Exhibition and Roundtable Discussion: Urban Narratives in Skopje

TU Delft Department of Architecture, 18 – 20 February, 2020

The exhibition Unwinding Skopje presents the joint results of the graduation studio Positions in Practice, offered by the chair of Methods and Analysis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment – TU Delft (tutored by action chair Klaske Havik and WG1 member Jorge Mejía); together with work by students from the Faculty of Architecture, University SS. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje (tutored by WG4 members Marija Mano Velevska and Slobodan Velevski).

In line with the research carried out by COST Action Writing Urban Places, the exhibited analyses and projects focus on the urban context of Skopje, North-Macedonia, as a laboratory for the definition of architectural positions and practices. Skopje is characterized by the simultaneous presence of radically different architectural ideologies. After the devastating earthquake which destroyed a big part of the city in 1963, a large metabolist urban scheme, introduced by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, defined much of the current urban structure. That era of reconstruction resulted in remarkable modern architectural works including the National Opera and Ballet, the Art Museum and the City Wall.  A more recent layer is the Skopje 2014 project which consisted of the erection of copies of classical buildings, fountains and monuments on prominent sites of the city. 

Design studios from both universities have jointly investigated the different urban narratives underlying these architectures in relation to everyday life in the city. The exhibition was complemented by an excursion to Rotterdam, and by a round-table discussion on the topics of meaningfulness, appropriation and integration as means to achieve more inclusive built environments.

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