EIGHTH ARCHITECTURAL WORKSHOP MOSTAR 2004 AND SYMPOSIUM ''INTEGRATING CULTURAL ASSET REHABILITATION WITH POST-WAR REDEVELOPMENT''

Eighth Architectural Workshop Mostar 2004 and Symposium "Integrating Cultural Asset Rehabilitation with Post-War Redevelopment", Mostar, 9 July-2 August 2002


The opening session of the 8th Mostar 2004 architectural workshop was held on 9 July at the Youth Center in Mostar, in presence of H.E. Beriz Belkić, President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also present were Mr. Šefkija Džiho, Governor of Mostar, Mr. Neven Tomić, Deputy Mayor, representatives of architectural academic and cultural circles, the press and public media. The ceremony was fully covered by the local television.

The first to address the audience was the Governor of Mostar Mr. Šefkija Džiho. He welcomed all participants to what he referred to as the ‘wounded city’ of Mostar. Next on stage was Deputy Mayor Mr. Neven Tomić. Mr. Tomić informed the audience that contracts for the reconstruction of the Mostar Bridge had been signed, and that in two years the bridge would be complete. He expressed the importance attached to the Mostar 2004 workshop as a 'gathering' that foreshadowed the expected outcomes of this reconstruction, i.e. connection between people, institutions, and states.

Professor Brooke Harrington, who is one of the most faithful participants in the program starting from the first workshop (Istanbul, 1994), was the next speaker. He stressed that since that time, over 100 students had produced varied projects on various sites in Mostar in studios led by him. He presented some of these projects to the audience.

Then, Professor Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Director General of IRCICA, provided quantitative data regarding the number of participants who took part in the Mostar 2004 workshops to date -some 500 participants representing 25 different universities from 15 different countries. He regarded the work produced thus far as 'exemplary' and referred those who had taken part in these workshops as 'the Mostar 2004 family.' He mentioned plans regarding the establishment of alumni of Mostar 2004. He announced that IRCICA had made preliminary arrangements to begin the restoration of the Karadzozbegova Mosque - widely acclaimed as the best mosque in Mostar which was designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. He also announced that the ceremony in the year 2004 would be especially impressive, because it would coincide with the 20th year of the death of scholar Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi, who had pioneered work in the field of history of architecture in the Balkans and authored many books in his lifetime.

H.E. Beriz Belkić, President of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, delivered an address in which he expressed the pleasure he felt for being invited to the opening ceremony of the 8th Mostar 2004 workshop. The President pledged full support of the Presidency for reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts, with the caveat that the amounts the state could offer were hardly sufficient. He entertained the thought that Bosnia and Herzegovina could one day, again, nurture a multicultural society, and said that such workshops provided hope that this line of thought might be realised. He also pledged full support to all non-governmental organizations, and regarded these as important actors in rebuilding efforts.

After the session, Prof. İhsanoğlu paid a short visit to the Sevri Hadzi Hasanova Mosque where restoration work is near completion, and expressed his pleasure in seeing such key monuments being brought back to life. Project supervisor Prof. Zeynep Ahunbay (Istanbul Technical University) gave explanations on the project’s details to Prof. İhsanoğlu.

A round-table discussion followed, regarding preservation problems in the states of the Former Yugoslav Federation in general, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular. Prof. Zeynep Ahunbay gave a lecture by outlining some general problems related to preservation, most notably, how preservation activities can or should be handled in charged political situations and in war-torn communities. She then gave specific examples in the city of Mostar, and spoke of her experiences regarding the Neziraga and Sevri Hadzi Hasanova Mosques, and the so-called magaza on Onescukova Street. The key participants of the round-table discussion, which was mediated by Professor Amir Pasic, were Prof. Ahunbay, Ms. Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Prof. Željko Peković and Prof. Tina Wik. Of these, Professors Ahunbay, Wik, and Ms. Hadžimuhammedović are members of the commission to protect national monuments, mandated by annex 8 of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Ms. Hadžimuhammedović spoke of how the commission came into being, and its legislative structure. She later spoke of the necessity to reconstruct historic monuments in order to institute a national identity for Bosnians. Professor Peković, who recently has signed an agreement to supervise the reconstruction of the Old Bridge’s vault, spoke about the difficulties of undertaking such a mission. Then, Prof. Michael Sells from Haverford University took the stage and gave a lecture about cultural genocide taken place in the former Yugoslav lands. Among the many terms he used, the one phrase that came across particularly forcefully was ‘demographic engineering’, for indeed it was this that the masterminds of the recent war were doing.

