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Ognen MARINA1, Divna PENČIĆ2

URBAN TRANSFORMATIONS OF SKOPJE FRAGMENTED CITY – LEGACY OF HISTORY

Abstract

Process of spatial and urban planning intensified at the end of XIX and beginning of XX century as a result of modernization of the Ottoman Empire, emergence of new geo-political context within the region and influences of new concepts and models of urban form. Differences between conceptual and real transformation of the urban policies and plans at one end and transformation of urban fabric at the other, reflects the frequent shifts in political order and the inconsistency of the political elite in process of realization of established concepts and ideas in urban planning. Historic cycles in urban planning of Skopje and different level of realization of conceptual and real transformation within the urban fabric of Skopje resulted in fragmented plan of the city. These series of conceptually and morphologically different fragments of urban form coexists in time and space as a collage of complex urban strata that creates the unique image of the city.

Key words:

Urban plans, Transformations, Urban form, Fragments

MSci, assistant, University „St. Cyril and Methodius“, Faculty of Architecture, Partizanski odredi 24, 1000, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, e-mail: ognenmarina@gmail.com 2 MSci, assistant, University „St. Cyril and Methodius“, Faculty of Architecture, Partizanski odredi 24, 1000, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, e-mail: divnapencic@gmail.com

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Summary Skopje, largest city in Republic of Macedonia, owes its present form to a process of stratification of differentiated layers developed as a result of urban transformations. These transformations can be observed and understood through a reconstruction of historic and morphological processes that shape the present condition of the city. 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 influence the process of urban transformation of urban centres in Macedonia, and especially city of Skopje on conceptual level, as a referential models for development of urban plans and introduction of new ideas and concepts, but also as a strategies for implementation of planning policies in the reality and within the urban fabric. In order to established more comprehensive understanding of historic, conceptual and material context of processes that are shaping our cities, urban transformations of city of Skopje at the beginning of XX century are in the focus of our work. Development of city of Skopje has followed this path of dissolution and than reconstruction of the urban form through a process of modernization. These conceptual and real urban transformations have dissolved the conventional spatial models. In order to trace this process we have analysed three principal layers of urban strata in city of Skopje that can be recognised as a distinctive urban textures representing the conceptual and real transformation of urban form3: fragmented urban form of a traditional Balkan city unitary model of a urban form – reconstruction towards a European city, and unitary model of an urban form – reconstruction towards an international type.

Research has been performed through comparative analysis of selection of cadastral and urban plans with largest conceptual capacity and morphological analysis of urban fabric and urban layers. We have selected three major functional levels of analysis: a. linear elements – infrastructure and street patterns, b. urban fields and, and c. urban/architectural elements. Process of interaction and transformation of these levels is presented in our study as a model of chronological and morphological fragmentation that re-constructs the relation between the fragment and the whole in a context of different urban models and through concept of intertextuality. Structure of transformation and their impact to the urban form of

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Bakalcev, Minas; “Domuvanjeto kako urban fragment na primerot na Skopje”, 2004

Skopje have been observed through particularities of the urban plans, through sequences of conceptual transformation and introduction of urban themes and their reflection upon the traditional city form. Historic cycles in urban planning of Skopje and different level of realization of conceptual and real transformation within the urban fabric of Skopje resulted in fragmented plan of the city. These series of conceptually and morphologically different fragments of urban form coexists in time and space as a collage of complex urban strata that creates the unique image of the city.

Ognen MARINA, Divna PENČIĆ

URBAN TRANSFORMATIONS OF SKOPJE FRAGMENTED CITY – LEGACY OF HISTORY

Present urban form of Skopje, largest city in Republic of Macedonia, is a result of continuous stratification of differentiated layers through process of urban transformations. These transformations can be observed and understood through a reconstruction of historic and morphological processes that shape the present condition of the city. Sequences of historic events and policies that have resulted from these events generate the geopolitical and social context of the development of the city. Through a time frame of more than two thousand years geopolitical context and diffusion of different political and military configurations have created a specific historic context for development of city of Skopje. (Figure 1).

Figure 1.Timeline of geopolitical context and urban plans The policies through which these changes are implemented have influence the process of urban transformation of urban centres in Macedonia, and especially city of Skopje on two main levels.

First, they did that on conceptual level, as a referential models for development of urban plans and introduction of new ideas and concepts, and second, as a strategies for implementation of planning policies in the reality and within the urban fabric. In order to established more comprehensive foundation for better understanding of historic, conceptual and material context of processes that are shaping our cities, urban transformations of city of Skopje at the end of XIX and beginning of XX century are in the focus of our work.

