Kosovo’s Architecture Foundation
National Library of Kosovo

National Library of Kosovo
Few modern buildings connect the past and present as flawlessly and span multiple cultures as expressively as Kosovo’s National Library in Prishtina. Reflecting on the region’s diverse heritage and distinct cultural spirit, Croatian architect Andrija Mutnjakovic (b. 1929) sought to create an authentic national architectural expression when he designed the building in 1971. Constructed with in-situ cast concrete, marble floors, and white plastered walls, and topped with 99 translucent acrylic domes, the library is reminiscent of buildings from Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire. Despite its unified historic forms, the structure is unmistakably modern. Mutnjakovic used new materials to evoke ancient architectural tropes, most notably the exterior aluminum lattice-wrapping, which can be interpreted either as a fishnet or a veil pointing to the area’s two predominant religions. Although reception of the design was mixed when the library opened in 1982, the building is now regarded as an extraordinary example of late Yugoslav modernism and a beloved space in the community.

While the building’s interiors suffered damage during the Kosovo War (1998–1999), its exterior escaped the conflict relatively unharmed. However, over the past several years, the building has begun to show signs of aging, most evidently though water ingress that required ad hoc repairs. Moving forward, a team of conservation specialists will address the lack of knowledge about the building, studying and assessing its performance with the support of a Getty grant. They will analyze every aspect of the building, including consulting with the architect on historic documents and his own personal knowledge of the design. Their research will create a comprehensive record of the building’s past and current conditions and result in the preparation of a nomination for the protection of the library at the national level. When completed, the project will serve as a model for modern building documentation in the region and will be shared with the public through an exhibition at the library. The project will also raise awareness for preserving 20th century architecture through a series of workshops for students and young professionals in the field.

Grant support: $89,000

pornjk, pornsam, xpornplease, joyporn, pornpk, foxporn, porncuze, porn110, porn120, oiporn, pornthx, blueporn, roxporn, silverporn, porn700, porn10, porn40, porn900