Europan 12 Kosova: Team Up!

EUROPAN is a call for projects of ideas at the urban and architectural scale, addressed to young architects under 40 years of age, which look for innovative housing solutions in different urban sites in European towns.

Following a successful first-time organization of the Europan 11 competition, Europan Kosova is participating also this year’s Europan 12 competition, among the 15 other participating countries on the theme The Adaptable City with the project site in Gjilan. For further information on the competition and participating details, read after the break.


How can the site contribute to the adaptable city?

The  city center of Gjilan will undergo rapid transformation. Gjilan is one of the biggest towns in the eastern part of Kosovo known for the tradition of trade and agriculture.  It is a regional center that is important for the Morava river valley and bordering region with Macedonia and Serbia. The site proposed by the municipality currently contains the court building, police station, municipal administration and the hotel which is a private property. A big public space – more dedicated to car traffic than to pedestrians, and a small river in the northern boundary makes the link between buildings. Although this small river is covered within, the opening of riverbed and regulation will consider the spring as an open urban asset for public life.

The court and the police station buildings dates from early ‘60.

Since they are moving to the northern part of the city, Municipality has decided to demolish the old buildings and build the new municipal assembly hall and the administration building in order to bring all municipal departments in a single building.

The future development of the city centre requires more public spaces and facilities in order to support cultural life of the city. The existing municipal administration building was considered as temporary since the earthquake damaged it and caused demolition of the old municipal assembly hall. Since it cannot be used properly, Municipality has decided to demolish it and leave the place for a new multifunctional cultural centre, open to all involved in culture production. The owner of the existing hotel is also interested to redevelop the site as well, and complement the hotel with shopping and leisure activities.
The public space around the buildings forms the most lively city area.

Therefore municipal authorities consider that these transformations will contribute to improve the cultural life in the city and provide new facilities for municipal administration and change the image of the center with new civic buildings and public spaces.


City strategy

The municipality of Gjilan aims to develop based on three interrelated strategies: Agriculture, tourism and cross border interchange. Urban Development strategies are linked to the vision of the whole municipality and related to spatial, economic and social deimensions of the city. One of the goals stated in the urban development plan is sustainble use of resources and use of the energy efficiency strategies.
Gjilan is gradually developing in a spatially compact city based on the following main principles: defining the building area, defining central area, housing densification, and development focused in the main strategic points of the city, creation of the efficient mobility system, easy access to the public and infrastructural services, protection and extension of the green spaces, etc.

Gjilan – a dynamic city promoting, and strengthening of the socio-economic conditions with the aim of reviving the city. The urban development plan has emphasized the culture to support the economy as one of the main development sectors based on landscape resources and cultural heritage.
The site and public space should take a role of a central area for major public events that can promote city of Gjilan as a lively and dynamic city in the southern part of Kosova.
The privatization of the main industrial plants brought the service economy in the focus and geographical position of the city in the wider region – short distance to Serbia and Macedonia, may turn it into a regional centre based on cross border cooperation between Kosovo, Serbia and Macedonia.


Site definition

The study area consist on the city centre urban area due to it’s position along the main axis which is also part of the national road linking Gjilan and Ferizaj. The site with a triangle shape, has an area of 19,650 m². It is located in the busiest part of the city.
In the north boundary, a small Mirusha river, provide the natural feature to the cite. Covered for more then 40 it is now under recovery process to be transformed to an open public space. The river is considered as an asset to increase the value of the open public space.
The municipal authority’s intents to built a new municipal assembly building which would house all municipal administration departments which are actually operating in 5 different buildings.
A cultural centre with a concert hall, dance and cinema and a small art gallery will improve the cultural life of the city.


Adaptability: main elements to take into account

Gjilan is a city with 86,500 inhabitants while the municipality has a 135,000 The main activities of the popullation are service economy, trade and small industry. The high percentage of young popullation is considerd as a resource for the future. The city has grown during 70-90 based on a two big industries – textile – carpets and curtains, and tobacco company known internatioanlly for production of cigarettes. The fall of these industries has caused economic decline which caused social problems. Gjilan is known for it’s strong tradition in cultural life. The vision for future is emphasizing the needs for cultural facilities – music, visual arts, community gathering.

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