Valbona Fejza, Sanja Avramoska, Irena Damjanoska & Brankica Dogazanska
The 2016 session of PATTERNS OF GROWTH studio investigates the architecture of the city simultaneously on six different sites on the territory of Skopje, along the axial of the South boulevard (infrastructural corridor that longitudinally bridge the entire territory of the city and has only been partially build). The studio task is to reveal strategy of architectural urbanism and to introduce the concept of operational territory as possible tool for producing contemporary urban narratives.
The Cloud project introduces the theme of the gate as east entrance of the city of Skopje. The aim is to position a massive Form with deliberately exaggerated transparent grid structure, raised from the ground, accommodating baths and offering the hedonism of enjoyment and relaxation in order to intensify the metropolitan experience. Other segments include culture and housing/hotel facilities. The boulevard passes under the building, now becoming a city gate. The view from below awakens curiosity and desire to learn about the events happening in the numerous water areas filled with people.
Who influences you graphically?
The influences and the inspiration about each project are different as we are constantly looking for new ways of representation. After researching various examples, we finally decided which graphic language to use and what goal we want to achieve with it. The biggest influence in this particular project was definitely DOGMA and their use of collage technique as a provocative medium for expressing ideas, with emphasis on simplicity and the occasional splash of texture.
What defined the aesthetic language of the proposal?
The theme of transparency, lightness, weightlessness and white colour all translated into a floating structure, which is not permanent and complete. That enables changeability and chance of different seeing and perception. The towers are the ones that are regarded as strong, solid, massive and permanent parts. The main inspiration for the aesthetic language is Yona Friedman’s “Villa Spatielle” and “Bridge City”.
What was your work process in terms of concept development and images? Did you start from the more traditional drawings as the plan/ section? How did one lead to the other?
First we defined the spatial categories of ARCHITECTURE AS TEXT by studying:
- FORM as a historical reference, in Renaissance, the vocabulary of the Enlightenment based on elements and compositions (J.N.L. Durand), the modern concepts of space-form relation (Mies Van der Rohe), type-form (Ernesto Rogers), functionally-indifferent-type (Aldo Rossi) or type-image (Robert Venturi)
- EVENT as an emotional and operational value v.s predetermination of function (Bernard Tschumi)
- STRATEGY as a conceptform referring to the implications architecture has on the city in terms of collective memory (O. M. Ungers) and the urban artifacts (Aldo Rossi).
The second step was to explore the same categories, however, in this case, by analyzing specific ARCHITECTURAL REFERENCES. The list represented a conceptual, ideologically-performative and aesthetical architectural archaeology spanning from Russian constructivists and Italian rationalists of the 1930s to the Tendenza movement; from Luis Barragan and Lina Bo Bardi to Toyo Itto and David Chiperfield.
Then, we tested the categories of FORM, EVENT and STRATEGY, as read in previous case studies (texts and references), in the SPATIAL MODEL made by direct ANALOGY and with ANALOGOUS MAP on a specific site along Skopje Southern Boulevard.
The programmatic multitude was defined by analyzing the EXODUS Project by OMA and its polemical and radical belief that the city is where the social and material sediment of our civilization is being made.
With the acquirement of the knowledge and results of all these tasks we defined our final concept.
How did you work as a group in the production of the images?
It took us quite a long time to discuss the manner in which we should represent the project through images. Almost the same amount of time was spent in the production of images, as on the project itself. We set clear goals for what we want to achieve in the presentations of the project and how we want everything to look.
In the process, we looked through different media and ways of expressing. The blast of working in a group is the communication, support and acceptance of criticism. So, in the end it all resulted in a mutual understanding and reducing the images to the same graphic language even though they are made by different people.