Kosovo Architecture Festival | Workshop Retrofit for Purpose-Boro and Ramiz

Kosovo Architecture Festival. Workshop: Retrofit for Purpose – Boro and Ramiz. Dates: July 08 – July 09 2017.  Rilindja Warehouse

Kosovo Architecture Festival

Future Architecture Platform

Workshop : Retrofit for Purpose – Boro and Ramiz

Leaders: Dimitris Grozopoulos and Fani Kostourou

Dates: July 08 – July 09 2017

Rilindja Warehouse

According to David Kincaid, the most sustainable built forms are those well-designed buildings which have such an aesthetic quality that people prefer to adapt their activities to fit them rather than change them either slightly or extensively. Stewart Brand calls these buildings ‘high-road’, referring to buildings of permanence, high intent and aesthetic value as well as long-lasting sustained purpose. He argues that high-road buildings are always being noticed, looked after and preserved in successive refinements. The only actual threat of high-road buildings over time is the shifting real-estate market and/or sudden disasters. Otherwise, the buildings grow “by stages with constant minute refinement and breezy innovation comfortably expressed by the attentive intelligence co evolving with the building” and “the result is human: a building by the people, for the people and of the people within.”

This is the case with the Palace of Youth and Sports also known as Boro and Ramiz in the city of Prishtina, in Kosovo. It was built in 1977 by the architect Živorad Jankovic, as a symbol of brotherhood and unity between Serbs and Albanians who constituted the majority of the population in Kosovo. The complex consisted of two arenas, a shopping mall, a library, two convention centres and an indoor parking. The main building sheltering the two large arenas, was developed as an asymmetric structure with a central core serving as a main access to the complex. In 2000, the palace was heavily damaged in a fire. Since then and despite its partial renovation, the large arena and convention hall have been abandoned. Yet the lesser area has been used by the Sigal Prishtina basketball club, but has also hosted other sports events, various concerts, exhibitions, fairs, conventions, and congresses.

During the first stage and prior to the workshop, a social media discussion platform will be established for crowdsourcing ideas from interested parties. Local groups and individuals interested to be part of the discussion about the future of Boro and Ramiz will have the opportunity to express their views and debate other people’s suggestions.

In the second stage, the workshop participants will be invited to respond, develop further and ‘render’ some of the crowdsourced ideas. Through visual representations, line drawings and physical models, the participants will explore a series of already generated ideas regarding how to activate Boro and Ramiz. The objective of both the crowdsourcing and the workshop outcome is to propose a new dynamic urban node on the site of Boro and Ramiz and ensure that a building of such architectural and cultural value will remain fit not only for its purpose as a mixed-use development and symbol of societal unity, but also for the people and the city.

Dimitris graduated from the School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2014) and continued his studies doing an MA in Landscape & Urbanism in Kingston University London (2016). Within the last few years, he had participated in numerous workshops, exhibitions and competitions projects that have been awarded. Urban voids, brownfield sites and regeneration strategies constitute the heart of his ongoing research, which has been published and exhibited in numerous occasions (Greek Pavilion of Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, Think-Space Unconference-Zagreb 2013, etc.). He is founder and editor-in-chief of archstudies.gr platform (2011), through which has curated lectures, competitions and architectural exhibitions in Greece along with the other team members. He is currently based in London.

Fani is an architect and urban designer. She studied architecture at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), and holds a MAS in Urban Design from ETH Zürich and a MRes in Spatial Design: Architecture & Cities from The Bartlett, UCL London.  Her design work has featured in publications such as “Minha Casa, Nossa Cidade: Innovating Mass Housing for Social Change in Brazil” (Ruby Press, 2014) and group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2014-15), Columbia GSAPP’s Studio-X in Rio (2013), Museu de Arte do Rio (2014), X São Paulo Biennale (2013) and XV Venice Architecture Biennale (2016) among others. Recently and as part of her studio teaching, she has co-edited two publications on “E-merging Design Research” (The Bartlett 2015, 2017). Currently, Fani is an EPSRC funded doctoral student at The Bartlett School of Architecture, Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK), and Postgraduate Teaching Assistant at The Bartlett School of Architecture, and Development Planning Unit, UCL. In April 2017, she joined the MIT Department of Architecture and Computation as a visiting PhD student.

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