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Tearing apart a city : architecture as a tool for social manipulations at the example of Skopje, Macedonia

Buleski, Ivo

Tearing apart a city : architecture as a tool for social manipulations at the example of Skopje, Macedonia.

Rel. Alessandro Armando, Slobodan Velevski. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città, 2017

Abstract:

INTRODUZIONE

So far there have not been many attempts for expert analysis of the project 'Skopje 2014' in the basic spheres in which it belongs, architecture, fine arts, museology and symbolism. Only personal information are often mentioned, subjective opinions assessments, but often without much elaboration and argument. The project has never been sufficiently analyzed either from the aspect of historical, sociological and cultural circumstances that preceded it. The thesis that follows does not bear the character of a completed scientific publication, but of a basis of such work that could appear in the future as a result of a thorough and comprehensive scientific research. The most important reason for this is the fact that the project and part of its products exist here and now, fact characteristic of indicating that different disciplines can still, observe its lively and authentic context along with the culture that creates it, at the moment of its perception by the members of that culture, which is a handicap due to the inability to get out of such a current point of view for to grasp some general aspects of it.

Starting from the beginning of the 20th century and throughout the next more than hundred years, Macedonia and with it, its capital Skopje have witnessed moments of strong changes followed in very short time intervals, moments that determined the cancellation and re-writing of many political and economic orders and as a result, the systems of social and cultural values associated with them. Boris Groys1 speaks of a ‘double cancellation’ in the countries of the former Soviet bloc, the first run by the socialist-communist regimes and the second by the politics of the nineties and the introduction of the capitalist system. One can surely say that such sudden and drastic changes have forced Skopje in a state of perpetual transition since it has never been a long enough period to make its system of values stable over time.

The structure of the city of Skopje is the mirror of the troubled Macedonian history and all its stages of changes. In this ongoing process of deleting and re-writing transitional systems, the process of building the city has been a result of discontinuity and a consequence of several regulatory plans never fully completed.

"The great cancellations and denials have represented opportunities to rewrite the city through new projects conceived to define a different image every time, which demonstrated the new balance achieved by the country, offering a new space for life to the newly defined society."

The constant practice of refounding the city and the partial realization of the regulatory plans has emerged with very strong appearance of a fragmented character the city of Skopje. Skopje's fabric therefore today appears as a collage of partially realized projects.

The following discussion, succeeding the discontinuous development process of the Macedonian capital, places two fundamental goals. The first explores the discontinuity of spatial transitions of Skopje in the 20th century, following the impact of urban plans and their consequences in the urban built environment. The research is based on the premise that the spatial transition of the urban plans have major impact on the discontinuity of its built physical structure. Explicitly, in the transition of the city, the plans are a simulated reflection of the altering socio-political conditions, of the changes of its role as a centre of a territorial administrative unit and as capital city and, finally, they are a reflection of the professional and national search for identity, but also a manifestation of the creative search for defining own viewpoints and professional urban planning maps of patterns and concepts. Throughout this whole period, the transformation of the city is instigated by a number of ready made decisions also visible in the sphere of urban planning, implemented top-down, as imposed ideological and planning concepts, that hardly ever took into account the existing and preceding conditions of the city. The second centralizes the last transformation phenomenon 'Skopje 2014' as a most explicit form of socio-political manipulation which relies on the architecture as an apparatus for its self implementation. Although much has been said and written so far about this project, all that was dedicated to the economic and financial aspects, as well as to disregarding various standards and procedures related to its design and actual realization. This paper pays particular attention to the attempts to evaluate and to criticize the project through the cultural prism of the established value systems of the contemporary Western civilization.

With the honor of some exceptions, so far there have not been many attempts for expert analysis of the basic spheres to which the project ‘Skopje 2014' belongs, which are architecture, fine arts, museology and symbolism. In this sense, only personal information are often mentioned, subjective opinions assessments, but often without much elaboration and argument. The project has never been sufficiently analyzed either from the aspect of historical, sociological and cultural circumstances that preceded it. The thesis that follows does not bear the character of a completed scientific publication, but of a basis of such work that could appear in the future as a result of a thorough and comprehensive scientific research. The most important reason for this is the fact that the project and part of its products exist here and now, fact characteristic of indicating that different disciplines can still observe its lively and authentic context along with the culture that creates it, at the moment of its perception by the members of that culture, which is a handicap due to the inability to get out of such a current point of view for to grasp some general aspects of it.

Relatori: Alessandro Armando, Slobodan Velevski
Tipo di pubblicazione: A stampa
Soggetti: SS Scienze Sociali ed economiche > SSD Politica
SS Scienze Sociali ed economiche > SSF Scienze sociali
ST Storia > STH Periodo contemporaneo (dal 1945)
U Urbanistica > UK Pianificazione urbana
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città
Classe di laurea: NON SPECIFICATO
Aziende collaboratrici: NON SPECIFICATO
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/6304
Capitoli:

1. Introduction

2. Examinations

Morphological examination of the urban development of Skopje

1. Introduction

2. Urban development

2.1. Composite model, evolution of a mosaic city

2.2. Unitarian model

2.2.1. Towards a new urban form

2.2.2. From radial to linear city

2.3. The structure of transformation

2.3.1. Sequences of the conceptual models

3. Explanations

Preconditions for the post-independence transformation

1. Introduction

2. Historical circumstances

3. Social circumstances

4. Consequences

4.1. Hypothetical reasons for the destructiveness of the project

4.2. Actual reasons for the destructiveness of the project

4. Discussions, social

Socio-political hypothesis about the post-independence transformation

1. Introduction

2. History creation throuhg antiquization

3. Identification through architecture

4. Architecture as a political tool

5. Skopje through the changing ideologies

5. Discussions, architectural

Architectural hypotheses about the post-independence transformation

1. Introduction

2. Identifyng 'Skopje 2014' through Haussmann's Paris

3. Architectural evaluation of the project

3.1. Classical values of the project

3.2. ‘Truth’ as an architectural concept for evaluation

4. General treatment of the public space

4.1. Anti-open space treatment of the square

4.2. Destruction of green and pedestrian areas

4.3. The buildings on the left bank of the river

6. Solution

Multitude architecture as a solution in a societies in constant contradictions

1. Introduction

2. Scenarios of development

2.1. Critical dimensions for development of any scenario

2.2. Possible scenarios

2.2.1. Best case scenario

2.2.2. Worst case scenario

2.2.3. Trend scenario

2.3. Actual reality of the developments after 'Skopje 2014'

3. Possible solution

3.1. Definition of the problem for the future development of Skopje

3.2. The concept of multitude as a possibility for social development

3.2.1. Differentiating the 'public’ and the 'individual’

3.2.2. Defragmentation through democratisation

4. How to act after 'Skopje2014'

5. Conclusion

7. Afterword

Bibliografia:

Dates are of original publication, where such information exists. Titles of foreign works are given in English when a publisher translation exists, and in their original language with unofficial translation when no translation exists.

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Paolo Virno, "A Grammar of the Multitude", Semiotext(e), Los Angeles, 2004

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