URBAN PLUS designs a city campus with accessibilty for the public
The University centre is a part of the city centre of Prishtina in which we can distinguish different patterns, both physical and cultural.
The idea of Prishtna University Centre dates since 1960 when the University was established. Although developed in piecemeal on a former Austrian army barracks, it gradually took shape during sixties and seventies. It contains some of the most important moments of social and cultural achievements of Kosovo after the World War II. The National Library, Faculty of Philosophy, Art Gallery and Institute of Albanian Language and Culture, are buildings that do not present a coherent development involving architects from different schools of former Yugoslavia.
In 2005, Municipality of Prishtina, considering that University Centre for a long time has been a social and cultural identity of the city, decided to complete the development of the area through a new master plan.
The design brief put the emphasis on vacant unused open spaces as an opportunity to enhance the public life of the capital Prishtina.
The challenge for the URBAN PLUS was to decide between two development scenarios: a university campus type or an open, permeable area for all citizens, vibrant and lively, through all day and all week. Discussion between Municipality and University authorities was concluded with an open ‘campus concept, which lead to final plan with the new university buildings and open spaces along the existing pattern of movement which provides different experience of the place.
The concept of the master plan is integration of the different types of open public spaces through the existing pattern of movement and the plaza, which is linked to the main pedestrian axis Mother Theresa Boulevard. The concept emphasize the landscape approach to public space using different types of greenery in order to improve the balance between built and open area of the city centre.
Another problem which needed resolving was the orthodox church; an unbuilt project, illegally ‘planted’ in the site in 1993, when the autonomous status of Kosovo was declined by Serbia. The proposal is to include the building into the complex of faculty of arts.