing in mind that the narrow definition of industrial heritage, with reference to machine systems and architectural structures, had been expanded, the future challenge will be to explore all the key elements that should be taken into account in the evaluation of industrial heritage.
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