Lead ArchitectsMaden Group
Kosovo: The Latest Architecture and News
The ‘90s in Kosovo under the Milošević regime are known as times of repression, a time when ethnic Albanians were expelled from all state-run institutions and thereby removed from public life. Funded by the 3 percent income tax mainly from Albanian Diaspora, Albanians created a parallel system of education, culture and healthcare in their private houses, which citizens offered for free. These private houses provided space for public life for almost ten years in Pristina, the capital and other cities in Kosovo. In the ‘90s, life that the city center provided for everyone ended for Albanians, and all activity was dislocated to the periphery. The entire Albanian community shrank into private houses. The house became a school, a restaurant, a promotional activity space, an office, an art gallery, a hospital and a home at the same time.
As the demand of a sustainable lifestyle increases, cities are trying to find strategies to create environmentally friendly communities. From passive designs to recycled materials, architects are turning their attention to climate change and trying to find solutions through architecture and design.
The Zero Emission Neighborhood is an eco-village concept proposed by Architecture for Humans in the city of Pristina, Kosovo. The concept ensures optimum sustainability for the entire community through “zero emission” buildings, passive design strategies, active solar systems, and energy efficient appliances.
"Poi piovve dentro a l'alta fantasmi." ("Then rained down within the high fantasy...") Dante Alighieri (Purgatorio XVII.25)
From the Curators. Kosovo has never absorbed modernity. Modernity has been a synonym of destruction and foreign aesthetics.
The competition isn't over yet as the jury for the Central Mosque of Pristina Competition has announced two second place prizes and no winner. Organized by the Islamic Community of Kosovo, the competition seeks to create a place "where understanding, humanity, tolerance, respect and sincere love shall be cultivated." Slovenian firm SADAR+VUGA was one of the two teams awarded second prize with their project 21PR22. Follow us after the break to learn more.
Another noteworthy proposal for the Central Mosque of Pristina in Kosovo; this time, from Zurich-based architecture firm, Dürig AG. They envision the new mosque as an interplay between the individual and the community. "Mosques are places of worship for the Islamic community where the single believer joins a larger body for the ceremonial act of worship and prayer." Singular elements combine to make a larger, more meaningful, whole. "Thus, [our proposal] stands as a materialized representation for the individual within the Islamic community of Kosovo."
Natural daylight softly descends through the modulated plenum, creating a uniform prayer hall. Perforations throughout the facade and interior wooden panels enable a visual transparency that, Dürig AG expects, should spawn a dialogue between individuals inside the mosque and pedestrians in the city.
After a long struggle for independence, Kosovo became a new European country in 2008. Much of it’s urban landscape consists of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Communist era architecture that has been mostly remained untouched by the war. As wealth returns and the economy slowly grows, a new building spur has ignited, covering the city with a sprawl of store fronts, apartments and office buildings.
The Kosovan Pavilion takes a step back to reflect on the current state of their urban landscape, asking important questions on how architecture will effect the future of Kosovan identity and, more importantly, the emotional state and behaviors of the individuals that inhabit its cities. With the exhibition, The Filigree Maker, visitors and participants world-wide are given the opportunity to help shape the future Kosovo by sharing their emotional response to images of existing architecture. Find out more and learn how you can participate, after the break.