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COMPETITION TASK:

To design, both on urban and architectural level, one territorial piece of Skopje where collective housing typology is to be to tested.

RESPONSE::

The competition was an opportunity to suggest a model for future development of the city. In general, Macedonian cities today are getting more and more fragmented. Therefore, every suggestion for urban development that does not improve this historical situation is just another false attempt to superimpose yet another scenario that is improbable to accomplish. In that sense, while (re)building a Macedonian city, it is necessary to propose development strategies that will, first of all, connect and integrate the fragments of the local urban landscape. The competition task provides us the opportunity to research and discover the city landscape that is highly potential for future development. The new neighborhood is planned on the border between the urban and rural territory, in the recently demilitarized zone of Skopje. Another interesting issue was the proximity of an important cultural monument (the aqueduct), at present hardly accessible and therefore out of citizen mental map. The suggested design follows both the landscape and the urban tendencies. The main idea is to activate a broader area, creating landscape that initiates movement, strengthening the socio-cultural relations among different groups that will be gravitating toward this area.

On urban scale, the design follows two lines of intervention:
1. Interpolation of a new urban entity that is a novel yet integrated fragment in the city system;
2. On the level of the neighborhood, the project suggests a pattern that articulates structured and adjusted nature.
The initial gesture is to emphasize the infrastructure of open public spaces connected with pedestrian infrastructure and the new settlement with other urban elements such as the aqueduct and the nearby commercial streetscape
The introduced pedestrian promenade is followed by a typologically well affirmed spatial pattern – a linear sequence of residential towers set as a factor of coherency, density and scale. The total intervention on urban level is minimal, trying to obtain spatial equilibrium between the open and newly built space, bearing in mind the fact that the void acts actively too. The design suggests four urban neighborhood prototypes distributed according to their size, orientation, topography and views. Typologically, they result from the research of the surrounding formal and informal neighborhoods characterized with different densities, masses and orientations.
The proposal offers three typological buildings models, different in size and density.