Prishtina, 6 February 2018 - “Towards Concrete Utopia/Architecture in Yugoslavia between 1948-1980” is the largest exhibition of Yugoslav architecture, this summer opened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
Kosovo architect Bekim Ramku, consultant curator of this exhibition, confirmed that this great architecture event includes, among other things, the model of the National Library of Kosovo with Croatian architect Andrija Mutnjakovic. This exhibition explores the topics of urbanization, technology in everyday life, consumerism, monuments and memorialization. It includes more than 400 drawings, models, pictures and movies from a collection of municipal archives, family collections and museums across the region. The works of important architects of the time, such as Bogdan BogdanoviÄ‡, Juraj Neidhardt, Svetlana Kana Radevic, Edvard Ravnikar, Vjenceslav Richter and Milica ŠteriÄ‡, will also be exhibited. Particular attention will be given to the White Mosque in rural Bosnia, the reconstruction project of the city of Skopj based on the metabolic design of Japanese architect Kenzo Tange and the addition of the new Belgrade city. The National and University Library of Kosovo in Prishtina is a monument of cultural heritage. Built in 1973-81, this library was designed by Croatian architect Andrija Mutnjakovic. As an architectural complex, it represents a combination of cubes and domes belonging to the “new regionalism” architecture type. The building is quadruple with an area of 16,500 m², of which 13,500 m² is usable area. From a compositional point of view, the library is distinguished as a cubic whole encased by a steel skeleton membrane, which in combination with the zenith lighting created through the domes, creates a lighting system that provides ample lighting and protection from excessive isolation. In 2016, the Kosovo Foundation for Architecture was awarded with the “Keeping it Modern” grant from Getty Foundation to draft the Conservation and Management Plan of the building. According to Bekim Ramku, who also runs this foundation, the fact that the National Library will be present at this exhibition at MoMA will further contribute to the promotion of modern Kosovar architecture outside the country, in particular of the National Library which unfortunately is neglected and in a bad condition.