Peja: A city seeking European trends
A city of 96,000, home of the White Drin River and the picturesque Rugova Canyon, Peja is undergoing vast urban developments. Recently, the Department of Urbanism and Environmental Protection of the Municipality of Peja held a competition on revisioning the center of the city, as per the Urban Regulatory Plan “Centre, Kapeshnica and Karagaqi”.
On this competition, which was open for 60 days, according to city officials 50 applications were filled, out of which only 14 proposals were submitted (among them two animations and one model). The jury was consisted of Peter Engstrom from Sweden, Krunoslav Ivanishin and Lulzim Kabashi from Croatia, as well as Agron Nagavci and Mirjeta Rizvanolli from Kosova. The selection method used was made of three stages: on the first one the competition was narrowed to 7 proposals; the second stage brought further only 4 proposals; while on the third and final stage the three winners were selected. As per the Department officials, a significant role on decision-making played residents and owners of the lots where the design was focused, who had the chance to review all the proposals and vote for their favorites.
First place belonged to the proposal from architects Fatlum Radoniqi, Arben Verzivolli and Kastriot Jaka. “Their comprehensive proposal was as much pragmatic as it was poetic and artistic. Their minimalist facades emphasize its physical contextuality, while as much importance it was given to the river views as to the urban context. Its perpetual continuity delivers the feeling of calmness and maturity in this important part of the city center, while the surrounding nature is reflected and treated in the inner yard, emphasizing its organic shape. At the same time, its simplicity and neutrality allows it to be adapted for different uses and functions.” – city officials cited.
In the second place was the proposal from the Urban Plus studio. “This proposal resembles the traditional Pazars as it groups same-function entities along a common covered pathway. It provides a sophisticated urban look as seen from the city center, while a more toned-down natural look is achieved on the riverside by using a restricted number of formal elements.” – added city officials.
The third place went to Maden Creative Studio. “The proposed solution for the build-able area encompasses the existing private lots to their utmost extent. A strong and comprehensive repetition unifies the functional program of this complex. With few adjustments, some of these features might improve over time.” – city officials concluded.