Kotor is an ancient fortified city located in a secluded bay on Montenegro's Adriatic coast. It has been Venetian, Austrian and—most recently—part of the former Yugoslavia. Today, as part of an independent nation, it's narrow streets, small squares, and warm stone buildings define the character of a UNESCO World Heritage Site which, each summer, becomes one vast cruise terminal as tourists arrive in their droves to bask in it's dry heat and spectacular natural environment. At this time, however, it also plays host to KotorAPSS (Architectural Prison Summer School) – an eight day-long gathering dedicated to infusing contemporary cultural life into the city by means of temporary architectural installations.
In This Semi-Derelict Montenegrin Prison, 7 Temporary Structures Untangle the Spatial Possibilities of Nautical Rope
Is it a pop-up, a folie, an installation? Does it have a function? What is it made of? Does it challenge technology? What is the methodology? How long will it stay? After our Re-Use series in KotorAPSS, we continue our journey with the topic of TEMPORARY in architecture. Inside the city walls of UNESCO site and within the vicinity of Old Austrian Prison - the mothership of KotorAPSS we have decided to break up with the permanence and talk about its significance in architecture.” Temporary structures might be designed to disappear shortly or just host an event, might have to be set-up quickly - but they do become part of the public space, part of
With its upcoming double symposium KotorAPSS further establishes a small Montenegrin town as an international hot spot for architectural thinking and advances the debate on decaying places of the recent past and their possible futures.
Boka Kotorska Bay cuts the Adriatic Montenegrin coast like a Norwegian Fjord. Once a hideout for pirates and smugglers it also was an important commercial trade hub and naval base.
The region once belonged to the Illyrian Kingdom, the Roman Empire and later to the Byzantine Empire. The Venetians ruled until the late 18th century, followed by the Austrians, and troops of Napoleon. From here Mediterranean cultures spread into the Balkan. Especially since UNESCO declared the natural and culture-historical region Kotor a world heritage site in 1979 the city and the bay have become an increasingly popular daytrip location for cruise ship tourism along the Adriatic coast.
Montenegro Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale to Investigate One of Europe's Largest Post-Industrial Landscapes
Near Montenegro's most southern town Ulcinj sits the former saline "Bajo Sekulic," a completely artificial, man-made biotope which has taken on almost global importance as a crucial node in the migratory patterns of birds. As such, the Solana Ulcinj is the front line of all kinds of conflicts: between nature and culture; the local and the global; economy and environmental awareness.
The Project Solana Ulcinj, commissioned by Dijana Vucinic and the Ministry of sustainable development and tourism and curated by Bart Lootsma and Katharina Weinberger, is the Montenegrin contribution to the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of the Biennale di Architettura. The Montenegrin pavilion hosts four projects outlining four different sustainable futures for the Solana Ulcinj, developed specially for the Biennale by four practices: ecoLogicStudio from London, LOLA form Rotterdam and LAAC from Innsbruck, while a fourth project will be decided following a national competition in Montenegro. The project is accompanied by a series of three symposia in Montenegro and in Venice.
Hotel Fjord is the most visible big structure that was conceived and built during the Yugoslav period in Kotor and which is now waiting for more intense use again. Next to it there is at least four major sites and structures in a wide range of different material conditions, but all in a state of minimal use, which can be described as a programmatic void in the center of Kotor.
Established by DVARP, as part of Kotor ART festival, Kotor Architectural Prison Summer School will take place this year in an Old Austrian Prison in Kotor, Montenegro from July 4-14. Set to host great mentors and lecturers, there are two main parts of Kotor APSS: the summer school workshop with final work exhibition and student presentation, and the final conference ”APSS talk” and Panel discussion based on the workshop Topic and Conclusions, which is open to the wider public. More information and images of last year's event after the break.