The Only Female Recipient of the Federal “Borba” Award 

“Communication is the thing that gives powerful meaning to a certain space.”
Svetlana Kana Radević

Svetlana Kana Radević Photo credit: Archive of the authors

Svetlana Kana Radević
Photo credit: Archive of the authors

Memorial to the Fallen of the Lješanska Nahija Region in Barutana, Podgorica Municipality, Montenegro (1975-80) Author: Svetlana Kana Radević Photo taken in 2019. Photo credit: Lazar Pejović

Memorial to the Fallen of the Lješanska Nahija Region in Barutana, Podgorica Municipality, Montenegro (1975-80)
Author: Svetlana Kana Radević
Photo taken in 2019.
Photo credit: Lazar Pejović

Svetlana Kana Radević was the first female architect in Montenegro and the only architect from this republic, as well as the only female architect in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, to receive the Federal Borba Award for Architecture (1968) for the Hotel “Podgorica” in Podgorica (1964-1967), when she was just 30 years old. After winning this prestigious award, she executed a number of original and distinctive architectural works, mostly in the territory of Montenegro. However, the Hotel “Podgorica” remains her most impressive work, which marked the Montenegrin and Yugoslav architectural scene.

Svetlana Kana Radević (1937–2000), the first female architect in Montenegro, finished primary school at Cetinje, grammar school in Podgorica and the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade. In parallel with architectural studies in Belgrade, she reached the final year at the art history department at the Faculty of Philosophy. She received a degree in architecture in 1963 under the tutelage of professors Kliska, Martinović and Bogdanović.[1] She completed her master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania under Louis Kahn (1972/73). She also continued her professional training in Paris (CSTB), Salzburg, Moscow and Japan, in the studio of Kisho Kurokawa. She was a full member of the Doclean Academy of Sciences and Arts (DASA) as the first female member in Montenegro, a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Science, which she was inducted into in 1994, at the same time as Kenzo Tange, the first vice-president of the cultural institution Matica crnogorska, a member of the Montenegrin PEN Centre, a member of UNESCO (AIA). She was the recipient of many prestigious prizes: the republican and federal Borba Award (1968), the Liberation of Podgorica Award (1992) and the highest Montenegrin state award – the 13th July Award (1968).[2] During the time when she was engaged in the then Design and Planning Company in Podgorica (1963-1974), she executed her first architectural works that achieved great success and defined her further career. She later primarily practiced as a self-employed architect and artist, or she worked with institutions that occasionally hired her.

[1] Ivica Mlađenović, 11 istaknutih arhitekata Jugoslavije (11 Prominent Yugoslav Architects) – Volume 3, Beograd: Studio Linija A, 1989, p. 33-36.

[2] Andrija Markuš, KANA, Podgorica: Arhitektonski forum, 2017, p. 15-21.

 

The complete article is published in Autumn 2019 issue of Piranesi No. 41/Vol. 27.

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