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Ognen MARINA,PhD Assistant Professor Faculty of Architecture Skopje, Macedonia
Ana G. TROMBEVA,PhD Assistant Professor Faculty of Architecture Skopje, Macedonia
Bojan KARANAKOV,MA Assistant Faculty of Architecture Skopje, Macedonia
Todorka SAMARDZIOSKA,PhD Assistant Professor Faculty of Civil Engineering Skopje, Macedonia
New governmentally financed project “Skopje 2014” with intention to “re-establish” the identity of the nation through development of infrastructure and architecture in Baroque style has substantially changed the urban, social, political and ethical context of the central area of the city. The aim of our work is to present an open approach of form finding process as a result of interaction of functional, engineering and social issues that is in contrast with fixed and predetermined typology proposed by government. Our new pedestrian bridge on river Vardar in the centre of the city creates new urban landscapes acting as a social attractor and urban infrastructure. Its geometry and structure is a result of formal and functional concept generated as a complex emergent property of the topologically based system expressing high level of social responsibility of design and ethical and esthetical approach to complex engineering challenges in urban areas. Keywords: Skopje, urban transformations, fixed typology, process, bridge, form finding, socially responsible design
Skopje, the largest city in the Republic of Macedonia, owes its present form to the process of stratification of differentiated layers developed as a result of urban transformations. The process of spatial and urban planning intensified at the end of 19th and beginning of 20th century as a result of modernisation of the Ottoman Empire, emergence of new geo-political context within the region and influences of new concepts and models of urban form. Development of the city of Skopje has followed this path of dissolution and than reconstruction of the urban form through a process of modernisation. Sequences of historic events and policies that have resulted from these events generate the geopolitical and social context of the development of the city. These policies have influenced the process of urban transformation of urban centres in Macedonia, and especially the city of Skopje on conceptual level, as referential models for development of urban plans and introduction of new ideas and concepts, but also as strategies for implementation of planning policies in practice and within the urban fabric . These conceptual and real urban transformations have dissolved the conventional spatial models.
as well as physical models for fragments of the city. The erasure of the past and the actual traces of different spatial concepts and images that took part in the creation of the urban form of the centre of Skopje. results in previously determined and fixed stylistic and spatial solutions. Skopje has been denominated as a city of solidarity and a special UN fund has been used for its post-earthquake international planning and reconstruction activities. Almost one century after the first urban plan for the city of Skopje. But at the same time it introduces the idea of rehabilitation of historic urban forms. This situation which creates some sort of a utopian super-city aimed for super-humans. Leko is the first to introduce the unitary model of the city with clear influence from Froster’s Vienna’s Ringstrasse and a work of Camilo Site in “artistic creation of the cities”. These series of conceptually and morphologically different fragments of urban form coexist in time and space as a collage of complex urban strata that creates the unique image of the city. cleaned of all spatial formations suspicious and unacceptable for the government. picturesque streets and reconfiguration of the city block as a main urban field. tremendous efforts were put into planning of a new and reconstructed city. With this model Dimitrija T. The focus of Leko’s interventions are the non-urbanised. designing and construction of buildings and spaces that are predetermined both on the . The result of the international competition for urban design of the central city area was eight versions of spatial and urban concept for the city of Skopje. is being realised through creation. political and ethical context of the central area of the city. This process of rebuilding of the ruined city has been defined as a sort of paradigm for reconstruction of a city. Rotterdam. this plan acts more as a synthetic image of a video game rather than a comprehensive and systematic consideration and plan which is necessary when we think of a city .The historical cycles in urban planning of Skopje and the different level of realisation of conceptual and real transformation within the urban fabric of Skopje resulted in a fragmented plan of the city. Comparison of the planning activities in 1966 and in 2010 determines “Skopje 2014” plan as a retro plan with its distinctive anti-modern approach. After the Earthquake in 1963. Further development and planning of the dominant architectural and urban elements has been performed in accordance with this final version in scale of 1:500. social. which are determined as such by the virtue of their ideological background and the time in which they were built. reflects the frequent shifts in political order and inconsistency of the political elite in the process of realisation of established concepts and ideas in urban planning. Unfortunately. Eight companies from Skopje. Planning in details with respect to all specifics of the context and technical details before development of actual buildings was in the essence of the process of reconstruction of the city in Skopje. Ljubljana. Belgrade. The differences between conceptual and real transformation of the urban policies and plans at one end and transformation of the urban fabric at the other. This plan also introduces development of a public domain through series of new public buildings as point elements of the plan. establishing a new European identity of the city. New York and Tokyo developed eight models for the city central area. peripheral parts of the city in order to develop large spatial compositions with typical symmetrical arrangements of parks and more “free” form of the public buildings. The urban plan of Dimitrija Leko promotes radical elimination of traditional urban forms and the “Tabula Rasa” approach. This plan promotes a negation of all other architectural typologies and styles. This government project promoted at the end of the first decade of 21st century with intention to “reestablish” the identity of the nation through development of infrastructure and architecture in eclectic Classical or Baroque style has substantially changed the urban. Zagreb. objectionable and unacceptable for the government’s project. a new governmentally financed project “Skopje 2014” has been promoted. Rome. Leko introduces the European city model for the city of Skopje. the “picturesque” quality of street patterns and fragmentation of the city space and green areas. Regulation plan from 1914 developed by Dimitrije T. The version of Kenzo Tange’s team was used as a base for the ninth final version.
