ISSN 2330-717X

Architect Shuns Macedonian Government HQ Revamp

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By Sinisa Jakov Marusic

The man who designed Macedonia’s government building has said he will refuse to participate in a planned makeover that will give his modernist structure a monumental Baroque facade.

After the government on Friday said it had chosen a baroque facade for its HQ, architect Petar Mulickovski said he had turned down an invitation to be an advisor to the project.

“I was not consulted for an opinion before and I will certainly refuse to take part in this unlawful and rushed change to the facade,” Mulickovski told Balkan Insight.

The proposal, submitted by a group of local designers, won some 9,000 votes in public vote on the government website. A proposal that envisaged minimal changes to the existing shell came second with about 6,000 votes. There were five proposals in total.

“We would certainly like to see Mulickovski included as a sort of advisor,” said Vasil Donevski, head of the government body in charge of procurements and commissioning.

Citing his rights as the creator of the original building constructed in the 1970s, Mulickovski has been against the idea for a new facade right from the start.

“I will not sue them [the government] for ruining my work but I demand that the building be protected as a national monument,” he said.

The government launched the contest for a new facade as it continues transforming the city centre as part of a project dubbed “Skopje 2014”.

As part of the grand revamp plan, several buildings and monuments are already in place or nearly finished. The construction of a new national theatre, a history museum, a foreign ministry and a concert hall are at an advanced stage.

Dozens of large statues have already been erected in the heart of the city including one of Alexander the Great, which is over 20 metres high, and a triumphal arch. Work also continues on two new bridges.

Critics of the project object to its artistic style, which draws inspiration from Classical Antiquity. They also object to the project’s high estimated price tag, unofficially standing at €500 million.

If all goes smoothly, construction of the new shell for the government building may start as soon as May. Authorities have yet to reveal the cost of the plan.

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Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

4 thoughts on “Architect Shuns Macedonian Government HQ Revamp

  • February 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm
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    So are we building our own Acropolis? Wow, that would be weird.

    Reply
  • February 8, 2012 at 5:09 am
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    No snowplows, but another ugly building!

    Reply
  • February 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm
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    Forget snowplows, we need more ancient Greek Architecture.

    Reply
  • February 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm
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    Mr Mulickovski do not have any rights of the building. He has intellectual rights only on the previous choice of the investor and owner. The Owner is choosing to go with other architectural solution on his building and that is the right of the owner. In Macedonia and everywhere else is the same. Mr Mulickovski will continue to be owner of the intellectual rights of the original design if somebody chooses to use it somewhere else on another building. Right now all he can do is take pictures of the project for his own portfolio.

    Reply

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