Client: Mitropolija crnogorsko - primorska
Principal Architect: Dragutin Dubljevic
Project Director: Milan Vukasojevic
Project Size: 2114,80 m2
Location: Budva, Montenegro
The task of designing the church of St. Mark the Apostle in Budva required relying on a rich architectural tradition, while simultaneously searching for a unique solution which would fuse with the present time and conditions.
The church complex is located in a dense, heterogeneous urban setting and is adapted to the specific conditions of the site. It is designed on a simple, raised gravitational base, created by the levelling of the terrain.
The surrounding conditions required emphasising a dominantly vertical concept, which gave the complex monumentality. The church sits upon 7 steps, each 12 centimetres in height, raising the structure by a total of 84 centimetres above ground level.
The bell tower and its positioning enabled an integral presentation of the complex, creating volumetric primacy by means of the separate object.
The church is 31.65 meters long and 26.80 meters wide. Its total height, from the plateau to the top of the dome’s cross, is 24.48 meters.
The bell tower is 18.80 meters tall, and together with the cross reaches 20.80 meters.
The heights of the crosses are: bell tower cross - 2.00 m; dome cross - 2.61 m; turret crosses - 1.90 m.
A series of expansive, granite, multifunctional steps lead from the bypass to the plateau, the site planned for the church, incorporating zigzagging ramps. Access to the church is possible by car from the parking lot on its west side, through a parking gate 375 centimetres wide. This access is to be used exclusively for delivery and service vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks, etc.
The church building has been designed as a triple-aisled basilica, based upon examples of early Christian churches whose foundations form the shape of a cross.
The building was deconstructed and dismantled into its elementary forms: the five-sided laterals and the altar apse, the turrets, the octagonal tambour, the square proskomide and the diaconicon. Roofs and surfaces accentuate above all Byzantine volume.
The church fulfils all requirements for worship and enhances ties to heritage through its reinterpretation of the inevitable elements of an Orthodox church, its materialisation, uniqueness, and integration with the period and conditions in which it is created.
The naos is richly developed, offering wide-open views, horizontally and vertically.
The naos is broadly connected to the covered arched entrance of the building, enabling good views and quick emptying of the building.
The central domed space is accentuated by a cruciform design raised above square columns. The octagonal tambour is supported over four arches on four columns.
The dome and the altar apse are vaulted with a semi-callotte, a characteristic reinterpretation of inherited constants, the custodians of values and traditions.
The ridged facade and vaults are expected to give the space good acoustics.
Along its vertical line, the tambour is somewhat shallower, giving a strong and harmonious Byzantine silhouette.
Heating is subfloor, ventilation is natural.
At an elevation of +4.40 meters is the choir gallery, which includes three auxiliary / technical rooms, a terrace and the chapel of St. Peter.
The bell tower houses 5 bells, which issue a synchronised harmonious sound.
The church’s main door and its three side doors are envisioned to be carved and decorated with square and rectangular forms bearing crosses.
A space for lighting candles is located behind the bell tower. A fountain is planned on the church plateau. On the right side of the main entrance, at ground level, a baptistery is planned.
The crypt is planned below the entire breadth of the church and will be capable of receiving up to 400 visitors. The crypt is connected to the basement of the auxiliary building via a multifunctional hall.
The structural assembly of the church building, the bell tower and the auxiliary building is reinforced concrete with an inner layer of limestone and an outer layer of stone, giving the building an enduring quality.
The interior treatment enables the creation of frescoes using a monolithization technique for better adhesion and later decorating. Facade processing has been transposed from inherited construction experience.
The walls of the church are 50cm thick, and consist of: 5cm-thick limestone tiles on the inside, 25cm of reinforced concrete, 6cm of thermal insulation, 6cm of reinforced glue and 8cm of stone.
The stone components are envisioned as stone blocks that have been stacked in regular horizontal rows and separated by a joint of 1 centimetre, according to the following axial arrangement: in the lower part 5xH.33 and 8xH.45 centimetres, and in the upper, 4xH.33 and 8xH.45 centimetres. The lower and upper components are intersected by a profiled wreath 34 centimetres in height.
The stone was chosen because of its artistic and technical properties and due to the concept of durability it evokes. The facade is composed of stone shapes and window frames.
Coverings are predominantly shingles, except for the dome and covered entrances, where the material used is folded stainless steel sheet with a blue patina finish, placed on a raised wooden base with the corresponding layers.
A multitude of narrow windows bring a play of light and shadows into the interior.
The iconostasis is white marble decorated with icons framed by ornate gilded frames and borders. The iconostasis of the crypt is of walnut or oak.
In arranging the area around the church, we attempted to create a dignified, beautiful, and useful space which would serve to connect people. The church and its surrounding plateau play a very big role in city life, particularly spiritual. We have created a place where people can meet, along with circumstances that emphasize and further establish the significance of the human and divine dimensions. Overcrowding makes urban space increasingly valuable. The multifunctional square can also serve as a venue for organising the sale of traditional products, or also artistic events and outdoor exhibitions, where culture, tradition and a favourable climate bring added benefit.