The 8th international workshop and round-table was inaugurated in presence of H.E. Beriz Belkić, President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, comprised studio sessions, field work and seminars, involving the presentation of works which were accomplished by universities in coordination with IRCICA during the past academic year. During the workshop, 16 lectures were given by participating professors. The round-table was devoted to the problems of heritage preservation and restoration in areas affected by war all over the world, with special reference to ex-Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. 73 architects from 13 countries participated in it.

Reading of the City Fabric by Attilio Petruccioli (University of Bari, Italy)

Rehabilitation of the Historic Part of the Split by Jerko Marasovic (Mediterranean Centre for Built Heritage, Croatia)

History of the City of Dubrovnik by Ivo Banac (Yale University, USA)

Marketing of Cultural Resources in Bosnia by Boris Tihi (Sarajevo University, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Architectural History of Sarajevo by Nedzad Kurto (Sarajevo University, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Authentic Mostar by Dino Karabeg (Oslo University, Norway)

The Process of the Transformation of the Models: Influences of Austro-Hungarian Urban and Architectural Models in the Southern Parts of the Monarchy by Karin Serman (Zagreb University, Croatia)

Globalisation and Cultural Heritage: The Case of Split by Niksa Bozic (Zagreb University, Croatia)

Proposal for A Transportation System of The City of Mostar by Emir Fejzic (Sarajevo University, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Cultural Interfaces in the Old City of Jerusalem by Maria Bianca Nardella (Roger Williams University of Architecture, USA)

European Union-the Destiny of Balkan Countries, by Mihajlo Crnobrbja (Belgrade University)

Heritage on Agenda: a Time to Prioritise by Anila Naeem (Ned University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan)

On Incrementalism: Melbourne’s Urban Design Strategy by Esther Charlesworth (American University of Beirut, Lebanon)

Enviroment for Education by Jon Fien (Griffith University, Australia)

Mostar within Iconoclastic Tradition by Jon Calame (Minevra Partners, USA).


Presentations by the faculty and students of some participating universities were as below, each followed by discussion sessions:

Yıldız Technical University Presentation

Birgül Çolakoğlu presented her work on Ottoman hayat houses in Sarajevo and Mostar, analysing the houses by using algorithmic design to recombine these basic units to create new buildings which fit contemporary needs, but at the same time are visually coherent with the traditional fabric.

Tuğrul Yazar presented his work titled "The Formal Analysis of Sinan’s Mosques." Yazar analyzed the shape vocabulary of these mosques -using computers like his professor Çolakoğlu- to single out what he called ‘primary elements’, ‘secondary elements’, and ‘emergent shapes’. He then created typologies regarding the ways in which these shapes came together in Sinan’s mosques.

Pınar Aydın, another student, presented her work titled "Façade Design in Kumkapı." Aydın analysed the typical elements to be found on historic houses in the Kumkapı district of Istanbul, and then derived a set of rules, which seemed to dictate the way in which these elements were combined in a typical building. Using these derived rules and new rules which she introduced, she tried to show that a new streetscape could be designed in congruence with the old fabric.

Bari University Presentation

Groups of students from Bari Technical University presented the work they had completed during the academic year 2001-2002. The first presentation was titled "The Reconstruction of Mostar: Proposed Project for the ‘Central Zone’". This project proposed a new traffic bypass for Mostar using the Boulevard, and introduced new development along this important route. The architectural language used presented an attempt to reconcile the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian heritages of Mostar.

The next presentation was titled "Urban Tissue, Architectural Types, and Building Techniques in the Balkans: Mostar". This group undertook analyses in the Cernica Mahala to determine lot sizes and other urban features. Next, they analyzed Ottoman houses to find the basic elements manifested in this traditional architecture. Based on these analyses, they came up with proposals for the Musala Square and the area surrounding the former Razvitak Shopping Mall.

