House of art
The construction of the building where MADLENIANUM is located today started during the fifties, and it was put into function in the seventies of the last century, as Zemun Stage of the National Theatre. The original architectural and technical-technological concept of the building, with its overall reductionism, resembled more to a model of soc-realistic cultural centre than to a modern theatre. A thirty-year period of exploitation, during which there was little investment in the building, and especially a degrading period of nineties (when this building even became a shopping centre), took their toll. When MADLENIANUM, as a new institution, moved in 1998 into the building of Zemun Theatre, it was a completely dilapidated, ruined and devastated building.
By a decision of the founder, Mrs. Zepter, a process of capital phase reconstruction has started, with a basic goal not only to bring the building into function, but also to conform it to the spirit of the times, new technical possibilities, and thus enable realization of the most complex artistic scenic undertakings, concepts and settings.
We can say today that these aspirations have been completely realized and MADLENIANUM is undoubtedly one of the most representative theatre halls, not only in Belgrade and Serbia, but in the wider region as well.
A new architectural- urbanistic solution (the work of the academician, prof. arch. Ivan Antic) – modern, but at the same time carefully suited into the ambience and context of the old Zemun – pointed out an exceptional importance of a public function of theatre, but reaffirmed potentials of the place itself. This quality is particularly visible in the solution of the small square in front of the building, which is sensibly treated as a place where interior and exterior overlap, so that is can be seen as an extension of the foyer, or, on the other hand, as a special urban stage.
Reshaping of entrance parties technologically completes a dominant theatrical function: hall, space, artistic and technical ensemble etc. However, the lavishness of new MADLENIANUM building is in numerous, almost unforeseeable alternative possibilities of space utilization.
The interiors of the Large Hall (arch. Zoran Stojnic-Serbanovic), in which, beside the orchestra, there was created a completely new ring of boxes at the level of gallery (with the total capacity of about 500 seats), as well as of the foyer, Belle Etage and the halls (arch. Branko Urosevic), with their elegant architectural expressions, natural materials, colors, light and comfort of all kinds, prepare us and usher into the world of imagination created on the stage.