As a native Skopje citizen (who currently dwells in more western parts of the world), I was moved to see how the raw beauty and the essence of my city have been captured through the eyes of a visitor. Tange developed and realised in Skopje the striking planning ideas he began in his Tokyo Bay proposal. The MEPSO building, I took photos of. Kenzo Tange, the architect of the Central train station platform in Skopje, is a world most renowned Japanese architects of the second half of the twentieth century managed to fuse the architectural traditions of his native Japan with the contemporary philosophy and traditions of the western world. In fact, now I will add the photo. On German media much is being said (e.g. I have few architects friends and although they criticize “Skopje 2014” none of them is in agreement how the renewal of the city should look like! Not everyone likes this style of architecture, but not everyone likes the new Baroque structures either. Photograph: Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images. However, tastes vary, and they change – and Skopje’s new architecture may yet prove to be a hit with tourists. They simply DO NOT go with the spirit of the people, our culture nor with our values! Having seen the before and after of Skopje, it brings tears to my eyes. What can I say? I was in skopje in 2011 and your description is exactly how I felt about the situation!! We couldn’t stop making photos… Unfortunately our hotel is in the middle of all these ‘Skopje 2014’ fake neoclassical style buildings. Let me be clear , I do not support any party , and I do not agree with every move my government makes . I will update the last few changes… the only one I’m missing now is the Student Dorm project…. Now, they like to build insanely disgusting BAROQUE!!! Hey Noelle, yes, there’s definitely a little more “style” to many of the buildings in Skopje from this era, as opposed to some of the harsher examples I’ve photographed in other cities throughout the Balkans. It’s not easy to find this kind of article where you can learn much from places, imagine them, see great pictures and wish to go there. If you visit Skopje, I’m pretty sure you’ll love it to. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have a stopping point for the “project”. Reconstruction plan for Skopje. Unfortunately, the Macedonian authorities do not share the same love of this contemporary architectural heritage. Japanese Metabolism, of which Tange was a pioneer, heralded Japan as a new centre for innovation in architecture; a new nationalism re-oriented the suffering after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Detracts from its beauty. I studied in Paris, and my roommate was German, from Dusseldorf. Tange developed and realised in Skopje the striking planning ideas he began in his Tokyo Bay proposal. A venture into the interiors of any of these buildings will show that both form and function were frequently mastered. I live in a town 50 km from Skopje. In 1965 Tange was asked by the United Nations to enter a limited competition for the redevelopment of Skopje, which was at that time a city of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. His rebuilding of post-war Hiroshima had been widely praised. :) Skopje’s buildings build after 1963 always seem brutal to me, ugly and uninviting. I also added further in the article: “Of course, it isn’t “communist architecture””. Medical high school (located at the foot of the clinical centre in Skopje). Thanks Dra – wow, three more great examples. The lines, the rot of the concrete… on this alone I could see why you hung out here for so long. The facade on this building will be changed, at a cost of 10 million Euro dollars, from classic 1970 – to a faux, or fake, neoclassical style facade. The issues are deep, and the history is complex, but essentially the government has decided to prioritise, create, and invest in the ancient/historical Macedonian identity – at the expense of maintaining the absolutely unique and contemporary stock of buildings that were created in the second half of the 20th century. The National Archives building is another one, for example, and I have plenty of apartment buildings, and office buildings that didn’t make this cut. As a style that originated in the western world, there’s as much Soviet in the mentioned buildings as there is in Montreal’s Habitat or Boston’s City Hall (or countless other examples). here: ) about the epidemic of statues exalting the glorious past of the place. Tange’s reconstruction plan was a response to the 1963 earthquake that leveled large parts of Skopje. Required fields are marked *, Communist Architecture of Skopje, Macedonia – A Brutal, Modern, Cosmic, Era. Cheers Rohan! UPDATE 28th May 2013. It’s such a shame about the government trying to “re-write” the history. Skopje, in 2013, is definitely a fascinating place. Skopje was reborn in a imaginative, futuristic style. Macedonian naming issues aside, there is another problem when referring to this style of architecture. I also agree with you that these communist architecture buildings should be renovated since they are too, part of our history. However, the fact remains that all of the architecture featured in this article, was indeed constructed during a period in which Macedonia was a part of “communist” Yugoslavia. Hi, I have been living in Skopje for few months in 2005 and I was there for a