Historical and morphological transformation of the city of Skopje Skopje, historically, can be determined as a traditional city that undergoes a series of divergent processes of transformation as a result of modernization and westernization of Balkan cities in XIX-XX century. Development of the city in this period is influenced by political processes and urban policies of a newly established nations building its own identity within and in reaction with the dominant ottoman urban model. This process has developed first as a constitution of new conceptual and referential model and than as a disintegration of a dominant model. Proclamation of Tanzimat from 1839 brought about extensive political and sociopolitical transformation within the existing, old system through a political emancipation of all ottoman citizens. Within the framework of this process and during the second half of XIX century new spatial models have been introduced and incorporated in a complex urban configuration of Balkan cities. New planning activities from this period are marked by modernization of Bitola, (1890)4, Skopje, de-fortification of Thessalonica (1870-1890)5 and others. The dominant ottoman urban model of a city created upon parallel existence of different subcultures with its own distinctive territory and lifestyle determines the differentiated complexity and fragmentation6 of a traditional Balkan city. In a period of urban transformation these model will be put under strong pressure in order to introduce new, unitarian image of a city.

Lory, Bernard; Popovic, Alexandre; “Au carrefour des Balkans, Bitola 1816-1918”, in “Villes Ottomanes a la fin de l-empire”, 1992. 79. 5 Hastaoglou-Martinidis, Vilma; “A Mediterranean City in Transition: Thessaloniki Between the Two World Wars” 6 Ilhan Tekeli, “Nineteenth Century transformations of Istanbul metropolitan area”, in “Villes Ottomanes a la fin de l-empire”, 1992. 43.

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Development of city of Skopje has followed this path of dissolution and than reconstruction of the urban form through a process of modernization. At first this process of modernization was performed within the existing urban model, but more radical urban transformation were introduced after 1920 with definite withdrawal of Ottoman Empire from Balkan Peninsula. The beginning of a twentieth century and process of de-ottomanization and westernization of cities introduce the idea of a unitary city form implemented in the urban fabric through a strategy of tabula rasa7 and latter introduction of functionalism doctrine at the urban policies and urban plans of the city These conceptual and real urban transformations have dissolved the conventional spatial models. In order to trace this process we have analysed three principal layers of urban strata in city of Skopje that can be recognised as a distinctive urban textures representing the conceptual and real transformation of urban form8: fragmented urban form of a traditional Balkan city – represented in first integral urban plan of Skopje developed in 1876 in Turkish and German transcription unitary model of an urban form – reconstruction towards a European city, represented in regulation and urban plans of Dimitar Leko from 1914 and Josif Mihajlovic form 1929, and unitary model of an urban form – reconstruction towards an international type that is part of the urban plan of Ludjek Kubesh from 1948. The reason for inclusion of this plan is because it was develop by standards and norms that were establish in 1940, right before the WWII. (Figure.2)

Yerolympos, Alexandra; “Urban Transformations in the Balkans, 1820-1920, Aspects of Balkan Town planning and the Remaking of Thessalonica”, 1996 8 Bakalcev, Minas; “Domuvanjeto kako urban fragment na primerot na Skopje”, Dis. University “St. Cyril and Methodius”Skopje, Faculty of Architecture, Skopje, 2004.

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Figure 2. Urban plans and theoretical models In analyses of these three principal layers we are focused on first, conceptual and referential models of transformations that are representing the influence of concepts and ideas that results from local and global geopolitical context and relations that are shaping the nations and their cities, and second, realization of these conceptual transformation within the existing urban fabric in order to determine the real impact and consequences of these shifts. Research has been performed through comparative analysis of selection of cadastral and urban plans with largest conceptual capacity and morphological analysis of urban fabric and urban layers. We have selected three major functional levels of analysis: a. pointsurban/architectural elements, b. linear elements – infrastructure and street patterns, and c. urban fields.

Traditional city As a referential model for the urban plan from 1890 we can clearly determine high level of influence of processes of de-fortification and westernization of cities like Izmir in a period 1867-1875, Thessalonica in 1870, Bitola and others. This plan represents the traditional form of Skopje with some early phases of process of modernization. At the beginning of XX century Skopje is a part of one of the last Ottoman territories at the European continent, and is under strong pressure for reforms and transformations. Until the end of XIX century main axis of city development is along the Serava river, although urban growth is present at other areas of the city. Hence, main activities of the city are still within the urban territory of Kale,

