Researchers at TU Delft Faculty of Architecture have launched an international ideas contest for a public dining installation in Mother Teresa Park, Skopje
The competition seeks proposals for an experimental ‘democratic architectural intervention’ which could be used to host public meals in a prominent area next to the Mother Teresa Memorial House. The initiative aims to attract activities into the contested public realm of the North Macedonian capital.
The call for concepts is part of a research programme at TU Delft, known as The Intimate City, which aims to harness interpretation and collaboration to reveal cultural knowledge within prominent urban spaces. Shortlisted teams, to be announced on 3 July, will be invited to work collaboratively with researchers at the university to further develop a concept for the installation.
According to the brief: ‘The City of Skopje has had many contradictory images over the last century: an image of destruction after an earthquake in 1963, a modernist metabolic masterplan in 1965, and the latest image, Skopje 2014: a government plan to rebrand the city through Neoclassical façades and monuments. Skopje is full of tension; those who do not align themselves within the image of the city struggle to find a sense of place. Alongside influential organisations, individuals try to implant their image within the built environment to establish a sense of place.
‘From monumental façades to small, everyday appropriation within the public space; the city is a collection of narratives, translated through form, claiming authorship over space. This competition offers the opportunity to explore domestic rituals outside the home and in the public realm.
‘This brief uses the knowledge gained from domestic rituals to expose the current social and physical forms, unveiling the boundaries between the public, communal, and private spaces within the city. Aiming to reveal social and physical latency the brief is an experiment which acknowledges form as a social commitment in order to mediate the tension in the city.’
Skopje is the capital and largest city of North Macedonia. The settlement was part of the Ottoman Empire for more than 500 years before becoming part of Bulgaria, Serbia, and then Yugoslavia before winning official recognition as capital in 1944.
The city was struck by a disastrous earthquake in 1963 which killed more than 1,070 people and left 200,000 homeless, with 80 per cent of its buildings destroyed. Skopje was rebuilt to plans by Polish architect Adolf Ciborowski, who led the reconstruction of Warsaw following the Second World War.
The reconstruction focused on reducing density and creating new green spaces and infrastructure for future expansion, but many historic monuments and structures were lost. In recent decades a controversial approach to renewing the city has focused on the reconstruction of former Neoclassical landmarks, which had been lost as a result of the earthquake.
The latest competition aims to explore ways of encouraging public participation in the renewal of the city. The call for concepts focuses on a park which surrounds the Mother Teresa Memorial House (pictured) – a monument marking the birth place of the Nobel Peace Prize-winner.
Digital submissions should include a plan, section, illustrative image and 250-word project description along with contact and educational background details. Judges will include architectural researchers Andrés Stohlmann de la Iglesia, Holly Dale and Jorge Mejia Hernandez.
The registration deadline is 1 June and submission must be completed by 8 June.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information