course of Aseismic design of buildings. In Skopje, Tange turned to the construction of a “City Gate” and a “City Wall”, seeking to recover the meaning of a traditional town where the violent earthquake could not be less chaotic than the urban scene in Tokyo in 1960. Tange Associates company information Philosophy. The architect lobby against Skopje 2014 does not oppose the new buildings, merely enforces protection of existing buildings and the rights of the authors. Le plan de Tange a placé Skopje sur la carte mondiale des utopies urbaines réalisées, comme Chandigarh ou Brasilia. However, I was pleasantly surprised by your photo of the national radio and television building… I’ve been there with my grandfather-in-law because of some passport issue. Either way, it has something for everyone, is inexpensive, the locals are friendly, and you will just not believe your eyes when you get here. So, the more construction, the more money in their pockets. And no matter how much she tried to “convert” me to be “German” she couldn’t. Fifty years ago, Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, was hit by a huge earthquake that flattened the city. Sure, if they want to build new Baroque style architecture, go for it. I should also add that the Yugoslavian leader Tito ruled his nation seemingly benevolently, and was a much loved politician. I think Skopje should be able to have both! Back in the days when I lived in Skopje and studied at “St. I totally agree with you on everything that you stated in this article. Tange Associates company information Philosophy. I would suggest a new tourist slogan – “Skopje – Brutalist Capital of the World”. Beautiful architecture and filthy exteriors looks ugly. I thank you for your comment, and adding to the discussion. But I have strong doubts. It’s a shame people don’t speak up more, but I understand why. May 12, 2013 - Skopje, capital city of Macedonia, is a dream world for lovers of concrete communist architecture. In this Japanese name, the family name is Tange. I’m intrigued by the more cosmic/spacey look of these buildings, compared to the other cities you’ve photographed brutalist buildings. Believe me, most of these buildings are very Brutalist! Maybe it’s even better that the current government doesn’t maintain the buildings, because when they maintain, if you ask me, they destroy. … It won’t be long before some are past the point of no return. Japanese Metabolism, of which Tange was a pioneer, heralded Japan as a new centre for innovation in architecture; a new nationalism re-oriented the suffering after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The conclusions drawn appear to be inaccurate and misleading. I am a fan of archeology and I really prefer old buildings instead of these modern concrete structures but in Skopje that fake ancient center is worse than the Kenzo concrete. The rebuilding of Skopje was largely completed by 1980. Pourtant, l’identité urbaine de Skopje, repensée par Kenzo Tange après le tremblement de terre de 1963, mêlait assez pertinemment le passé ottoman multiconfessionnel à l’humanisme collectiviste yougoslave. Much like China today, or the United States for that matter, Yugoslavians were encouraged to be capitalist consumers. However, there is another sad moment in the whole story. There has been an article written in the news portal . Office Locations. Many statues all around with no Connection to each other, and new heavy make ups of the buildings. Although I appreciate there are some naming issues here, there is a lot of respected literature that refers to Yugoslavia being “socialist” and “communist”. The architecture department of the university staged an open peaceful protest against the proposal. An ancient Castle fortress looks down from one side, and the worlds biggest cross sits atop an inner city mountain on the other. I am born in Skopje in 1969. There is no heritage that can be left from the communist era. To most people around the world, Macedonia, is Macedonia. Personally, I think it’s a great building, but it was left it from the original article above as I was concentrating more on the concrete brutalist style of architecture. And lovely photos, as usual. Sensationalism through the roof. I feel that have I to say something about it since I live here … Since now no building that was pictured here was not changed or covered in any way . But this is a discussion which has no place here. Cyril & Methodius” we used to joke that all those concrete, sharp-edged, grotesque, space-raping buildings are built in “Stalinistic Gothic”, a post-modern architectural style striving to suffocate man’s natural love for natural building materials, efficiency, simplicity and modesty. - Duration: 1:48:32. I know it’s not exactly the same thing – but nobody is complaining that one Perth stole the name or identity from another…. These strange collaborators – Kenzo Tange’s office with a Croatian team of experts – then separately produced a series of consecutive plans for the city before they finally came to an agreement in 1966. Hi Bane – as I said in the article, I used the term to denote a period in time – which is why the title includes the word “Era”. Nate, huuuuge thanks for this great article on our true building heritage. But, I know you understand this. ← PREVIOUSPogradec and Tushemisht, Albania: Forget the Dead Dog, This is Better, NEXT →Photography on the Mean Streets of