or emerging as a result of the Industrial era – architecture as a process of production of functional parts . existing concepts in theory of architecture based on fixed typologies do not provide solid ground for understanding the process of creation of form and the phenomenon of architecture in general. and ethical context of any future development of the central part of the City of Skopje. functional and cultural relativity and conditionality. Process vs. nonlinear and locally driven morphogenetic process. They are result of a historically embedded process of creation which is driven by locally conditioned rules. but also on material relativity in respect to the context and the process in which it is created 2. Most of the paradigms were delegitimised by the fact that the origin of the order of architectural form was positioned outside the system instead to acknowledge the inherent order of the system as fundamental for the form generating process. creates solutions that are socially conflicted and unacceptable in a democratic context. social. determines many aspects of our everyday life activities. Dominant typologies that served to legitimise the production of architecture since eighteenth century were either based on the idea of return of architecture to its natural origins – a model of primitive shelter as an imitation of the order of Nature. The complexity of the system comes from a locally driven set of simple rules that induce continuous adaptations and changes on local level but with impact on overall condition of the system. This process creates order through interaction of the inherent order of the form and the order of the process itself. Architecture exists simultaneously as a historically embedded process of creation of form and as an object – product of that process . In these concepts architectural form is just an inert receptor of externally imposed order and therefore its form is predetermined by fixed typologies . Dependence of form creation process on these configurational aspects of architectural form determines the importance of understanding the same. Such plan substantially changes the urban. A solution of this situation can be reach only by a radical change in the point of view: architectural form not to be conceived as a static system of predetermined ideal forms but rather as a dynamic system of changes that will generate a complex result. The emerging form will be a result of a process of morphogenesis as a historically embedded process of creation and adaptation . Its complexity and vastness comes from a process of continuous creation of architectural form not only as a physical object but as a process of creation of spatial. Therefore. Built environment and architectural objects as a part of it are the biggest and most complex creation of mankind. The nature of architectural form is inherently dynamic and can not be determined by fixed types regardless of vastness of number of types. This fixed typology and previously determined solutions are in contrary to the nature of creation of architecture and the city of Skopje as a system of fragments that testify of the different processes and concepts that created this unique image of the city.level of stylistic typology of the buildings and the spatial concepts. Shaping the space and architectural buildings according to a plan that is already spatially and stylistically determined. without taking into consideration their spatial. . cultural. Fixed typology Architectural form as a dominant physical structure in an urban environment. This process which in its essential nature is open to various influences is resulting in urban layers of a complex system whose quality is based not only on social and cultural. social an cultural relations. These new structures are more than a sum of their parts and are not predetermined or preconceived by any means. It enables us to generate complex and novel shapes and configurations as a result of dynamic.