Temple University Presentation

Professor Brooke Harrington presented work done by students in his studio regarding the area known as "North Campus". The project involved designing housing for some 15,000 inhabitants -no less than 5,000 families. Community and recreation centers were also incorporated into the designs.

Zagreb University Presentation

Following the exhibition of their studio works, three students (Nenad Ravnić, Martina Ljubičić, Hrvoje Bota) presented their group's work. Nikša Božić, Associate Assistant of Prof. Srećko Pegan made a quick power point presentation of students' works accomplished during a one-term urban planning studio guided by Professor Pegan.

Pristine University Presentation

Ten students from Pristine University had taken Mostar as project area. They worked on Mostar for one semester. From this group, three students (Albana Rexhepi, Visar Salihu, Kreshnik Sada), presented their group’s one semester studio works. They compared Mostar with a small city called Priznen. They reached the conclusion that ‘water is a prominent feature in Islamic architecture’. For the ruined cultural heritage, they mentioned the possibility of using buildings of historic value as housing complex for tourists, and creating open spaces for cultural and artistic space.

During the studio sessions, Prof. Amir Pasic program coordinator, presented a short history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, continuing with a history of Mostar where he focused on architectural and urban developments of the city. More specifically, he focused on both pre and post-war preservation and rehabilitation efforts in the city. He also outlined past and present projects which were being funded by various institutions, including IRCICA, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the World Monuments Fund, the World Bank and others. Following Professor Pasic, Lejla Tuzlak, Maida Karahasanović, Senada Demirović, and Aida Idrizbegović presented the work they had developed in preparation of their master theses at the Faculty of Architecture at Sarajevo University, titled: "Maršala Tita Street: Streetscape Design", "Fejić Street: Urban Design" "Guidelines for Interventions in the Old Town" respectively.

Four groups were formed to work on different projects during the workshop: the Train Station group, the Musala-Razvitak group, the Mejdan-Biščevića group, the Authentic Mostar group. Each group reported their work in detail and made several suggestions and recommendations.

Below is an outline and evaluation of the results by Professor Dr. Amir Pasic, Coordinator of the Mostar 2004 program:

"The eighth session of the Mostar 2004 summer workshop has generated ideas and design schemes for the rehabilitation of the city that are unusual in their scope and sophistication. This fact is not difficult to explain: the students convened from a diversity of cultural and educational backgrounds; they profited directly from the company of more than 72 international colleagues from 13 countries, enjoyed enough time for observation and discussion, benefited from the products of the seven previous workshops, and their thought process was shaped by a large number of current, active architectural and conservation field projects underway during their stay in Mostar.

The results and proposals produced by four working groups, each focused on specific themes and sectors of the city (the western part of Caršija, Mejdan –Biščevića neighborhood, Musala-Razvitak area, and train station area), typically reach far beyond individual sits and structures; they embrace the complexities of urban development, potential commercial investment, and the social needs of a changing city. Reflecting the accumulation of investigative methods and data from eight years of continuous study, these recommendations are grounded firmly in an understanding of the pressures and opportunities that come with post-war revitalisation and ongoing international support. These student groups were led by graduate students from Sarajevo University whose familiarity with the city is unparalled, in addition to the positive effect of lectures by 16 guest speakers from around the world. In short, an ideal learning environment has produced a series of highly relevant and comprehensive designs. Though broad in scope, the proposals generated by the participants in this workshop are not deficient in detail or site-specificity. The ideas formulated show sensitivity to pedestrian movement, parking crises, water quality in the neretva, and the transportation needs of a growing urban population. Of obvious value to local planners and policy-makers in Mostar, these proposal also provide a model -of process and content- for urban design professionals everywhere.

On the last day of the workshop program, architects Jon Calame and Amir Pasic took the stage for final speeches. Calame underlined how important it was for him to have been a part of this workshop for eight years and talked about the upcoming plans that will be prepared for the last two years of the Mostar Workshop Program. Prof. Pasić expressed his appreciation of the students’ works and thanked all those who had helped him to realise the program.

The ceremony ended with the presentation of certificates to the participants.