Macedonia – The Money Shot Edition. As you can tell, I enjoyed seeing all of these amazing buildings in Skopje as much as you enjoy remembering them through these photos. Personally, I think it’s a beautiful style. For example, I will never forgive them for erasing this message written on the Old Railway Station after the 1963 earthquake (I guess, for them, it was said by a wrong person) “Skopje has endured a terrible catastrophe, but Skopje will be rebuilt with the help of the whole society, it will become a symbol of brotherhood and unity, of Yugoslav and world-wide solidarity” 27 july 1963, Tito. There is a youtube of the demonstration, held in snowy wintery conditions underneath the Alexander the Great statue in the center of Skopje. I’ ve studied in Skopje and once it was a cold socilist style city. Author of Tange Kenzō, Kenzo Tange, 1946-1969, Kenzo Tange, Kenzō Tange, Tange Kenzō, Skopje urban plan, S.F.R. However, this is not the case. Thanks so much Daniel! The city of Skopje was almost completely devastated after the great earthquake in 1963. Only time will tell. Kenzo Tange (1913 – 2005) was a Japanese architect and winner of the 1987 Pritzker Prize for architecture.He was one of the most significant architects of the 20th century, combining traditional Japanese styles with modernism. Tange Associates Philosophy. List of Principals. I really hate mixing politics and architecture/art, but most of our population supports what is created nowadays, because after all – all those sculptures, bridges and fountains represent our history, so I guess like every other country we have the right to show the world who were the creators of our history. About our founder, Kenzo Tange I don’t think many foreigners realise just how many amazing buildings exist in Skopje! By Greyscape 12th January 2021 . On a personal note, I have returned to Skopje many times since this article was first written – almost every year, often more than once a year. So futuristic, even in the 1960’s. B Dimitroff Renovation - société de rénovation d'appartements à Paris. Regard to Skopje 2014 there was lack of mass discussion and testing citizens opinion. Kenzo Tange (September 4, 1913 – March 22, 2005) was a Japanese architect, and winner of the 1987 Pritzker Prize for architecture. You could visit Skopje now, or in a few years when the construction dust has settled. In January 1965, Kenzo Tange received a telegram from the United Nations asking if he would be interested in participating in an international planning competition for the reconstruction of Skopje, the regional capital of the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. I was absolutely stunned about her discipline, she was literally like a machine day in and day out, and all that was really good – that is why Germany is one of the most industrialized and wealthy country. If you can read Macedonian, or are from The Republic of Macedonia, I suggest you read this article, written by Nova TV in response to the original article: Yep. Architect – Krsto Todorovski, 1975.More raw concrete and wood paneling. Nate, you are talking about “communist” Yugoslavia, but although it was a Marxist–Leninist single-party federal republic, it was actually “socialist” Yugoslavia, hence the name “Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia”. I was in Skopje again during April this year! A reader has advised of a public protest against the “Antiquization” of architecture in Skopje. Of course the plaza where the “horse statue” is located IS very pleasant but there is a very different feeling than when I was first there in 2002. You’re welcome Filip – and now I feel a little ill just thinking about what is going to happen to GTC ;). A key 20th-century Japanese architect and urbanist who designed nationally and internationally. ( when you are grabbed on on your throat you just find something on your reach and fight back…) What I was trying to say that this central area ( where the most of activities are going on …) was with no idea , identity or form , so I hope in the following year or two we will see how it will look like . Locals are indifferent about memories of the Yugoslavia communist-era in general, however most people I have spoken to when visiting these buildings are familiar with Kenzo Tange. This can be confirmed by Macedonia’s low standing on the press freedom index. Achetez et téléchargez ebook The Master Plan by Kenzo Tange for Reconstruction of the Skopje City Centre after the earthquake in 1963 (English Edition): Boutique Kindle - Education Theory : … That the old facades and buildings are being destroyed is a tragic mistake. In May/June of 2017 I spent more than a month in Skopje, staying (of course) in one of the Socialist-era apartment blocks in the center of the city. I grew up in the Kenzo Tange building (Gradski Zid) overlooking the Main Post Office. Thanks for summarize this period in the architecture! To me, the issue is the neglect of the buildings featured in my article, and the obscene expense of these new buildings. The rebuilding of Skopje was largely completed by 1980. Hope some are still standing this weekend. I personally don’t like brutalist architecture, but your photos are stunning :), Loved to all the history behind them, BTW. Message from the President. Hi Marina – the term “Brutalist” refers to a style of architecture – there is a link within the article to an explanation on Wikipedia. (: The new Baroque buildings are a bit wild for my tastes…and perhaps a bit tacky as well. Walking on the moon couldn’t make me feel less strange. But no, not “brutal”, in the way you may be thinking. The intercity bus station in Skopje is part of the project made by Kenzo Tange for new and modern transportation center in Skopje, constructed after the 1963 earthquake.. It’s placed on a total area of 2670 square meters and it is located ~20 minutes by foot from Skopje city center. About Kenzo Tange. Skopje, un modèle d’urbanisme réussi. Skopje was reborn in a imaginative, futuristic style. Kenzo Tange, Maestro de la Arquitectura y el urbanismo del siglo XX. You make a good point – can you imagine if, as a part of “Skopje 2014”, the government was smart enough to restore and preserve all of these amazing buildings? In 1965, Japanese architect Kenzo Tange was selected as the winner of an international competition to redesign, and rebuild the city centre. Perhaps it’s not as catchy. Skopje (/ ˈ s k ɒ p j i,-j eɪ / SKOP-yee, -⁠yay, US also / ˈ s k oʊ p-/ SKOHP-; Macedonian: Скопје (), Albanian: Shkup) is the capital and largest city of North Macedonia.It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre. It doesn’t make sense. It is all of these small, but significant, features of Skopje that need to be retained. Winning entry for the design competition on the rebuild of Skopje's city center. Architect – Kiril Acevski, 1971-1983.Looking up inside Universal Hall, Skopje, Macedonia. Cheers Ian… I’m sure they’ll still be there… have fun! This is way so wrong what they are doing to this city. It would just make Skopje an incredible city. There is a reason that no other city on Earth has as many examples of brutalist architecture.”, And in the second paragraph, I wrote: “Back in Skopje, 1963, the architectural trend wasn’t art-deco, it was modernist, with a particular focus on concrete brutalism”. Thank you for this beautifully written article and amazing photos. Wow, another cool set of pictures. However there are plans of changing the government and GTC shopping center . I will be glad if I could enrich my post with your photos. This was a very interesting view of the architecture in my home city, but I would hardly say it’s brutal. Office Locations. One of the earliest foreign … And the Cathedral was most definitely constructed during this era. Thanks for your article and pics, it’s always interesting to get to know what other people think about you (in a stereotypical manner, of course…). Now, I will read you about Irán… I read about women travellers so your articles will push me a little harder! Message from Yasuhiro Ishino, President. Your government needs to embrace this architecture – it is unique, and it has a lot of fans around the world. 22, no. on instagram, Russian fans call the soviet era version of brutalism ‘sovmod’, wonderfully decorative, sculptural pattered and space-age influenced things. But since they were already build and we have them, I think they should be cleaned (their facade), maintained better and tons of trees and grass (to be planted around) to balance that austerity. This article examines Tange's master plan for Skopje. * And maybe a good reference book should be made for Art and Architecture Schools…. There was a big fire inside the public hall of the post office some years ago. Thanks for your comment, enjoy Skopje. Great post. Fifty years ago, Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, was hit by a huge earthquake that flattened the city. Les habitants sont indifférents aux souvenirs de l’ère communiste en Yougoslavie en général, mais la plupart des gens de Skopje sont familiers avec Kenzo Tange. I think we actually agree with each other – if you read the article, you may think so too. The town had been heavily destroyed by an earthquake in 1963. All of it is part of their identity, the government needs to learn how to embrace it all and the lessons to be learned from it. ), né à Osaka le 4 septembre 1913, élevé à Imabari, dans la préfecture d'Ehime, mort à Tokyo le 22 mars 2005, était un architecte et urbaniste japonais. An international competition to redesign the city was won by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. Your email address will not be published. Skopje’s locals are divided, but I think it’s safe to say most are against the government spending such large sums of money on what is a fairly kitsch effort at creating a national identity. Macedonia, officially “The Republic of Macedonia” or “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” depending on which international body you are speaking to, declared independence from communist Yugoslavia in 1991. Kenzo Tange and his Japanese team aside, the other architects of these structures may or may not have identified as communists, or socialists. Skopje avant le séisme. The city center holds concrete masterpieces sitting alongside every possible era of architecture from the last two millennium. I had the chance to visit Skopje two years ago and it was the most fascinating trip ever…. It continues to devour the city core with new “ideas” almost daily. Message from the President. Hundreds of tacky monuments are being erected all over the place, including a 23m high representation of Alexander in Skopje’s main square. In this Japanese name, the family name is Tange. ... Skopje Macedonia. 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