Gjakova, Kosovo 2015

Europan 13. Competition

  • Architect: Carles Enrich Studio
  • Client: Gjakova City Council
  • Surface area: 7 ha
  • Renders: Carles Enrich Studio
  • Awards: Second prize Europan 13

Gjakova is a city in western Kosovo with a strong commercial tradition built up around its river, the Krena , whose bridges formerly provided meeting points or caravanserais for traders traversing the territory. Today, the city has turned it back on its rivers, plagued by problems of contamination and difficult access for residents. The proposal consists in turning the situation around, with strategies to improve environmental conditions and promote activity along the embankments to recover the city’s identity.

The strategy consists in recovering the original use of the historical bridges as social meeting points. We insert small structures that we call Caravanserais, providing the bridges with services and turning them into points of urban reference. These elements function as interchangers, making the embankments more accessible and offering bike parking racks, street furniture and lighting. The aim is also to introduce an overall environmental strategy, centring on the city periphery, the river courses, and the main thoroughfares.