4. through manipulation of individual elements of the system and their social. The interpolation of new elements in the system of the city is performed through respect and improvement of the existence and meaning of the city. realised through architectural structures. cultural and social values. cultural.3. that is. but also engineering buildings to be realised as a process that explores the essence. Then. through one socially responsible process. These new patterns through the process of materialisation can get different and unique realisation in reality. socially responsible and culturally relative process of creation. that is. Such nature of the city implies its infinite upgrading. Its geometry and structure is a result of formal and functional concept generated through continuous spatial manipulation of discrete formal element as an opposition to predetermined and fixed typologies. or all that is created in a different way. As opposed to such fixed typology and predetermined form of space and buildings lies the possibility for the process of the creation and shaping of architectural. Examples of such positive evolution of the urban space that exist in the central city area are of particular importance for the city of Skopje. Form creation as a socially responsible process The city is a system of continuous creation of meaning in space. cultural and spatial relevance are created . . the depth of the structures through which it acts and is created. Everything else. that is. Its form is a frozen fragment of time in which a wave is formed and then disappears the next moment. fluidity of the materialisation and its reflection in the water creating unique spatial experience of the city. In fact. It is the configuration nature of architecture and the urban space through which the projection of culture and society of the phenomenon we call city is made. Design of a new pedestrian bridge as a form finding process Design of a new pedestrian bridge on the River Vardar in the centre of the city is a result of an open system approach of form finding process. On the contrary. The new identity and quality of the building and space is created by its relating and connection to existing spatial. that is. the deep structures of the building. Therefore formal appearance is important and relevant only if it as a result of this. configurations that provide formal and logical analysis of the conditions in which the building would be created. especially as a typologically and stylistically predetermined political project. These structures are initially analysed on the level of logical relations. engineering and social aspects of the context of this development and is in contrast with the fixed and predetermined imagery of socially and culturally conflicted plan proposed by government. such as the City Shopping Centre that promotes a completely new concept in the spatial pattern of the city and simultaneously assimilates and reinterprets the existing one. Their success. the whole post-war modern architecture in the centre of the city of Skopje can testify to the success of this process of evolution and improvement of the existing spatial concepts through their encounter with new ones The success of such creation of the city and architecture through a historically contingent process of shaping as a result of compliance and understanding of the essence of architecture. through the process of their materialisation in reality they create unique and distinctive identity. emerging from interaction of functional. are particularly important because they are indicators of the success of the city to continue in time as a form and system that people recognise as quality. The metaphor and basic idea of this bridge is the analogy with the constant change of shape of the water and the society as a dynamic system. such practice usually creates conflicts in society because of their spatial. historically contingent. and social univocality and superficiality.generated new patterns on a level of configuration. improving and changing. The moment is fixed in the materialisation through which its constantly changing geometry stands as a reflection of the continuous process of creation and disappearance of the form. has very little potential to be recognised as new quality or as a denominator of some new identity.
new places for movement and rest. location and site (Fig. and the analysis of the position of the existing public spaces (and the form and context they are in) in the central city area. Spatial analysis of context The spatial analysis is based on several aspects of the context. Fig. the internal streets of the City Trade Centre and paths in the park opposite the Parliament building as well as the plateau in front of the Macedonian Opera and Ballet building is linking the existing public spaces such as the Republic Cultural Centre and the Square Macedonia to the new governmental and cultural institutions on the other bank of the river Vardar. which is supplemented with side benches set. through the new urban topography – a new experience of the city.1. The urban space flows through the urban topography of the bridge. The bridge is an extension to the public space on both sides of the river which is used not only for pedestrian communication but also as a place where various activities and events happen (Fig. the bridge opens and closes to the surroundings. At both ends of the bridge the walking platform is developed in full width to meet all users and is a continuation of the space on the quay. according to their size and activities that happen on them. connecting squares and public spaces.4. while on the places where it is oriented towards the interior it creates a place for meetings and contacts. but above all. On the places where the bridge opens to the surrounding it becomes a platform for observing the river and the city. 2: Situation With its geometry. while always offering a different experience and contact with the river and the city. The communication distance of the main intersections and therefore the attractiveness of the new bridge as a way of crossing the river has been analysed. they themselves become new public spaces. 1). It is developed as a continuous flow of public space. Thus. 4. 2). besides their main function to link public spaces. The establishment of these corridors. Fig. supporting the space on the quay. the Quay 13 November. 1: Spatial Analysis of context The second level of analysis is determining the primary pedestrian corridors that exist and the new ones which would appear as a result of the new intervention. new activities and functions. enables us to state that pedestrian paths. Form and function This new bridge creates new urban landscapes on water. The walking surface at the ends of the bridge is on the same level with the existing quay surface . tying both banks as a new square over the water that offers a new vision of the site. These links are the new urban space that offers new vistas. acting as a social attractor and urban infrastructure.2.
which provides accessibility for disabled people. 5). . local places. The genesis of the basic form of the element is a result of reciprocating motion by changing the position from horizontal to vertical and its change of the section (Fig. 4). Fig. the form of this pedestrian bridge is in balance with the surrounding environment and does not compete with the surrounding building stock (Fig.5m ) is obtained by constant appearance of various structural and functional elements along the bridge that allow different. independent activities to take place simultaneously and disperse the large surface area on a number of small. 3). On the places where the bridge becomes introvert. 4: View of the bridge and its surrounding The form of the bridge. 5: Basic element of bridge geometry This process results in a form that has a unique geometry which if observed from different angles creates a different contour. we create a surface that contains wave dynamics in various stages of its formation. is obtained through a specific geometry of the basic element and its development in space. With multiplication of the basic element by two axes. This change of shape depending on the position of observation is inherent to the process of movement. benches face the inside of the bridge and form a new square over the water (Fig. Fig. 3: View of new urban bridge in Skopje The human dimension of the new urban area that the bridge introduces (despite the predetermined width of 12 m and length of 82. Thus. or more precisely. Fig. x and y. its continuous change of shape.
