MIA News

Antonio Grujovski wins main award in Europe House’s ‘Skopje of the New Generation’ competition

Antonio Grujovski with his project “Lotus for Her: Sustainable Oasis in the Skopje City Park” won the main award at the “Skopje of the New Generation” competition, organized by Europe House Skopje. The competition was open for young architects and urban planners who were tasked with contributing to the reimagining of Skopje’s urban fabric.

Twelve teams of young architects participated in the competition by providing innovative and sustainable solutions for Skopje’s cultural landmarks. An exhibition displaying the projects in the competition was open Monday in the Central Post Office building in Skopje, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the 1963 Skopje earthquake and the fourth anniversary of Europe House Skopje. The exhibition will be open to visitors until November 16.

Daniela Vasileva, Sara Veleska and Sara Trajkova won the second prize in the competition, while Natali Veleska, Alen Cvetkovski and Dona Mitrovska won the third prize.

The initiative aims to revitalize abandoned and underused public areas for the new generation. It received the support of the architecture departments at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, International Balkan University, University American College Skopje, as well as MIT University.

The winner of the main award, Antonio Grujovski, in his address at the opening of the exhibition on Monday evening, voiced his gratitude for the recognition of his first individual work.

“My goal was to ‘spice up’ our architectural scene. I have to note that in a month we will be in Skopje 2024, while almost all politicians and some of our colleagues are still talking about Skopje 2014. The world is moving forward, Europe is moving forward. We have challenges with climate change, with energy independence and with environmental pollution, which we must focus on and join the visions of the European Union,” said Grujovski.

Culture Minister Bisera Kostadinovska Stojchevska in her address on Monday evening said the “Skopje of the New Generation” competition takes a step forward and bridges the past with the aspirations for the future. “The competition activates the imaginative minds of the young architects to provide conceptual solutions for our landmarks, including the Post Office building,” she said.

“The location of today’s event wasn’t chosen by chance. The choice to place the focus on the Post Office building, which with its unique shape and style stands as a symbol of strength and resilience, is a call for its revival. We heard its voice. We are leading a process in which we expect responsibility and greater engagement from everyone,” said Kostadinovska-Stojchevska.

The European Union’s Ambassador to North Macedonia, David Geer, stressed that the Post Office building is the most emblematic example of brutalist art and aesthetics that shape the architectural identity of post-earthquake Skopje.

“In 2021, the Europa Nostra program listed the Skopje Central Post Office among the seven most endangered heritage sites in Europe. On 26 July this year, on the 60th anniversary of the Skopje earthquake, Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute published a report on the Post Office building calling for an immediate rehabilitation of this historic building. Today, as you see, the Post Office building still has no roof and is at increasing risk of disuse and deterioration,” said Geer in his address at the exhibition.