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AIA Europe Conference: Pristina, Kosovo | Spring 2018

Kosovo 2.0 | Spring 2018

*A detailed conference program will be published in late 2017.

Kosovo – the newest country in Europe – is an intriguing land in the heart of the Balkans Peninsula with a rich and multicultural heritage; it's one of the last corners of Europe which remains an unexplored hidden treasure. 

The architectural heritage ranges from the Illyrian and Roman period, the Byzantine and Ottoman periods as well as Communist and Contemporary periods. Among antique cities, fortresses, Byzantine and Orthodox churches and monasteries, Ottoman Mosques, Hammams and Bazaars, the residential building (Kulla) for the common people was one of its kind. Kulla (three-story traditional stone “Tower House”), became as an architectural style of residential buildings, at the end of the 17th century (with most of them dating 18th and 19th century). Considered a distinctive point of the vernacular architecture in Kosovo, they are known to be the only building types in Kosovo that have not been influenced by outside styles.  

Pristina, the capital city, similar to other towns in the region was planned and built mainly during the second half of the 20th century, based on design concepts of the modernist movement with a strong socialist influence. It is still struggling to find its identity among the mixtures of influences and architectural styles that affected the town over the time, with the most visible one from the Communist era which “wiped out” most of the traditional vernacular architecture and Ottoman influence. 

After the recent war, Pristina experienced a boom in building sector, which actually destroyed the urban fabric of the town. The urban chaos has so much hindered the city’s urban future that even 17 years after the war the city still does not have the national capital attribute as it should. 

The new Mayer has taken immediate actions to stop uncontrolled building and is doing his best to bring urban planning to order. Latest developments have shown an attempt to bring in world renowned architects with cutting edge ideas to put Pristina in the map of the world architecture.

Due to its high youth percentage, Pristina has become famous for its nightlife which has its role in attracting tourist and visitors. Also, it is locally believed that the best macchiato in the world is made in here. The city restaurants serve a variety of food, from local traditional food, to Thai, Mexican and oriental specialties.  

Bardhyl Rama, Intl Assoc AIA, Conference Committee Chair