October 11, 2017 - Architektur im Ringturm (AIRT) - Skopje – Macedonian architecture in context
e-flux Architecture
October 11, 2017
October 11, 2017

Architektur im Ringturm (AIRT)

Krsto Todorovski, Macedonian Hydrological and Meteorological Services, 1972–75. Design: buerobauer.com. Photo: Damjan Momirovski.

Skopje – Macedonian architecture in context
October 12–November 17, 2017

Ringturm Exhibition Centre
Schottenring 30
1010 Vienna
Austria

www.airt.at

In the latest instalment of the Architektur im Ringturm exhibition series, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein focuses on the exceptional architecture of the Macedonian capital Skopje. The exhibition highlights the development of the city on the banks of the River Vardar, which has been shaped by a host of different influences since it was first settled 2,000 years ago and has experienced various ruptures in its history.

Located at the crossroads of a number of key trading routes, Skopje has been through turbulent times that have left distinct traces on its urban fabric. Each of the overlapping layers dating from the various periods in the city’s history—medieval Byzantine, Ottoman, pre-modernist, modernist, late modernist and post-socialist—reflect different cultural influences and display contrasting urban development concepts. This collage has created a unique urban construct that pays testimony to the geopolitical conditions which have shaped Skopje’s various identities. In terms of the presence of historic building styles, this recurring process of building, “erasing” and rebuilding underpinned a sense of continuity in the midst of a constantly changing political environment and the blending of different cultures; as far as architecture and urban development are concerned, these sporadic bursts ultimately gave rise to an agglomeration of juxtaposed fragments within the city.

Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the city pivoted towards Europe without any radical changes to its appearance. Instead, this occurred after the second world war, as the economic upswing had a strong impact on Skopje’s architecture. Extensive residential areas with typical panel buildings, as well as major industrial plants and wide boulevards were built. However, in July 1963 many of these constructions fell victim to a devastating earthquake which flattened more than three-quarters of the city. But in a unique display of solidarity, Skopje quickly rose again from the ruins, and this rebuilding programme fundamentally altered the capital’s character. The exhibition at the Ringturm Exhibition Centre focuses on the most significant results of this transformation.

Curators: Adolph Stiller (Vienna), Vladimir Deskov (Skopje), Ana Ivanovska Deskova (Skopje), Iovan Ivanovski (Skopje) 

Hours: Monday–Friday 9am–6pm (closed on public holidays)
Free admission

Contact: Philippe Batka, philippe.batka [​at​] airt.at

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