The laminated glass is used to allow maximum transparency and openness of the bridge where its geometry enables it. 6). and new places with different functions. but modular. The top Rank of the bridge is supported by central pillars set in the riverbed and wing walls on both ends of the bridge (Fig. Elements and Structure The elements appearing on the bridge are a result of its logical geometry and are proportionate to its function (Fig.Fig. This element. the most suitable material for achieving the specific form and geometry of the bridge. and ambiences that extend and enrich the experience of the city public space. 6: Dynamic development of shape The elements’ geometry is unique. with light stripes following the bridge geometry. The overall geometry of the structure is a result of the aesthetic. The symmetry by two axes is obtained. 4. new vistas. The structure system of the bridge is a continuing element in three fields which overcomes the Major river bed. This process of dynamic generation of form creates a dynamic surface topography of the bridge which creates new connections.3. considering the constructive system. becomes a logical carrier for the resting benches. 7: View of the bridge – new urban space The basic construction of the bridge is made out of reinforced concrete. The walking surface is set on a 15 cm thick reinforced concrete platform. economic and structural aspects of the bridge. The light is positioned in such manner that besides its basic function of lighting the walking platform actively contributes towards creation of a unique light experience of the bridge at night. underlining the formal analogy of waves. the complexity of its realization as well the durability of the material. resulting in continuity and coherence of the overall shape (Fig. 7). made of concrete with additives which provide the appropriate abrasiveness of the walking surface in order to ensure safe movement of pedestrians in winter conditions as well as with an additive to achieve bright. which is a positive structural bearing feature of the construction. This colour makes the walking surface distinctive from the construction of the bridge and in visual manner connects the bridge with the context on both sides of the river. 8). Fig. when rising in the middle of the bridge. 8: View of the pillars . white colour of the concrete. The fence is made of laminated glass as the main carrier of the wooden hand rest. protecting the pedestrians crossing the bridge. Fig. This glass is fixed in a metal carrier which is placed at the edge of the reinforced concrete construction and complements the bridge’s geometry. The rise of the construction on the peripheral parts of the bridge is used as a barrier – fence.
Blackwell Publishing. allow a better flow of the river water. For the same reasons. Cuthbert. the overall construction and its structural elements are set and evolved over the quay level to allow the biggest possible distance from the construction to the river level. still keeping its horizontality. fence and lighting. Exhibiting this dynamic and open process of form finding as historically embedded process is a beginning of construction of a model of dynamic development of the system of architectural and urban form that should enable us for deeper insight into the process of morphogenesis. A unique formal expression and distinctive structural geometry of the bridge. HILLIER.02. Ognen. 5. better understanding of the phenomenon of architecture and cities. while in a same time addressing the problems of social and public space. 3. but above all. DELANDA. (Cambridge University Press. Continuum. creates new urban waterscapes of the city of Skopje. 317. as well as normal height under the bridge for walk paths under the bridge within the Major bay. (New York. John H. without creating barriers of any kind. HOLLAND. The structure follows the complexity of the shape and is developed as a structural concrete box shifting in shape and size as the bridge form develops. Basic Books. better understanding of the results and consequences of our actions in the world that we live in. the shape of the columns. in Globus Magazine. Antony. (New York. 2004). HANSON. Ed. Furthermore. Its geometry and structure is a result of formal and functional concept generated through continuous spatial manipulation of a discrete formal element as an opposition to predetermined and fixed typologies. Conclusion Our new pedestrian bridge on the River Vardar in the centre of the city creates new urban landscapes on water. It is unique but does not compete with the existing building fund. An Interview with Minas BAKALCEV. Divna. providing normal water flow at the maximum expected water. Proceedings of International Scientific Conference “Spatial Planning in the South Eastern Europe (up to the World War II).The shape. It is both constructively and aesthetically appropriate and complementary to the overall form of the bridge.. Jullienne. It is developed as continuous flow of public space. expressing high level of social responsibility of design and ethical and esthetical approach to complex engineering challenges in urban areas. The final form is obtained by rotating the main . This procedure enables us to create a form and structure as a complex emergent property of a topologically based system rather than as a predetermined and fixed typology. PENCIC. VIDLER. Belgrade. This is of particular importance for the achievement of specific hydro-technical conditions. acting as a social attractor and urban infrastructure. Designing Cities. 2003). The construction of the bridge and its geometry simultaneously creates a ground for the functional elements of the bridge. Manuel. Space is the Machine– A Configurational Theory of Architecture. 10.triangular element. Alexander R. 24. embedded and inherent to the system. Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy. Bill. 1996). (Oxford. 45. 2009.  MARINA. The shape of the pillars is a result of the same morphogenetic principles used for creation of the basic shape of the bridge. 1996). “The Third Typology”. Serbia. “Urban transformations of Skopje: fragmented citylegacy of history”. height and dimension of the structure is tailored to the context in which it is set. Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity. Out of real time.2010.      . as well as their placement.
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