Serava, Vardar and Bit Pazar but the urban growth is spread toward Topaana, Yeni maalo, Gazi Baba, Chair and right bank of Vardar river. Traditional urban form is constituted by urban texture with insertation of monumental figures of public buildings with sacral and profane character within the organic urban matrix. These elements of the plan recognized in our study as points are dispersed into the city and in essence are following the composite structure of the city. Most dominant and with greatest impact on the structure of the city are complexes mosques of Sultan Murat, Mustafa Pasha and Aladja Djamija, monastery complexes of Sv. Spas, Sv. Dimitrija and others, than civic buildings such as Suli-an, Kurshumli-an, Besisten, Daut Pasha’s hamam, city railway station, schools of Islahane and Idadija and others. Street model has a distinctive irregularity determined by topology and not geometry of the city. Cadastral lines are recognizable only on major streets such as Sultan Murat’s street and Mahmut Shefket’s street. Most distinctive linear element is railroad, but it is more peripheral than urban element. Urban fields of this plan are the fragments of the diverse maala’s, organized in urban blocks of houses and buildings differentiated on ethnic and religious base that creates the mosaic of subcultures of the traditional city. (Figure.3)

Figure 3. Elements of Urban Plan from 1890

Unitarian city

Regulation plan from 1914 developed by Dimitrije T. 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”. With this model Dimitrija T. Leko introduces the european city model for city of Skopje. Urban plan of Dimitrija Leko promotes radical elimination of traditional urban forms and “tabula rasa” approach. But in the same time it introduces the idea of rehabilitation of historic urban forms, the “picturesque” quality of street pattern and fragmentation of city space and green areas. This plan also introduces development of public domain through series of new civic public buildings as point elements of the plan, picturesque of a streets and reconfiguration of a city block as a main urban field. The focus of Leko’s interventions are the non-urbanised, 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. Most important complexes that are part of this plan are Skopje’s acropolis situated at the old City Fortress site, than Big and Small Expositions Park and University campus at the slopes of Vodno mountain, Sport complex at Vardar river and others. Urban blocks are used as a base for regulation and are organized within the existing urban fields. New orthogonal urban blocks are introduced at new areas of city development. General Regulation Plan from 1929 by Josif Mihajlovic is developed on basis of previous one and has a referential matrix in Haussmann plan for Paris with its “grand manner”, Howard’s Garden cities of tomorrow and Berlage’s plan for south Amsterdam. This plan introduces more distinctive formal and geometrical city pattern. Urban fields are functionally differentiated through an implicit division in different theme parts. At conceptual level Mihajlovic introduces new North-West axis that interference with circularradial concept of street pattern. New city centre is developed at the north part of the city with radial streets emanating from it. City periphery is a site for development of new settlements based on garden city concept. Two administrative centres are positioned within the city, one governmental and the other municipal. Civic, Cultural and Sport centres and Expo complex with pavilions are also part of the concept. New city squares at both banks of Vardar River are entrenched with ensembles of civic buildings with strong reference to famous European capital cities. Street model is geometrised in a spirit of “grand manner” with clear definition of the ring road on left bank and the theme of trivium on the right river bank. Linear elements of the plan are mostly determined by new linear axis and its interaction and combination with

circular-radial street pattern recognised in two main circular boulevards (venci) connecting both river banks. Hierarchy of public domain and buildings have been introduced into the plan as a succession of differentiation of urban fields and blocks. Urban blocks are mostly residential and with two distinctive types: urban perimeter block and peripheral dispersed block. (Figure.4)

Figure 4. Elements of Urban Plan from 1929 by Josif Mihajlovic

International city Plan from 1948 brings on the scene a complete different ideological and formal concept, but in essence it is still a development of unitary model of a city. But, this time it is a model of an international city. Referential theoretical models for this plan are Linear city of y Mata, Tony Garnier’s Cite industriell, Miliutin’s Linear city and others. Urban fields in this plan are now functional zones – residential, industrial, service, green zone and others. Besides functional zones dominant urban themes of this plan are public and civic buildings in the form of large linear elements. Administrative centre of the Republic with national Sobranie (Parliament), and National Government buildings on the left river bank with its dominant east-west axis is one of them and City centre at the right river bank is the other. Streets are linear extensions of the public transportation and functionalist dogma is a matrix for a hierarchy of the buildings- points of the plan. New east – west axis of development of the city is introduced but in the same time whole historic parts of the city are

due to be “cleaned”. Transport and its linear elements are determined as a distinctive function that connects and integrates other functional zones. New transport corridors are developed in all directions. New east-west axis is also recognizable linear element of urban plan and city form. Urban fields within this plan are not identified with urban blocks and gradually are becoming functional zones separated in basic units. These basic units (residential, industrial and other) are grouped in units of bigger complexity to the large functional zones. (Figure.5)

Figure 5. Elements of Urban Plan from 1948 by Ludjek Kubes

Fragmented city Development of city of Skopje is not a linear evolutionary path but rather a transitional leaps generating discontinuity and misbalance in planning policies as well as in realization of urban plans. This inconsistency of the development of the city disturbs the image of the city as an integral entity that in reward makes process of further planning of the city more complex. Transition of the city in time generated the image of the city constituted of fragments, recognised as connected or disconnected parts of the city that are more like cityin-city, or city-next-to-city. This situation creates unique image of city of Skopje as a citycollage or more likely city-patchwork. Skopje’s urban morphology is a result of discontinuous and unrelated urban concepts, planning policies and construction processes that were implemented or at least used as theoretical ground for urban development of the city.

