PURPOSE / OBJECTIVE
To support the preservation and protection of Vushtrri/Vuĉitrn Castle, a culturally important historic site located in the center of Vushtrri/Vuĉitrn town, in order to ensure accessibility and usage by the public and to support the ongoing protection of this monument that is foreseen by law.
To contribute to the development of local capacities required to: manage the protection of Cultural Heritage sites and to promote and raise awareness about cultural heritage preservation in the city of Vushtrri/Vuĉitrn, while integrating principles of sustainability (social, economic and environmental) into the whole process.
Vushtrri/Vuĉitrn Castle is in very poor condition because of a long period of neglect and poorly undertaken conservation works in the past. Its current condition and location in a busy city center means that it is increasingly vulnerable to further destruction. While the overall restoration of Vushtrri/Vuĉitrn Castle will take a long time, there are possibilities for efficient and timely interventions which will both preserve the individual monument from further deterioration while allowing room and flexibility for wider, full-scale conservation works.
THE PROJECT IS BASED ON 3 PILLARS:
1. Emergency protection intervention: To perform emergency protection and conservation of the main castle walls and to prevent further deterioration.
The Castle walls are in a serious state of disrepair (due to erosion from weather conditions, pollution, lack of maintenance and the unfinished archaeological excavations that have exposed the foundations). They pose a danger to pedestrians in the city and provide poor conditions for the ongoing excavation surveys for archaeologists and other workers.
In consultation with the team of experts, it was decided to adapt the Emergency Intervention budget towards urgent protection measures, rather than a direct restoration of the walls. Further restoration and / or conservation works will be provided during subsequent phases of the project. The construction of a temporary platform for the southern wall will aid its stabilization and protect inhabitants, pedestrians and workers. The platform can also be used to allow safer future excavations, investigations and conservation of the Castle, as a base for scaffolding in later conservation work, and a covered public open space for exhibitions. The platform is a wooden structure that can be quickly removed and be fixed around the rest of the walls to be restored. It can also be reused for other Municipal needs in different public spaces around the city. Temporary drainage and moveable urban furniture is also to be installed.
2. Raising awareness.
Forming a close working relationship with Kosovo institutions related to the Cultural Heritage to establish a regular communication and consultation. To introduce the Cultural Heritage perspective as a professional opportunity for the future careers architecture students. The student interns have been closely involved in all aspects of the project.
To raise awareness among civil society (children, youth and Municipality staff) in Vushtrri/Vuĉitrn about the role of the community on the protection of a heritage site, through school visits, exhibitions, open days and workshops.
3. The creation`
They are foreseen as a document to be used for next steps in the conservation of Vushtrri/Vuĉitrn Castle, and are based on the Kosovo laws, international conventions and best-practice recommendations.
Project leader: Alfredo Navarro
Urban Design consultant: Crystal Whitaker
Archaeological consultant: Zana Rama
Civil Engineer/Conservation consultant: Lindita Cervadiku Dibra / Sezair Gafurri
Student – Architects interns : Genta Retkoceri, Petrit Pasha, Migjen Berisha
Project Start – Completion dates:
December 2010 – August 2011
Donor: United States Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
University of Prishtina, Kosovo Council for Cultural Heritage, Institute for Archaeology, Institute for the Protection of Monuments, Vushtrri/Vuĉitrn Municipality (Urbanism, Culture, Public Works), local schools and youth groups.