Most of these concepts disturbs the continuity of the development of the urban form and the city and acts toward the city as a tabula rasa. Hence, as a result of this distinctive urban fragments are recognizable as traces of different phases of urban transformations and legacy of processes that are shaping the city of Skopje. (Figure.6)

Figure 6. Conceptual and real transformations One of the most persistent urban fragments making its own history as a remain of the traditional city is an area of the Old Bazaar in Skopje and some small parts of Dukjandjik, Saat Kula and others. These fragments exist with recognisable urban matrix, organic street pattern and parcels following the rules of topography and society rather than rules of geometry. Some of the buildings-elements of that period like large religious complexes of mosques and churches, hamams, hans and others. still exist usually poignant with large historic and archaeological importance. Fragments from the period of transformations toward the european type of the city are in central part of the city within Mal Ring area, some parts of Novo maalo, Debar maalo, Bunjakovec and parts of Kisela Voda. But the most important element from that period is a continuous existence and development of urban matrix constituted of circular-radial concept of boulevards and perimeter blocks established with Urban plan from 1914, confirmed with Urban plan form 1929 and serving as one of the main elements of the city since then.

With the Urban plan from 1948 this street model has been preserved but in the same time the substitution and dissolution of complete physical structure of the city – buildings and urban blocks has been introduced as a major planning policy. Realisation of the idea of the international city has led to a deconstruction of most of urban blocks and larger buildings, but in the same time, and especially because of some of the latter events that will radically change the destiny of the city, large fragments still exist. These fragments are parts of the physical structure of the city, but some of them are also from the domain of transportation and functional zones and zoning policies. Still existing is part of large public centres, industrial zone as a programme and in part as a physical elements, large new residential areas and settlements. One of the most important elements – fragments of the city that still exists is the east-west city axis that still remains as leading route and generator of urban development of the city of Skopje. Process of interaction and transformation of all these levels can be understand as a model of chronological and morphological fragmentation that re-constructs the relation between the fragment and the whole in a context of different urban models and through concept of intertextuality. Structure of transformation and their impact to the urban form of Skopje have been established through particularities of the urban plans, sequences of conceptual transformation and introduction of urban themes and their reflection upon the traditional city form. It is obvious that only fragments of the plans have been realised in reality. Those parts represent conceptual, theoretical and formal models that are introduced by plans that are build upon them. But in the same time, partial realization of fragments of the plans into the reality of contemporary Skopje represent the essence of the policies and processes that have shape the city itself. (Figure.7)

Figure 7. Urban fragments

Conclusion Process of spatial and urban planning intensified at the end of XIX and beginning of XX century as a result of modernization of the Ottoman Empire, emergence of new geopolitical context within the region and influences of new concepts and models of urban form. Differences between conceptual and real transformation of the urban policies and plans at one end and transformation of urban fabric at the other, reflects the frequent shifts in political order and the inconsistency of the political elite in process of realization of established concepts and ideas in urban planning. Historic cycles in urban planning of Skopje and different level of realization of conceptual and real transformation within the urban fabric of Skopje resulted in fragmented plan of the city. These series of conceptually and morphologically different fragments of urban form coexists in time and space as a collage of complex urban strata that creates the unique image of the city. Only through profound observation and research of these fragments of the cities that are legacy of the history and the processes that are shaping them we will be able to understand and build the future of our cities.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Bakalcev, Minas; “Domuvanjeto kako urban fragment na primerot na Skopje”, Dis. University “St. Cyril and Methodius”-Skopje, Faculty of Architecture, Skopje 2004 Dumont, Paul, Georgeon, Francois, Villes Ottomanes a la fin de l-empire, L’Hartman, Paris, 1992. Hastaoglou-Martinidis, Vilma. A Mediterranean City in Transition: Thessaloniki Between the Two World Wars. Chipan, Boris, Makedonskite gradovi vo XIX vek i nivnata urbana perspektiva, Skopje, 1978 Yerolympos, Alexandra, Urban Transformations in the Balkans, 1820-1920, Aspects of Balkan Town planning and the Remaking of Thessalonica, 1996